Are you hooked on the new season of The Crown? We sure are, and whilst we love the family politics and incredible clothes, there’s one aspect of the show that stands out: the jaw-dropping backdrops that all the drama unfolds in.
Only around 25% of the filming of the new season took place at Elstree Studios (The Crown’s production base). To get the royal look right, there was also on-location shooting at 90 different locations – some of which you can explore in person!
Located across the UK, add these stunning estates and manor houses to your must-visit list for when you get the green light to travel again.
Somerleyton Hall – Somerleyton, England
Sandringham is the Queen’s private home in Norfolk and the destination of choice for the royal family’s Christmas celebrations. In previous seasons, the stand-in for Sandringham was Englefield House in Berkshire, but this season it’s been switched out for Somerleyton Hall in Suffolk.
This grand Tudor-Jacobean manor boasts 12 acres of gorgeously manicured landscapes split into various sections, including a walled garden which sits in a former garden kitchen, and a yew hedge maze.
Plan a trip to the estate and imagine yourself enjoying Christmas dinner with the (royal) family.
Burghley House – Peterborough, England
Beautiful Windsor Castle, the Queen’s preferred weekend home, has a worthy stand-in in The Crown. The Windsor Castle scenes were filmed at Burghley House, which has its own royal connections. It’s a Tudor mansion in Stamford that was built by William Cecil, Queen Elizabeth I’s Lord High Treasurer.
It’s one of the largest and grandest examples of 16th-century architecture still standing today, with beautiful Elizabethan features including spires and cupolas adorning the exterior, and decadent stately rooms inside. Take a stroll through the extensive gardens and get a taste of how the Queen spends her weekends.
Ardverikie House – Scottish Highlands
Eagle-eyed TV fans might recognise Ardverikie House as the country manor in Monarch of the Glen. In The Crown, however, it features as the stand-in for the Queen’s summer residence, Balmoral Estate in Scotland’s Royal Deeside.
In season four, you’ll recognise it as the location where newlyweds Charles and Diana spend their honeymoon. Ardverikie House, in rural Inverness-shire, is open to visitors, and with self-catering accommodation on-site, it’s the perfect place for a countryside retreat that will make you feel like royalty.
Winchester Cathedral – Hampshire, England
Prince Charles and Lady Diana famously married at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London in 1981. Whilst we don’t actually see the wedding in The Crown, we do see a tense glimpse of the rehearsal.
It wasn’t filmed in St Paul’s, however. Rather, filming took place in Winchester Cathedral which is over 1000 years old. It’s open for visitors to visit the grave of Jane Austen, see the Norman crypt, and take a rooftop tour.
Somerley House – Hampshire/Dorset border, England
Highgrove House is the family residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, situated southwest of Tetbury in Gloucestershire, England. Built in the late 18th century, the estate is famed for its gardens which are open to the public every year from April to October.
The Highgrove scenes were actually filmed at Somerley House, a country house on the border of Hampshire and Dorset. It’s not open to the public but can be booked for weddings and special events so you can get your very own taste of royal luxury.
Lancaster House – London, England
Buckingham Palace is known all around the world as the official residence of the monarch, so it needed to feature in The Crown. Filming there isn’t allowed, of course, but Lancaster House acted as a beautiful substitute.
This mansion close to Buckingham Palace was commissioned in 1825 by the Duke of York (of ‘grand old Duke of York’ fame) and was a hotspot for social and political life in the 19th century. It’s typically only open to the public once a year, during the Open House London festival, but you can take an online tour from the comfort of your own home.
Goldsmith’s Hall – London, England
Another of the filming locations for Buckingham Palace is Goldsmith’s Hall, a Grade I building in the City of London. With elaborate gold-decorated reception rooms and an ornate marble staircase, it’s a worthy stand-in for the queen’s main residence.
There are several open days throughout the year when the public is invited to tour the hall – it’s probably the closest you’ll ever get to being inside Buckingham Palace!
Brocket Hall – Hatfield, England
In the series, we see multiple scenes inside Kensington Palace, Charles and Diana’s London residence. The filming substitute for the palace is Brocket Hall, a country house in Hertfordshire.
This sprawling home has its own illustrious history – built in 1760, it’s been home to two Prime Ministers, and was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite country estates.
Just 22 miles from London, and with two on-site championship golf courses, 543 acres of countryside estate, and an award-winning restaurant, it’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway from the city.
So there you have it – all the places you need to take a trip to if you want to recreate your very own royal tour of the UK and live like a king or queen for a week or two.