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If you’re a fan of The Crown you can live out your royal daydreams with this four-day itinerary, taking in both filming locations and classic royal hotspots. Inspired by the new series, which illuminates the lives of the British Royal Family in the 1960s and 70s and reveals Olivia Coleman in the role of Queen Elizabeth for the first time, the tour will see you zipping around London and driving along quintessential country lanes, stopping at some of southern England’s historic highlights along the way.
As the home of the British royal family, Britain’s capital is the perfect place to start this regal trip. From the gates of iconic palaces to Princess Margaret’s favourite haunts from the 1960s, London will immerse you in the world of royalty.
Dive head-first into your Crown inspired adventure at the royal epicentre, Buckingham Palace. Soak up the grand atmosphere of this historic residence on a tour of some of its most beautiful rooms, including the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room, the Picture Gallery, the Ballroom and the Grand Staircase. Tours are available from July to September, but selfies outside the gilt gates can be taken throughout the year.
Buckingham Palace also offers a wide range of lectures, talks and activities revealing the history of the royal family and art and culture through the ages, all held in the Queen’s Gallery.
Next stop is the Coach & Horses, Bruton Street - a real treat for those wanting to experience the atmosphere of a traditional British pub. Nestled in bustling Mayfair and dating back to the 18th century, it’s located on the very street where the Queen was born. One of the area’s oldest pubs, its narrow Tudor style exterior, classic pub food and wide range of ales make it a delicious stop-off if you’re seeking a true taste of British fare.
Travel time: 25 minutes on foot
If you’re an aficionado of the series, you’ll no doubt have seen the iconic crown fill your screens countless times, but a trip to London gives you a chance to admire this mesmerising regalia up close. Held in the Jewel House within the historic Tower of London since the 14th century, the British Crown Jewels include more than 140 ceremonial objects used by the royal family. Encrusted with 2,800 diamonds, the crown worn by Her Majesty for her 1953 coronation, as dramatised in The Crown, is bound to leave you bedazzled.
Travel time: 30 minutes on the Underground
Enjoy a taste of Princess Margaret’s lavish lifestyle in The Crown in an establishment visited by the fun-loving Princess herself. Little altered since Princess Margaret was known to enjoy their live music and cocktails, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club continues to welcome guests into the heart of the jazz world. Expect rich red carpets, dim table lamps and performances from some of the scene’s biggest names in addition to a dinner menu featuring caviar, lobster, risotto and steak. Served with the stage in-sight, you’ll feel every inch the princess (or prince).
Travel time: 30 minutes on the Underground
Looking for a culinary experience with the seal of royal approval? Look no further than Wilton’s in St James’s. Since beginning life as a humble oyster stand in 1742, it has been awarded six Royal Warrants and remains a firm favourite of the Royal family. One of the capital’s oldest restaurants, it’s renowned for its signature shellfish, smoked fish, and selection of delicately grilled meats.
Travel time: 13 minutes on foot
Seeking a right royal accommodation? You’ll find a range of options on VisitLondon
Spend a second day in London exploring more royal history and exciting filming locations from The Crown
No royal trip to London would be complete without afternoon tea. One popular venue is Fortnum & Mason, a renowned establishment that has been serving the highest-quality tea since 1926. In 2012, in homage to her 60th year as ruling monarch, the department store welcomed her Royal Highness to open the Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon. A tearoom fit for royalty, it offers the ultimate afternoon tea experience. To truly feel like royalty, order Earl Grey with afternoon tea - it’s known to be the Queen’s favourite blend.
Travel time: 17 minutes on the Underground
Follow in the footsteps of favourite characters from The Crown at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Used to represent Buckingham Palace in the series, the building is a marvel of 18th century architecture situated along the River Thames. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1712, it’s the crowning gem of Maritime Greenwich, an 18-acre UNESCO World Heritage Site that also features a beautifully decorated chapel, Victorian skittle alley and unmissable grounds to explore
Although not seen in the series, the Old Royal Naval College boasts the largest painted hall in Europe. Known as ‘Britain’s Sistine Chapel’, this 300-year-old landmark recently underwent an £8.5 million restoration, so there has never been a better time to visit.
Close by, you can also explore The Queen’s House. Dating back to the 1600s, it was designed by Inigo Jones and built bas an apology gift for King James I’s wife, Anne of Denmark, after he allegedly swore at her for killing one of his beloved dogs on a hunting expedition.
