Bath is such a beautiful city, and it’s easy to see why so many film crews choose to come here to shoot scenes. The cobbled enclosed courtyard of Abbey Green is the perfect backdrop for a meeting between two Victorian ladies on their way to town, and it’s hard to find any crescent in Britain to rival that of the Royal Crescent, which has featured in many many productions over the years.
As the weather is so beautiful at the moment, it’s the perfect time to take a stroll around the streets of Bath, soak up the sun and the atmosphere, and at the same time do a little bit of location spotting. And even for those who are highly familiar with Bath, it’s always nice to go back and revisit favourite spots and to discover the starring roles which they have played.
The Royal Crescent, aside from being a sight to behold in itself, has in the past been used in an episode of Morse, and also rather appropriately, as the place where, in the 2007 production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion starring Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry Jones, Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot have their emotional reunion. Many earlier productions of Persuasion have also come to the city to film as this is where Jane actually set a large proportion of her novel and she refers to locations which still exist today such as the Gravel Walk.
Just along from the Royal Crescent is another of Bath’s iconic locations; the Assembly Rooms, and as well as featuring in the series House of Elliot which ran from 1991-1994 on the BBC, it was also featured more recently as a major location in the 2007 film The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. The scene in which Georgiana (Knightley) whimsically addressed the gathered crowd on the subject of fashion and society from a ballroom balcony was filmed in the Tea Room in the Assembly Rooms and is certainly recognisable! If however you remember the House of Elliot fondly and recall the Assembly Rooms from that source, then you might also recognise Milsom Street, Royal Victoria Park, and the Theatre Royal as having featured in the series.
More recent period films have been to Bath to use locations other than just the Assembly Rooms. Vanity Fair from 2003 used Sydney Place, The Holburne Museum, Beauford Square and Great Pulteney Street (right next to us!) as locations. But the most recent blockbuster to feature Bath is Les Miserables. The beautiful Bath weir and Pulteney Bridge, not Paris, were where Russell Crowe fell and met his end when he played Javert!
Finally, for those who may be driving to Bath and who are fans of Cranford, Larkrise to Candleford, Harry Potter, or Sense and Sensibility; nearby Lacock Village may also be worth visiting – as this was a major location for all of them.
So, film fans and fans of beautiful sunny cities, why not come and visit Bath and do a little bit of location spotting?