10 of the finest As Seen on Screen escapes

Ever watched a historical drama and felt yourself longing to be transported there? Eleanor O’Kane has found 10 places to stay where you can feel like you’re the star of the show

GENERAL SHOT_PortmeirionVillage


Cambridge Lodge Holiday Cottage

One of the country’s finest Jacobean houses, Audley End House really was designed to be ft for a king as it was created to accommodate King James I of England and VI of Scotland as he roamed his dominion. The house was evidently a success, as James I and VI returned for a second visit and Audley End’s regal credentials came in handy for various scenes featuring the young Elizabeth II in the Netflix series The Crown. Located at the estate exit, the Victorian Cambridge Lodge sleeps four amid relaxing contemporary styling. You’ll be in prime position for exploring the Capability Brown landscapes, with free access to the house and grounds during your stay. english-heritage.org.uk


NO.15 GREAT PULTENEY Bath, Somerset

Henrietta Junior Suite
Henrietta Junior Suite

The historic streets of Bath are fertile ground for location scouts. Perhaps one of the more unexpected films to feature the Georgian city is the 2012 hit Les Misérables, when Pulteney Bridge and Weir doubled up as the River Seine. During a dramatic scene, police inspector Javert (played by Russell Crowe) throws himself into the water. The Grade I-listed bridge, built in 1769, is one of a handful in the world with shops incorporated into it. Stay in comfort close by at No.15 Great Pulteney. Housed in three adjoining Grade I-listed Georgian terraces, the hotel’s interior is imaginatively designed and packed with original art. no15greatpulteney.co.uk


HOTEL PORTMEIRION Portmeirion, Gwynedd

GENERAL SHOT_PortmeirionVillage

Technically not quite a period drama, 1960s series The Prisoner is nonetheless a winner with fans of vintage intrigue. Set in a mysterious seaside village, the programme was filmed in Portmeirion, a coastal Italianate holiday village perched on a peninsula in north-west Wales (right). It was built between 1925 and 1975 by architect Clough Williams-Ellis and now lovers of the unusual can choose between two Grade II-listed spots – Hotel Portmeirion or Castell Deudraeth, a Tudor-Victorian melange of a mansion. Alternatively, you can stay in the village’s serviced rooms. portmeirion-village.com


DOYDEN CASTLE Port Isaac, Cornwall

Port Quin; Doyden Castle; Cornwall; UK

Diehard fans of the 1975 Poldark series might pride themselves on recognising this seaside bolthole, which appeared on our screens long before the 2015 revival. Part folly, part fortress, this cosy clifftop hideaway is packed with original features and sleeps two. Set on a headland, the 19th-century property overlooks dramatic coastline and is close to a sheltered inlet where you can kayak, rockpool or fish. Latter-day Poldark fans will be in pole position to discover their favourite locations, while those who prefer to take in other delights can walk the South West Coast Path or simply head to nearby Padstow for fish and chips and a glass of something chilled as you watch the sun slowly set over the harbour. nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays/doyden-castle-cornwall


LONDON LODGE Highclere Park, Berkshire

Highclere Castle, is pictured in Highclere, southern England, on May 12, 2016. As Britain mulls questions of identity and its possible exit from the European Union, 2016 is an anniversary year for three of its most potent symbols: the queen, Shakespeare and gardener "Capability" Brown. Lancelot "Capability" Brown is credited with having created over 170 gardens, among them the grounds of Highclere Castle, made famous as the set of the hit television series Downton Abbey

For many period drama aficionados, Downton Abbey remains the high water mark. Outdo the day visitors to Highclere Castle (the setting for most of the action) by taking a two-night stay at London Lodge, recently renovated by the current Earl and Countess. Located at the imposing entrance to Highclere Park, the pair of lodges (which together form London Lodge) were built around 1840 by the first Earl of Carnarvon. Recently turned into a snug home for two, the interiors include carefully chosen fabrics, a woodburner and bespoke oak wooden shutters. We think Lady Violet Crawley would approve. highclerecastle.co.uk


LIBRARIAN’S COTTAGE Coneysthorpe, Yorkshire


With its vast wings and central dome, Castle Howard is an icon of the north. The stately home was used to stage both the 1981 TV adaptation and the 2008 big screen version of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Settle in at the Librarian’s Cottage (above) in the estate village of Coneysthorpe, just across the Great Lake from the big house. It sleeps up to four and is furnished with modern pieces and vintage treasures from the estate. castlehoward.co.uk


HUNTING TOWER Bakewell, Derbyshire

A view of Chatsworth House and Hunting Tower from across the River Derwent
A view of Chatsworth House and Hunting Tower from across the River Derwent

One of England’s flagship country houses, Chatsworth has passed down through 16 generations of the same family. It’s a long-held belief that the magnificent house was Jane Austen’s inspiration for Pemberley, the stately home owned by Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Darcy, and scenes from the 2005 film were shot here, forever linking the two abodes. Renowned for its sweeping grounds as much as its treasure-box house, the Chatsworth estate has several rental properties to choose from. Standing on an escarpment towering 400 feet above the grand house, the 16th-century Hunting Tower (visible at the top of the slope in the photo, left) sleeps up to four, with accommodation for another couple next door if required. chatsworthcottages.co.uk


SIGN OF THE ANGEL Lacock, Wiltshire

The Angel Lacock
The Angel Lacock

Even if you’ve never been to Lacock, you may find its picture-perfect streets familiar. Its 13th-century abbey and ancient cottages have been the backdrop to many a TV show and film, including Cranford, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice (1995). Get a taste for village life by staying at the Sign of the Angel, a 15th-century coaching inn in the National Trust village. Each of the five guest rooms celebrates the architectural quirks of the building. signoftheangel.co.uk


89 CHURCH LAWN Stourton, Wiltshire

89 Church Lawn ©National Trust Images

Green-fingered fans of Pride and Prejudice should also consider renting this secluded stone cottage, which allows you to roam one of the world’s finest gardens, almost as if it’s your very own. Set right by the entrance to Stourhead, the cottage sleeps seven and gives guests access to the Palladian villa and magnificent 18th-century gardens. In the grounds, you’ll find the Temple of Apollo, used in the 2005 film adaptation of the Austen classic; it was the spot where Mr Darcy proposed to Elizabeth Bennet for the first time. You’ll be in horticultural and cinematic heaven. nationaltrust.org.uk/holidays


CARLTON TOWERS Carlton, Yorkshire

Baroness Bedroom

Masquerading as Windsor Castle in ITV series Victoria, Carlton Towers has the fairy tale credentials to make any guest feel regal. The Yorkshire mansion traces its roots back to the 17th century, but was transformed into a grand manor by two renowned architects of the Victorian era: Edward Welby Pugin and Sir John Francis Bentley. If you’re planning a big party or perhaps a reunion, there’s room for 31 guests to stay, from a single day up to a week. You can fight over the 16 individually decorated bedrooms that are the last word in luxury, including four-poster and antique beds, freestanding bathtubs and elegant antique furniture. carltontowers.co.uk