The long-anticipated Bridgerton arrives on our Netflix screens this Christmas day. The Regency period drama, based on Julia Quinn’s historical romances and directed by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal), follows the lives of the powerful Bridgerton family as they look for love and happiness among the upper echelons of society. As well as a stellar cast and visually-rich production, the series also serves up a dose of travel inspiration, taking us on a tour of some of the UK’s most beautiful locations and stately homes. Here’s where to follow in the footsteps of the Bridgertons when booking your next luxury UK staycation…
Our first stop is Bath, the prime location for this seductive drama, and the elegant Royal Crescent makes frequent appearances. Built by John Wood in the late 18th century, the magnificent curved row of palatial Georgian houses is a must-visit on any weekend minibreak to the city. Make a special pilgrimage to No.1, now a museum, which doubles as the home of one of Bridgerton’s central characters.
Just a few doors down, you’ll find The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa. The vibe here is heritage chic, with each of the rooms combining sumptuous fabrics and period furniture with all the mod cons to ensure a luxe stay. Bag one of the rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the historic Royal Crescent lawns. Downstairs, the Spa & Bath House is dedicated to self-indulgence with an extensive holistic treatment menu and excellent sauna, steam and pool facilities. If you’re going to retox, do it in style in the hotel’s Champagne lounge – the Bridgertons would surely approve of a chilled glass of Taittinger.
16 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS;
You might recognise Hatfield House from Netflix’s recent adaptation of Rebecca, where it stood in for Manderley — and now the fine Jacobean mansion is on our screens again, this time the setting for a lavish soirée. Home to the Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury, the main house is closed for the season, but you can still go for wintery woodland woods in its stunning parkland and admire its impressive new sculpture, Renaissance, by Angela Connor.
Hatfield House, Great North Road, Hatfield, AL9 5HX;
Only 20 minutes’ drive from Hatfield House lies the Theobalds Estate, a sprawling Georgian pile that once was the home of an eccentric 19th century baronet. It has since been transformed into Birch, undoubtedly one of 2020’s most intriguing openings, part concept hotel, part wellness escape and part creative retreat. Robin Gill, ex-The Dairy, is in charge of the menus, with delica pumpkin tart, porridge sourdough and venison kofta all making an appearance. In between meals, it’s all about signing up for Birch’s many and wondrous workshops and classes. The Bauhaus plate painting and watercolour botanicals get our vote.
Birch, Lieutenant Ellis Way, Cheshunt, EN7 5HW;
Set in the rolling Wiltshire countryside just outside Salisbury, Wilton House has been the seat of the Earls of Pembroke since the 16th century and has a world-renowned art collection which includes works by the greats, Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Pieter Brueghel. Surrounded by 22 acres of parkland and gardens, it’s a beautiful spot for a riverside picnic when its doors open once again. Its Single Cube Room, a state room designed by Inigo Jones in the 1500s, is the one you might spot in Bridgerton, where it is used as the setting for Queen Charlotte on her throne.
Closed until Easter 2021, Wilton House, Wilton, Salisbury, SP2 0BJ;
Arriving at Lucknam, you know you are in for a grand old time as you sweep up through an avenue of lime and beech trees towards the 18th century Palladian mansion-turned-luxury hotel. Bike — or ride —around its 500 acres before soothing any worn-out limbs in the handsome spa; we recommend the heated outdoor therapy room after a spoiling massage. For dinner? Its chandelier-strewn restaurant Hywel Jones has a Michelin star; try the signature tasting menu, with dishes such as roast diver scallops and crispy Porthilly oysters.
Colerne, Thickwood, Chippenham, SN14 8AZ;
Painshill Park is a spectacular Surrey garden, landscaped in the mid 18th century by aristocrat the Hon. Charles Hamilton. Hamilton embarked on two Grand Tours across Europe as a young man, amassing ancient artefacts and romantic notions of creating a garden that appeared as a ‘living painting’ — something he would succeed in after acquiring the land at Painshill. A stroll around its acres reveals everything from a Gothic tower to a ruined abbey via a vineyard. Masquerading as the family seat of the Featherington family in Bridgerton, look out for its much-lauded lake and Chinese bridge in the production.
Painshill Park, Portsmouth Rd, Cobham KT11 1JE;
Not far away is magnificent Beaverbrook. The former home of Lord Beaverbrook, it has fed, watered and entertained the 20th century great and the good, from Winston Churchill to Elizabeth Taylor — with the various suites in the main house named after these illustrious guests. The Dowager suite is worth it for the divine and enormous pale pink bathroom alone. Then it’s a simple case of papers by the fire, champagne cocktails in the Parrot Bar and sushi and sake pairings (they even have a sake sommelier) in the restaurant.
Beaverbrook, Reigate Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 8QX;
No stranger to the small screen, Castle Howard near York has played its part in 2008’s Brideshead Revisited as well as Bridgerton in 2020. A colossal 18th century pile that is more palace than castle, it has been home to three centuries of the Howard family. Exhibitions, curated archives and myriad artworks aside, there are sublime gardens to wander around with woodlands, lakes, fountains and temples.
Castle Howard, York, YO60 7DA,
Foodies will adore The Talbot at Malton. Owned by lifestyle doyenne Alice Naylor-Leyland’s husband Tom, it is a 17th century coaching inn perched on the River Derwent just shy of the North York moors. Just across the road is Talbot Yard, which shelters a brace of local producers, from gin to ice cream. Of course the hotel’s own food is superlative too and as locally sourced as possible, so look out for catch from Whitby Bay. After a day’s eating, both in-house and out, sink into one of the Talbot’s four posters for some well-earned rest.
The Talbot Malton, Yorkersgate, Malton, YO17 7AJ;