It is worth mentioning that some opening times clash and this tour couldn't be done in a day. Both Dorney Court and Wilton House lie 60 miles from each other and only open on selected afternoons. It would be advisable to spend a morning at nearby Windsor Castle before moving on to Dorney Court in the afternoon.
Leaving London and Heathrow Airport westwards on the M4 motorway you will pass Windsor Castle on your left hand side where you can exit for a morning visit or you can continue to Junction 7 then proceed on the slip road north to the A4. Turn left on the A4 and after a short distance you will arrive at a roundabout. You need to follow the brown tourist signs for Dorney Court and Dorney Lake. This will take you south on Lake End Road. You will take the bridge over the lake and turn right up Court Lane.
Dorney Court features in episode 5 of the first series of Bridgerton. It is where the newlyweds, Simon, Duke of Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton spend their first night as a married couple in an old coaching inn. This was filmed here at Dorney Court, a timber and brick manor house built in 1440. It has been in the hands of the Palmer family since 1624 and is no stranger to TV and film crews, Marple and Midsomer Murders have also used this house as a location. You can get a tour of this delightful and historic house on most afternoons and see where scenes were shot both inside and out.
Return to the M4 and head west. This will be a journey of about 100 miles (160km) towards Bristol. Rest stops at service stations can be found at Reading, Chieveley, Membury or Leigh Delamere, in that order. As you approach Bristol you will join the M5 motorway at Junction 20 to head south west following signs for Exeter. You will cross over the Bristol docks area at Portbury then exit at Junction 19 and follow the A369 Pill Road in the direction of Bristol. After a short while you will see a large green sign advertising Leigh Court, this will take you left off the main road up a driveway to Leigh Court itself. The earliest building on this site was built as a retreat for the monks of St Augustine's Abbey in Bristol, it was rebuilt in the 16th century then rebuilt again in 1814 to a Palladian design by Thomas Hopper. The interiors were used for a number of Ball scenes in Bridgerton. The colourful Ingenue Ball, the Princes Ball where Prince Friedrich of Prussia made his advances towards Daphne and the Crawford Ball where Nigel Berbrooke did likewise.
Leaving Leigh Court it is a short drive into the city of Bath where so much of Bridgerton was filmed, in this case it would be better to do all this on foot. Take the A369 towards Bristol. A very nice brief side trip is to make a left turn on the B3129 to see the breathtaking Clifton Suspension Bridge which opened in 1864 and sits 250ft (75 metres) above the Avon Gorge.
Back on the A369, join the A370 into Bristol. You are now upstream from the Avon Gorge following the Avon Valley towards Bath. Skirt the old docks and join the A4 Bristol Road to Bath. Eventually you will bear left on the A36 into the city centre. If you can get a spot at the Manvers Street car park it is the most centrally located parking area for a Bridgerton walking tour.
Just north of Manvers Street is North Parade. Turn left and walk down North Parade Passage, past Sally Lunn's famous sweet bread bun shop and other little tea rooms that look like places the Featheringtons and Bridgertons would frequent. At the end of the passage is Abbey Green, once a courtyard of Bath Abbey and now a pleasant little square. Central to the square is an old Plane Tree planted back in 1793.
This square was used for the market scene where Eloise and Penelope discuss the identity of Lady Whistledown, the coffee shop at the southwest corner doubles up for the pub Simon is thrown out of in Episode 5 and at the north west corner is a sandwich shop that is Madame Genevieve Delacroix's dress shop "Modiste" with the door to the right hand side used as the entrance to Siena's lodgings.
Walk down York Street in the shadow of Bath Abbey, immediately south of the Roman Baths Museum, to Stall Street then turn right and immediately left into Bath Street. This colonnaded road runs from the main Roman Baths museum to the smaller Cross Bath. The first time Simon, Duke of Hastings is seen on screen is when he rides his horse down this street in Episode 1.
From the Cross Bath you can walk up a series of narrow alleyways towards Trim Street. First of all walk up St Michael's Place then Bridewell Lane to Trim Bridge. By turning right in to the eastern part of Trim Street you will come across Number 12, currently a hair salon. This doubles for the exterior and interior of Gunters Tea Rooms.
Walk back along Trim Street westwards to Beaufort Square. Laid out in 1724 by the architect John Strahan, this is where Eloise and Penelope discuss Marina Thompson's pregnancy and where Simon and Daphne return to London by night in Episode 6. A further nightime scene filmed here is when Anthony and Benedict ride out to the duel.
Walk down through this square and turn right up to Queen Square, designed in 1728 by John Wood the elder. Keep to the lefthand side of this square and head north into the Royal Victoria Park and keep walking until you reach the magnificent Royal Crescent. This huge expanse of 30 grand houses was designed by John Wood the Younger in 1767 as the world's first residential crescent. At Number 1 you will find a museum filled with furniture, fixtures and fittings from the late 18th century. It is also the house of Lady Portia Featherington and family.
Obviously, as this is intended to be a house on Grosvenor Square in London you are quite some distance away from where the series was supposed to be set. The facade and steps to the entrance are used in many scenes as is the street outside, especially at the end of episode 8 when Marina Thompson leaves with Philip Crane and Colin Bridgerton decides to travel to Greece.
