From royal romance to political rivalries, the highly anticipated Netflix series, The Crown, has all the makings of a great television show—plus enough fairy-tale castles to send your wanderlust into overdrive. Premiering on November 4, the series tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s epic reign, with each 10-episode season covering a decade of Her Majesty’s life. In season one, which begins in 1947, expect plenty of high-society drama surrounding Princess Elizabeth’s wedding, King George VI’s untimely death, and Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne (at just 25 years of age) during the depths of turbulent post-war Britain.
Even more exciting, Netflix has utilized some of the nation’s most regal locations to paint a striking picture of the young monarch and the events that shaped the second half of the 20th century. Here’s what you can expect… and how you can experience them for yourself!
Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England
Home to the 7th Marquis and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family, this grand location also includes the Old Palace, which was owned by Henry VIII. The King had his three children raised in the palace, including Elizabeth I–she was there when she was told of her accession to the throne, making it a fitting place to use in filming for The Crown.
Getting there: Hatfield House is a 70-minute journey by train or car from London.
Wrotham Park, Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
Photo credit: Paul Williams/Flickr
This grand estate hasn’t changed much since its design in 1754, and still remains in the care and charge of the Byng family. Surrounded by 300 acres of parkland, the secluded estate is an idyllic location for hosting private functions, banquets, and parties.
Getting there: Wrotham Park is a 65-minute journey by train or car from London.
Ely Cathedral, Ely, England
This Anglican cathedral was founded in 672 AD, with the current building dating back to 1083 AD. Used in the filming of The Crown, this spectacular location stood in for Westminster Abbey on the wedding day of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, re-enacted just as it was 68 years ago. The regal location has also starred in The Other Boleyn Girl, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The King’s Speech.
Getting there: Ely is located in Cambridge, and is a two-hour drive or a 70-minute train journey from London.
Lyceum Theatre, London, England
Photo credit: Andy Rogers/Flickr
Wind back the clock and you'll see Matt Smith (Prince Phillip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth) looking suave in 1940s garb at the Lyceum Theatre, oozing elegance in a post-war Britain. The Lyceum Theatre, opened in 1841, has a dramatic front facade and has hosted performances for nearly 200 years. Today, the theatre is home to the ever-popular The Lion King.
Getting there: the Lyceum Theatre is closest to Temple London Underground station.
Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, England
Take a walk through 500 years of history, both on and off screen. With generations of the Lynton family residing at Knebworth since the Tudor times, each has been sure to make their mark on this magnificent building. With a romantic exterior adorned with turrets, domes, and gargoyles, the house is definitely worth a visit. Used, of course, as a location in The Crown, the house has also starred in The King’s Speech and Batman the Movie.
Getting there: Knebworth House is an 80-minute drive from London. Alternatively it’s a 65-minute journey by train and public transport.
Slains Castle and Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Photo credit: Brendan Campbell/Flickr
Standing on a clifftop overlooking the North Sea, lay the ruins of Slains Castle. This enchanting spot was once ruled by the powerful Clan Hay, and in its prime, the castle was a Scots Baronial Mansion with three gardens. Used in the The Crown, the hauntingly beautiful spot is the perfect place to explore Scotland’s rugged, wild coastline, steeped in its own history. It is often said that the castle was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Make sure to stop at Cruden Bay, also used for scenes in the Netflix series.
Getting there: Cruden Bay is less than a four-hour drive from Edinburgh, or four and a half hours by train and public transport. Edinburgh is an hour flight from London.
Audley End House and Gardens, Essex, England
Visit the Essex manor home that served as the interior of three major landmarks: Eton College, Windsor Castle and Balmoral. Many of the rooms, including the library and Great Hall were used for flashback scenes with the young Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.
Getting there: Audley End House and Gardens is about a 90-minute drive or train journey from London.
Ardverikie Estate, Inverness, Scotland
Just about two hours away from the real Balmoral Castle, Ardverikie Estate doubles as the Queen’s favorite Scottish getaway. Traditionally a sporting estate, Ardverikie is a private estate open to overnight visitors in one of their on-site cottages, castle tours, wildlife activities or as a wedding venue.
Getting there: Ardverikie Estate is about a 90-minute drive from Inverness and a two and a half hour drive from Edinburgh.
Englefield House, Berkshire, England
Englefield House is a Grade II* Listed building near Reading that sits on 14,000 acres of land housing residential homes, commercial properties and farming. In The Crown, this estate stars as Sandringham, the Queen’s private estate and country retreat in Norfolk.
Getting there: Englefield House is about a 90-minute journey by car or train from London.
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