Travel time: 35 minutes on the London Underground
If you’re looking for a taste of maritime heritage along with your royal history, you can find it just a few steps away at the Cutty Sark. The ship has been visited numerous times by Queen Elizabeth II along with her husband, Prince Philip. Swing by for a taste of British’s marine history and even celebrate the vessel’s 150th birthday, with a range of activities from 22-24 November 2019.
Travel time: Five minutes on foot
For a slice of princess-worthy romance, you can enjoy dinner in a candlelit restaurant once loved by Princess Margaret. Re-named Maggie Jones, reportedly in homage to the royal’s preferred alias, this charming Kensington eatery offers traditional dishes in a rustic atmosphere. Complete with wicker baskets and hanging hops, it’s perfect for a romantic evening of hearty food and English charm.
Travel time: 55 minutes by Docklands Light Railway and the Underground
If you’re a fan of The Crown, The Lyceum Theatre in London’s West End will be instantly recognisable. Used as the dramatic backdrop for the Royal Gala attended by Queen Elizabeth (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip (Matt Smith), today you can get dressed up to the nines and enjoy your own evening to remember at the theatre, which is home to the much-loved musical, The Lion King.
Travel time: Thirty minutes on the Underground
Retrace the steps of the formidable Queen Mary (Eileen Atkins) on a wander around Hatfield House. The impressive Long Gallery featured in The Crown as the hall walked by Queen Mary on her way to see The Duke of Windsor. Built in the 1600s, the house offers an insight into an extravagant era of British history. With exquisite examples of Jacobean craftsmanship throughout, it was here, in the Old Palace in 1558, that Elizabeth I was told she would ascend the throne – just another reason why the house is a must-see for history buffs.
Travel time: Just over an hour from London by car
Alternatively, pull on a traditional tweed jacket and a pair of wellington boots and try your hand at clay pigeon shooting. A classic royal pastime, Lea Valley Shooting Association in Hertfordshire offer experiences for both small groups and individuals.
Travel Time: 25 minutes by car
Dine in luxurious country style at St Michael’s Manor Hotel. With views across the five-acre grounds and the tranquil lake, the hotel’s orangery–inspired Lake Restaurant serves British cuisine with a modern twist, with dishes including fillet of beef, torched halibut or cauliflower and broccoli fritters.
Travel time: 25 minutes by car
See the very spot where Prince Philip (Matt Smith) and Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) shared a private conversation in The Crown, on Knebworth House’s romantic wooden stairwell. The house itself casts a magnifying glass over 500 years of British history and culture, and entry includes an in-depth guided tour.
Travel time: 30 minutes by car
Offering an eclectic menu of traditional dishes and tasty modern recipes, The Lytton Arms is a friendly public house, with local bar staff ready to chat and fill hungry bellies with warming food. With a daily menu served until 9.30pm, you can enjoy the cosy log-burner whilst sipping on a local craft beer – a glorious way to end the day!
Travel time: 10 minutes by car
Discover the area’s most regal accommodation options with Enjoy Saint Alban’s handy guide
Visit one of Britain’s most picturesque cities, Cambridge, as well as one of The Crown’s most breathtaking filming locations.
Used as the backdrop for the pivotal scenes in which Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip get married, as well as the monarch’s famous televised coronation, Ely Cathedral is a must-see for any Crown fan. Built in 1083, the Cathedral is as an outstanding example of medieval monastic architecture. Explore the impressive nave, the Lady Chapel, enjoy a guided tour inside the Octagon church tower and listen to the resident choristers, a tradition since the 16th century.
Travel time: 90 minutes by car
Enjoy delightful dining at the Poets House Hotel and Restaurant. Located just five minutes from Ely Cathedral by car, the restaurant’s menu uses seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients to create delicious dishes such as charred lamb cutlets, fillet of salmon and cod loin.
Travel time: Five minutes from Ely Cathedral by car
Just 40 minutes away by car lies the university city of Cambridge, chock full of epic history, remarkable architecture and winding cobbled streets. Explore the grounds of the famous University - the alma mater of the Prince of Wales, hire a boat and enjoy a punt along the River Cam, or simply do a spot of sightseeing before wending your way back to London.
Travel time: 40 minutes by car
Want to explore other filming locations from The Crown, including Belvoir Castle? Discover more with VisitEngland’s round up.