With Series Four of the Netflix mega-hit due to be on our screens in November, The Crown is perhaps the most eagerly anticipated TV show of the year. It offers a perfect antidote to the chaos that has been 2020: we know exactly what’s going to happen, so we can sit back and enjoy without any anxiety about the future in it. If you find yourself binge-watching and then bereft when it ends, here are some of the series’ filming locations that you can visit for another dose.
The home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury, Hatfield House is full of history – it’s where Elizabeth I grew up, and where she was told she would become Queen. In The Crown, it’s used as the home of Queen Mary, grandmother to the Queen.
The Jacobean stately boasts opulent interiors, a private chapel and a Medieval banqueting hall, as well as acres of formal gardens and parkland to explore. Plus, it’s only 21 miles from London, making a day trip eminently possible.
Used as a stand-in for Westminster Abbey, Ely Cathedral has its own wealth of stories: founded in 673 by the twice-married virgin St Etheldreda, it has been a Benedictine community, was dissolved by Henry VIII and was restored in the 18th century. Near Cambridge, Ely is also the birthplace of Oliver Cromwell, so once you’ve had your fill of Regal sights you can visit the home of the great Republican.
No stranger to a film crew, the Ardverikie estate has been used as a location in series including Outlander and Monarch of the Glen – and the Balmoral scenes in The Crown. Set in 38,000 acres of Inverness-shire, the main house isn’t open to the public, but the estate owns a number of charming self-catering cottages for hire – and if you’re staying there, you can have a sneak peek inside the house. Pack your best tweed and Tupperware for the full Queenly experience.
Approaching Eltham Palace in South London, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Medieval buildings were used for the most stately of The Crown’s scenes. But stepping inside, you enter an Art Deco paradise, built by the eccentric millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in the 1930s. There’s a moat and a minstrels’ gallery, but also a golden bathroom and a centrally-heated bedroom for a pet lemur. The Palace was used in The Crown as a stand-in for Bermuda’s Government House and the Queen’s suits on the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Occupied by the Foreign Office, Lancaster House in Central London isn’t generally open to the public – but you can book tours or, if you’re feeling particularly regal, book it for a The Crown-themed party. Commissioned by the (Grand Old) Duke of York, it stood in for Buckingham Palace in many scenes of The Crown: you might recognize the opulent Rococo double-staircase, the miles of gilt in the Long Gallery and the balcony in the Music Room.
Perched on the River Nadder near Salisbury, Wilton House was used as another set for Buckingham Palace. Home to the Earls of Pembroke for some 450 years, the house is also host to an astonishing art collection, including works by Van Dyck, Rembrandt and Brueghel. Its double cube room features in many of the scenes set in Buckingham Palace. While wandering around you may find yourself doing constant double-takes; as well as The Crown, the house has been used for Young Victoria, The Madness of King George, and, ahem, Tomb Raider.