Step into the screen with a visit to one of Britain's numerous stately homes - many of which have been filmsets for films and TV shows including Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Victoria.
FT Property Listings, luxury market experts, has picked out seven of the best.
Hampshire’s grand Highclere Castle is instantly recognisable as TV’s Downton Abbey. The grand hall and bedrooms within the stately home are also used throughout the award-winning ITV series. While Downton is a huge draw, it’s not the only claim to fame – it also stood in for Totleigh Towers in Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie’s Jeeves and Wooster.
Fans can find it off the A34 between Newbury and Winchester and can visit for between 60 - 70 days a year, when owners the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon retreat to a cottage in the 5,000-acre site. The property also features an Egyptian exhibition – a nod to a previous Earl’s role in the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun – Capability Brown designed gardens and a cricket pitch and pavilion that can be hired for a game.
The stunning Derbyshire estate of Chatsworth House holds a place in the affections of fans of Pride and Prejudice. For a start, it’s actually mentioned in Jane Austen’s 1813 book as an estate visited by Elizabeth Bennet. On top of that, it is thought that the stately home might have been the real life inspiration for Mr Darcy’s residence Pemberley since Austen wrote the classic novel while in nearby Bakewell.
It was only fitting, then, that the seat of the Duke of Devonshire was used to represent Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.
It was also used in the BBC’s ‘Death Comes To Pemberley’ – a PD James novel covering the events after Pride and Prejudice.
Chatsworth is situated in the Peak District, between Derby and Sheffield, and is currently undergoing a £32.7 million restoration project, which should be complete in November 2017.
3. Lyme Park
While we’re mentioning Pride and Prejudice, fans wouldn’t forgive us for not including Lyme Park on this list. As good as Chatsworth is, the Cheshire mansion was chosen to depict Pemberley in the famous 1995 BBC TV series. It’s here that you’ll find the lake where Colin Firth’s Darcy took an infamous dip in a scene voted the most memorable ever in British TV drama.
Visitors can also enjoy the surrounding moorland estate and deer park while they’re at Lyme Park, which can be found off the A6 between Stockport and Buxton.
It’s fitting that the makers of The Dark Knight Rises chose to make Nottingham’s Wollaton Hall its location for Wayne Manor. The hall, which dates back to the 16th century, is just five miles north of the Nottinghamshire village of Gotham, which actually lends its name to Batman’s famous crime-fighting city.
The venue is a perfect example of how an appearance on the silver screen can boost interest. The BBC reported that Wollaton Hall attracted 175,117 visitors in 2011 – the year before the Batman film hit the box office – but by 2014 it pulled in 291,393.
The ITV series Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman, has provided the latest on-screen appearance for the magnificent North Yorkshire stately home Castle Howard.
The venue, 15 miles north of York, stands in for Kensington Palace in the show and was also used to film Granada Television’s much-loved 1981 adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited – as well as the 2008 film of the same story.
Visitors who want to spend longer soaking in the stunning views of the home and its grounds can book in to the Lakeside holiday park.
Few stories have been so well-received in modern times than the Harry Potter saga. JK Rowling’s books spawned a hugely successful series of film adaptations and the first two of these featured Northumberland’s Alnwick Castle as the iconic school of witchcraft and wizardry, Hogwarts. Visitors are now able to take part in their own broomstick training session where Harry began his training as a result.
Yet it doesn’t end with Harry Potter. Alnwick Castle’s star power has attracted the camera crews for a whole host of productions, including 2016’s BBC Shakespeare adaptation The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses, the 2015 Downton Abbey Christmas special, 1998 Cate Blanchett film Elizabeth, 1991’s Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, and even Black Adder, the first series of the classic Richard Curtis/Rowan Atkinson sitcom.
7. Stoke Park
You’ll probably be hard pushed to find a property with such a varied on-screen CV as the Buckinghamshire country club Stoke Park. It’s both the location of the golf club duel between Sean Connery’s James Bond and Goldfinger and the romantic getaway chosen by Daniel Cleaver in 2001’s Bridget Jones’ Diary.
In 2004 alone it scored a silver screen hat trick, featuring in Wimbledon, Bride & Prejudice and Layer Cake.
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