You don’t need an engraved invitation to a ball to take a twirl in one of the dazzling locations featured in Bridgerton. Many of season two’s English filming sites are open to the public, tempting visitors with delightful experiences, from perusing fine art and strolling through elaborately landscaped gardens to navigating one-of-a-kind hedge mazes. They’re all within easy reach of London, but check each destination’s website for the latest details on open days and hours before jumping into your carriage.
The wisteria-festooned exterior of London’s Ranger’s House is also the familiar face of Bridgerton House. Standing beside London’s Greenwich Park, the red-brick Georgian villa was built in 1723, and it gained a royal connection in 1807 when the sister of King George III — Augusta, Dowager Duchess of Brunswick — moved in. Later, it became the official home for the Rangers of Greenwich Park, and today it’s overseen by English Heritage and is open to the public.
While no Bridgerton filming took place beyond the walls — sets on soundstages stand in for the interior — visitors who step inside can view the Wernher Collection, including more than 700 pieces of art, jewelry, furniture, sculpture, ceramics, and tapestries.
The Ranger’s House has become a popular destination for selfie-seekers. “At the beginning of [season] two, a group of people turned up with their own wisteria to re-create the front of the house and do a load of selfies,” says Bridgerton location manager Tony Hood. “They waited until we added some and got the best selfies ever.”
The magnificent iron-and-glass Great Conservatory of Syon Park is the romantic setting for Lady Danbury’s ball. Built in the 16th century, Syon House overlooks the River Thames on the former site of Syon Abbey in London.
When the first Duke and Duchess of Northumberland inherited the property in 1750, they launched a total refurbishment with the help of two of the brightest design stars of the day. Lancelot “Capability” Brown created lakes, a park, and pleasure grounds, while architect Robert Adam transformed the interiors of the house with Neoclassical elegance. Charles Fowler designed the Great Conservatory in the 19th century to shelter unusual plants from around the world.
Today, Syon House is Greater London’s last surviving example of an intact ducal residence and estate and is currently home to Ralph Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland. Syon Park, including its Great Conservatory and 40-acre gardens, is open to the public.
West Wycombe Park
The 18th-century Palladian mansion at West Wycombe Park in Buckinghamshire has been the seat of the Dashwood family for more than 300 years, with 45 emerald acres enlivened by decorative follies, temples, a cascade, and a water garden. Sir Francis Dashwood, the Second Baronet, once kept a frigate on the lake to amuse his guests with staged marine battles.
“The house is set in beautiful grounds and was used throughout series two as it provided many different areas for the plot,” Hood says. “The gardens and lake were used as Hyde Park, where Anthony falls in whilst trying to show off his boating skills, and the misty riding scenes of Kate on horseback. The house was also used as the Crane house, where Colin went to meet his old flame, Marina.”
Managed today by the National Trust, West Wycombe Park is open to the public, with art- and antique-filled state rooms and gorgeous landscapes for meandering. In fact, the entire historic village of West Wycombe is also in National Trust hands, with buildings dating to the 16th century.
Petworth House in West Sussex plays the part of the museum in the second season of Bridgerton. When the 6th Duke of Somerset rebuilt Petworth in the 17th century, he intended to rival the newfangled Baroque palaces of Europe. He succeeded. But even Petworth’s outstanding collection of works by Titian, Gainsborough, Van Dyck, and Turner needed one extra piece for Bridgerton filming. “The lovers sculpture,” Hood reveals, “was specially designed for the show.”
The house and grounds are now open to the public as a National Trust property. Wander through Petworth’s 700 acres of parkland — keep an eye out for the resident herd of fallow deer — and admire the 18th-century pleasure gardens designed by Capability Brown. The Audit Room Café serves drinks and snacks, and there’s a gift shop and secondhand bookshop too.
Built on the site of a 9th-century nunnery, Wilton House in Wiltshire dates back to 1544, when King Henry VIII granted the property to the Herbert family. More than 450 years later, Herbert descendants, the 18th Earl and the Countess of Pembroke, still live here.
Famed architect Inigo Jones designed renovations to Wilton House following a fire in the 17th century. The elegant staterooms, including the 30-by-30-by-30-foot Cube Room and Double Cube Room, are renowned, as is the family’s stellar collection of Van Dyck paintings.
“Bridgerton fans will enjoy the world of Queen Charlotte at Wilton,” says Hood. “The Cube Room, where Queen Charlotte had many of her meetings, and, of course, the Double Cube, where the new ladies of the ton were presented to Her Majesty at the start of the season [are here]. The gardens have also been used as Rotten Row, where the ton promenade, and the Italian Garden [doubles] as Hyde Park.”
Wilton House and its 21-acre landscaped parklands, including a graceful Palladian bridge spanning the River Nadder, are open to visitors, with a Wilton House Café, a gift shop, and an Adventure Playground for kids.
Hampton Court Palace
Given its regal stature, it’s only fitting that Hampton Court Palace plays the role of Queen Charlotte’s Buckingham House and gardens in Bridgerton. Perched on the banks of the Thames in Surrey, this grand residence was the seat of royal power for kings and queens, including Henry VIII and his many wives, from the 1500s through the 1730s.
Nowadays, Hampton Court Palace is open to all the rest of us. Visitors can see what’s cooking in Henry VIII’s kitchens, gape at the magnificence of Great Hall, check out the Chapel Royal, and wander into the Great Watching Chamber and Haunted Gallery. The Cumberland Art Gallery features works by the likes of Caravaggio and Rembrandt from the Royal Collection.
The palace’s formal gardens cover 66 spectacular acres, with another 750 acres of parkland for frolicking. Don’t miss the chance to get lost in the hedge maze. It has bewildered happy guests since 1690, making it one of the oldest surviving hedge mazes in the world.
Laura Beausire is a Colorado-based writer and photographer who has contributed to Condé Nast Traveler, Wine Enthusiast, Hemispheres, Sierra, Robb Report, The Denver Post, and TravelAge West.
Get Shondaland directly in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TODAY