How to visit the stunning filming locations from ‘Victoria’

Friday 20 January 2017

Between The Crown and Downton Abbey, British historical television shows have become all the rage in Hollywood. And lucky for us, there’s another lavish costume drama ready to steal our monarch-loving hearts: Victoria. Based on the life of Queen Victoria, whose rein spanned an impressive 63 years from 1837 to 1901, the PBS program stars Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman and features some of the prettiest (and most iconic) landmarks in Britain.

Here’s how you can go behind-the-scenes of Victoria and see them for yourself.

Harewood House

This grand mansion in Yorkshire served as a key location for the eight-part series—and is currently inhabited by one of Queen Victoria’s direct descendants. Today, visitors can explore the striking Lancelot “Capability” Brown landscaped gardens, sip afternoon tea on the terrace (reservations need to be booked in advance), or pet friendly alpacas and pygmy goats at the resident farm. Should you find yourself at the property between March 24 and Oct. 29 2017, be sure to stop by the Victoria costume exhibition to admire the opulent outfits worn by the cast, and discover how the royal rooms were transformed into television sets.

Getting there: Harewood House is a 25-minute drive from the city of Leeds, England.

Castle Howard

Built within 1,000 acres of luscious landscape in the Howardian Hills, this regal 18th-century residence has remained part of the Howard family for more than 300 years. Billed as Yorkshire’s finest historic house, Castle Howard makes a constant cameo in Victoria, standing in as Kensington Palace, the home of the young royal. Spend an afternoon admiring the sumptuous bedrooms, great halls, and ornate state rooms furnished with world-renowned works of art, before making your way to the surrounding gardens dotted with woodland paths, lakeside terraces, and calming fountains.

Getting there: Castle Howard is a 30-minute drive from York, England.

Beverley Minster

Considered one of the largest parish churches in Britain, this gothic masterpiece filled in for the famous Westminster Abbey during the wedding scenes of the show. Revel in the masterful stained glass, intricate carvings, and impressive architecture—or stay for one of the holy services, which are always open to the public. Self-guided tours are also available on the church’s website.

Getting there: Beverley Minster is a four-hour drive from London.

Whitby Harbour

This maritime metropolis plays a starring role in the historical drama thanks to its quaint fishing villages, Blue Flag beaches, and small-town charm. Fun fact: It’s also one of the few places in the UK where you can watch the sun rise and set over the sea in summer. To make the most of your time in this picturesque seaside town, take a guided tour of the historic port (it served as inspiration for one of the world’s greatest horror stories… Dracula), enjoy a picnic lunch at Pannett Park, or take in a concert at Whitby Pavilion. For a spectacular view of the whole skyline, be sure to visit the monastic ruins of Whitby Abbey, which dominate the East Cliff headland. For centuries, individuals have flocked to these well-known ruins for literary inspiration, religious devotion, and pilgrimage.

Getting there: Whitby is a five-hour drive from London.

Newby Hall

Recognize the smoky interior of the gentleman’s club graced by Lord Melbourne and the Duke of Wellington in Victoria? Though Tinseltown may have wanted us to believe the scenes were taking place inside the kitchen of Kensington Palace and attic of Buckingham Palace, they were really shot at this stately home in North Yorkshire. Built in the 1690s by Sir Christopher Wren, Newby Hall is one of England’s renowned Adam houses and an exceptional example of 18th century interior decoration. Traveling with kids? Be sure to check out the permanent Dollshouse Exhibition, featuring 70 artfully-decorated miniature houses, ranging from rustic farm retreats to modern-day bachelor pads.  

Getting there: Newby Hall is a four-and-a-half-hour drive from London

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