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Hatfield House –  a prime filming venue in Hertfordshire, and a great family day out exploring our royal history and the beautiful grounds of this stately country house

By Emma McNamee – 11th April 2020

If you’d like to walk in the footsteps of Paddington Bear, the Jonas brothers or Sherlock Holmes, to name just a few, then Hatfield House should absolutely be on your list of places to visit.


Located just outside Hatfield in Hertfordshire, this Jacobean house dates back to 1611 when it was built by Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury.   It still remains in the Cecil family to this day and is also open to the public so everyone can enjoy this impressive stately country house, its gardens, park and woodlands.


The house is located on a large estate with extensive grounds which also include some surviving parts of the Royal Palace of Hatfield built in 1497.  This medieval palace belonged to Henry VIII and was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I.  It’s no surprise that parts of The Crown were filmed here too.


Ordinarily it opens for the season in April.    However, Stable Yard, it’s central courtyard is usually open year-round (subject to Covid-restrictions!) where are there some lovely boutique shops to browse as well as The Coach House Kitchen for a drink or a bite to eat.   Entry to Stable Yard is free, then there is a cost to visit Hatfield House, the Old Palace and their grounds.

Being close to Pinewood, Elstree and Leavesden studios, dripping with ancestral history and set within vast grounds, it is no surprise that the Hatfield House estate is a prime venue for film and TV production companies.   A picture perfect library with over 10,000 books, dating from the 16th century to the present day.  An elaborate grand staircase with impressive carvings.  An armoury.  A Chapel with stained glass window.  A long, wide gallery walk, typical of a large Jacobean house.  A drawing room, a dining room.  And throughout the house the décor is ornate, from the ceilings to the wall panelling, with tapestries, portraits, paintings and chandeliers hanging throughout symbolic of the history of the estate and its inhabitants over the last 4 centuries.


And then there’s the surrounding gardens and woodlands.  There’s a beautiful garden leading off from the Old Palace which is planted and maintained for year round colour, again ideal filming territory.  Throughout the estate, there’s meadows, ancient trees, lawned gardens, woodlands, shrubs, ornamental lake and paddocks.  In fact, producers are truly spoilt for choice here for film, TV and music video settings.  The Jonas Brothers certainly thought so when their music video for “Sucker” was shot here.


And the list is endless.  From Batman to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Oscar-winning The Favourite to Victor Frankenstein.  My Week with Marilyn to Russell Brand’s comedy Get Him to the Greek.  Vanity Fair to Orlando.  The Legend of Tarzan to The Importance of Being Earnest. Episodes from Miss Marple and Taboo.   Iconic dramas like The King’s Speech and The Crown.  And some female superheros from Wonder Woman to a bit of Lara Croft Tomb Raider action. They’ve all seen some filming action at Hatfield House.


Actually, if you check out the IMDb website, no less than 70 film and TV productions are sited to have had some filming at Hatfield House, two of the most recent having been the Netflix hit Enola Holmes and their remake of Rebecca.


But, as well as a filming location, Hatfield House also makes for the perfect party or wedding venue.  I can vouch for this as my brother and his wife got married here in 2014 – my photos are from this very special day.  It was the perfect setting for them to tie the knot and celebrate with friends and family.  They exchanged their wedding vows at the front of the Old Palace, we enjoyed canapes and champagne in the impeccably landscaped gardens, and we dined and danced the night away in the Banqueting Hall of the Old Palace.  All of this whilst surrounded by the decadence and reminders of our royal history.


So whether you’re looking for a day out with a bit of British history, a walk in their gardens and woodlands, a trip down the memory lane of the film industry or a local venue to host a party, Hatfield House has a lot to offer and is well worth a look in!


For more information visit: https://www.hatfield-house.co.uk


Emma xoxo


This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venue had no idea that I was there. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

Emma McNamee
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