Get ready to play a game of spot the locations as Bath is set to play a starring role in the new period drama, Bridgerton which premieres on Netflix on Christmas Day.
Bridgerton is a witty, romantic, emotional and thoroughly modern take on England’s Regency era. Although the series is set in London, Bath provides the backdrop with scenes from the drama, based on the books of Julia Quinn, filmed in the city between August and November 2019.
It was most extensive and ambitious filming ever carried out in the city. No 1 Royal Crescent features as the exterior of the home of the Featheringtons, one of the key families in the drama, but multiple other interior and exterior locations were used across the city centre from Abbey Green and Bath Street, to the Holburne Museum and the Banqueting Room at the Guildhall.
Filming was co-ordinated by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Film Office, which promotes the district as a film and TV location and helps productions to access public areas with the minimum of disruption to residents and businesses.
Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “It was incredibly exciting to have such a lavish production choose Bath as the location for multiple scenes. Our Highways, Parking and Heritage Services teams were heavily involved and because Bridgerton is a period drama a lot of work had to be carried out ahead of filming to eradicate all trace of 21st century life, including removing benches, lights and bins.
“Bath is a magnet for film makers, and we do encourage productions to the area. Not only does it promote our fantastic city and the surrounding areas to a wider audience, but it has a big impact on the local economy with production companies spending around £2m a year on accommodation, food, local crew and purchases from other local businesses.”
Netflix says it’s committed to the UK and the South West for the long term. This year it invested £1bn filming 50 productions, creating over 5,000 jobs across the country.
While the spend of productions contributes to the local economy, so too does the income from film influenced inbound tourism. A report produced by the British Film Institute (BFI) in 2018, estimated this generated almost £600m for the national visitor economy in 2016.
Although travel has not recently been possible for many of our key markets, seeing destinations on screen that can inspire future visits is an important part of industry recovery and its hoped Bath’s prominence in Bridgertonwill help boost visitor numbers to the city post Covid. Visit Bath and Visit Britain have both received interest from international media wanting to feature the locations used in the series.
Kathryn Davis, Interim CEO of Visit Bath, said: “Screen tourism can have a big impact on a destination, from both domestic and international audiences, and we have been working closely with media in the UK and partners overseas to link the series back to its Bath locations. The simultaneous release here and in key overseas markets gives us an incredible opportunity to raise our profile, creating linked itineraries and boosting the visitor economy that has been devastated during 2020.”
Viewers who tune in to Bridgerton will follow the exploits of the beautiful, wealthy and respected Bridgerton family who expect to have no trouble finding their latest debutant, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), a husband. That is until anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown (voiced by none other than Julie Andrews) declares her unworthy.
As well as Bridgerton, viewers can expect to see Netflix and Bristol based Aardman’s first animated musical Robin Robin on screens next year. Netflix’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel Rebecca was also filmed in and around the South West.
The Bridgerton series has been made by Shondaland for Netflix. Shondaland’s previous hits have included Greys Anatomy and Scandal.