Walk from here down Brock Street to the impressive Royal Circus, initially designed by John Wood the Elder in 1756 and finished by the Younger in 1764. Just off here on Bennett Street you will come across the Assembly Rooms where society's elite would gather for playing cards and dancing. If you enter here and visit the Tea Room it is where they filmed Lady Danbury's ball in Episode 1 where Daphne literally bumps into Simon for the first time after she tries to avoid an overly persuasive Nigel Berbrooke.
Next door is Alfred Street which was used as an establishing scene in a number of episodes then if you walk down Broad Street to the Guildhall you can go inside to see where they filmed the Ramsbury Ball in Episode 2. From here you can see Bath Abbey again to get your bearings to find Manvers Street and the car park. Head out over North Parade Bridge and turn left to take the A36 towards Salisbury. At the junction with Great Pulteney Street you will see a splendid classical house set in its own gardens on your right hand side. This is the Holburne Museum of Art which started life in 1799 as a hotel. It also doubles up for Lady Danbury's house in episode 1. Simon is seen arriving here to meet her and the exterior scenes were filmed on the lawns and driveway of what is now a museum of paintings and porcelain.
The next port of call on this Bridgerton tour will be Wilton House just outside Salisbury and the A36 will take you directly there.
The road that winds its way south towards Wilton will reveal contrasting landscapes, from the harder limestone in Bath and the county of Somerset to the softer chalk of the county of Wiltshire. As the A36 meanders south east honey-coloured stone houses give way to cottages made of flintstone with thatched roofing.
About an hour after leaving Bath you will enter the small town of Wilton, famous for its high quality carpets with signposts clearly point the way to the factory outlet. It was also the old county town of Wiltshire, giving its name to the county. The biggest draw, however, is magnificent Wilton House and its beautiful gardens. The present building was created in the 16th and 17th centuries and has some strong connections to Bridgerton.
As you walk up through the formal gardens to the house it is immediately recognisable as Hastings House, Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings' London home. Walking into the courtyard and the rose garden you will recall the rain drenched ball in Episode 8. When you go inside you'll spot the dinning room, this is seen in Episode 6 where Simon and Daphne take breakfast at his country estate, Clyvedon.
The Double Cube room stands in for rooms in St James's Palace where Daphne is presented to Queen Charlotte. As the season's eligible unmarried ladies are introduced to the Queen she describes Daphne as 'flawless'. The Single Cube room is where Queen Charlotte reads Lady Whistledown's scandal filled paper in Episode 3. These rooms also feature as the interior of Buckingham Palace in the TV series "The Crown".
The stunning grounds can be visited after the house. These landscaped gardens double up for Hyde Park in London where the Bridgertons and Featheringtons regularly promenade and where the scandalous Society Papers are distributed. The delightful Palladian Bridge is a backdrop in many scenes.
Heading back to London, leave eastwards on the A36 taking the ring road just north of Salisbury. You will be able to see the 404ft (123m) tall spire of its medieval cathedral to your right. You will join the A30 towards Lopcombe Corner then the A343 which will bring you onto the A303 dual carriageway which you will take east onto the M3 motorway to London. There is a rest stop/service station at Fleet if needed.
To get to the final collection of Bridgerton film locations you will have to cross London to Greenwich. The M3 runs into the south west suburbs of London and becomes the A316 through Twickenham and Richmond and over the Thames where you will eventually arrive at Earl's Court. Take a right on the A3220 down to the northern embankments of the River Thames, follow it along on the A3312 then cross the river at Vauxhall Bridge. Take the A202 through Peckham then pick up the A2 at New Cross to Deptford then ignore the signs for Greenwich and continue on the A2 up to Blackheath. As you cross this wide open space of heathland at the edge of London be ready to take a left turn on Blackheath Avenue and enter Greenwich Park where you'll find a parking spot to leave your vehicle and go on a short walk.
Walk back west along Charlton Way then make a right on Chesterfield Walk and you will arrive at Ranger's House, used as the exterior of the Bridgerton family's Grosvenor Square residence. It is remarkable to think that when Eloise walks out of here in Episode 1 and waves to Penelope walking down the steps of her house that they are waving across a square as neighbours, but in reality one house is in London and the other house is a hundred miles away in Bath.
Ranger's House was built in the 1720s for a naval officer Francis Hosier and was once known as Chesterfield House, it was used by the Keeper of the Park (in other words, the ranger) hence its name. It is open to the public and contains a large art collection. Interior shots of Bridgerton House were filmed elsewhere at a lavish house on a Royal Air Force base, RAF Halton.
Once you enter Greenwich Park you'll get a dramatic view over London. You can see most of Canary Wharf, the east end of the city and the Thames sweeping by below you. Here you will find the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and the Queen's House. Head over to the Queen's House for a final Bridgerton filming location. The house was built around 1616 for Queen Anne of Denmark, wife of King James I and was a very early example of the Classical revival by the architect Inigo Jones. The cloisters outside was where Simon gave Nigel Berbrooke a good beating for insulting Daphne and his late mother. The exterior doubles for Somerset House which was where the Bridgertons were invited to a 'viewing' of a new wing in Episode 3 and where a number of ladies were trying to catch the eye of Prince Friedrich of Prussia. Entance to the Queen's House is free although filming here was exterior only. The adjacent National Maritime Museum is also free to visit. The riverside areas around Greenwich include many cafes, pubs and restaurants plus the historic sailing ship Cutty Sark in dry dock which is open for visits. The vast beautiful Greenwich Park and its panoramic views over London is a delightful way to finish off this tour of Bridgerton film locations.