A new adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s novel The Pursuit of Love hits the small screen and iPlayer on Sunday 9th May, airing at 9pm on BBC One. Set in the interwar years, the three-part romantic comedy-drama follows the adventures of Linda Radlett (played by Lily James) and her best friend and cousin, Fanny Logan (played by Emily Beecham). It also stars Dominic West, Andrew Scott and more.
The Pursuit of Love was one of the first productions to resume shooting in the UK after the first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, filmed over three months during the summer on location in Bath and the surrounding area. Here’s our guide to filming locations in the city and beyond – let us know which you recognise while you’re watching.
No.1 Royal Crescent
No.1 Royal Crescent is an immersive museum at the most prestigious address in the city. This was the first house built on the Royal Crescent, a spectacular sweeping terrace of Palladian-style houses completed in 1774. The museum’s grand exterior was used in The Pursuit of Love.
Reopening on 2nd June with a new audio-visual guide, see authentic furniture and interiors in all the rooms, from the elegant Withdrawing Room and Gentleman’s Retreat to the kitchen and scullery below stairs.
No.1’s exterior also recently starred as the Featherington’s house in Netflix’s Bridgerton, the record-breaking series which was also filmed in Bath.
Green Park Station
Built in the 1860s, Green Park Station is a former railway station which was in operation for around 100 years. Today it hosts regular farmers’ and flea markets (currently taking place temporarily from Green Park Car Park but set to return in the summer). It’s also home to some permanent shops, as well as live music restaurant Green Park Brasserie and Bath Pizza Co, based under the stunning Victorian railway glass roof.
Filming of exterior shots for The Pursuit of Love also took place nearby in the Georgian terraced street of Green Park.
Avon Valley Railway
Continuing the railway theme, Avon Valley Railway was another filming location for The Pursuit of Love. This is a lovingly restored part of the Midland Railway Branch line with a station at Bitton, which, like Green Park Station, dates back to the Victorian era.
Just six miles from Bath, pay a visit for a ride in a heritage carriage behind a steam or diesel locomotive (services start again from 22nd May), food and afternoon teas from the station buffet, and a look back at history in the small museum area. As one of the stops on the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, it’s also a great start or finish point for a bike ride.
Image credit: BBC, @NTDyrhamPark on Twitter
A seventeenth-century Baroque country house and garden on the edge of the Cotswolds, Dyrham Park is set among dramatic ancient parkland that you’re welcome to wander around. One of the most notable stately homes of its age, it was created by a leading government, military and colonial administrator, William Blathwayt, and is now looked after by the National Trust. The Gilt Leather Parlour appears in The Pursuit of Love – look out for it during glamourous party scenes.
Another National Trust attraction to feature in The Pursuit of Love is Lacock Abbey, taking its name from the picturesque village where it’s based. This isn’t the first time Lacock has appeared on screen – its pretty streets and historic buildings make it a sought-after location for producers. Filming for scenes in Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Wolf Hall, and the Harry Potter films took place around the village and at the Abbey.
Lacock Abbey itself is a quirky country house built on a former nunnery and surrounded by woodland grounds. William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of the photographic negative, once lived here, and the on-site museum celebrates his contributions to photography.
Image credit: Open Book-Moonage Productions-BBC
Dinton Park and Phillips House
Dinton Park and Phillips House is a late nineteenth-century Neo-Grecian house and expansive parkland, located in the Wiltshire countryside. As well as making an impressive backdrop for filming, the estate is perfect for picnics; stretch your legs and take in the far-reaching views – you can even see the spire of Salisbury Cathedral on a clear day.
Famous for its landscape garden, the Stourhead Estate on the Wiltshire-Somerset border dates all the way back to the 1740s. Visit for a wander among the garden’s magnificent lake, classical temples, grottoes and rare and exotic trees as well as to discover the Estate’s fascinating history inside the Palladian house (currently closed due to coronavirus).
Image credit: Open Book-Moonage Productions-BBC
Where Else Was the Pursuit of Love Filmed?
While some filming for The Pursuit of Love took place further afield in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and even Paris, many of the production’s period sets were at The Bottle Yard Studios in nearby Bristol.
These included Cheyney Walk House, Linda’s London home; the Radlett’s country estate, Alconleigh; Merlinford, the neighbouring estate belonging to the wealthy and eccentric Lord Merlin, played by Andrew Scott; Beverly Hills Hotel and The Ritz. A range of other hit TV shows from McDonald & Dodds to Sherlock were also filmed at the Studios.