Bridgerton came back to Bath this week, filming scenes for Series 3. After a starring role in Series 1 and a brief appearance in Series 2 (read about Bridgerton Bath locations), it looks as though our beautiful city is one of the ingredients producers hope will make Series 3 as successful as its predecessors. Maybe Bath’s charms were missed in its absence. I watched, photographed and filmed some of the action.
During Bridgerton’s four days in Bath, filming took place at three locations, including the Royal Crescent – particularly around No. 1 Royal Crescent, which has been featuring since Series 1 as the Featherington House, though heavily disguised with CGI additions and surroundings. There are some great photos in the Daily Mail of the Royal Crescent filming. In Bath on Wednesday morning, though, I found that the production had moved on from the Royal Crescent, with just equipment, a marquee and security guards left behind.
Down at Edward Street, however, filming was well under way. It’s a gloriously sunny week, but freezing cold. Bath looks beautiful, has been remarkably empty, and has frosty ground and frozen puddles. Between takes the actors and extras were keeping wrapped up in big coats and blankets. The security guards, onsite for hours, must have been very cold indeed.
This corner must be ideal for filming; the street just off Great Pulteney Street is one of Bath’s near-intact parades of fine Georgian terraced houses. And by closing the street off at both ends, the production had the whole width of street and pavement to use as a movie set. Residents must have had a very entertaining view from their windows, but other members of the public could only peep in from Great Pulteney Street, keeping behind barriers when cameras were rolling, which limited the opportunities for entertainment.
A carriage was waiting at the end of the street and we watched one scene unfold as a couple in Regency finery strolled alongside. Further down the street, we could see the main set with cameras and equipment, clusters of actors in gorgeous period costumes, and some of the classic Bridgerton aesthetic additions of trees and greenery.
Heading past to the Holburne Museum, also known as Lady Danbury’s house, we found spectacular flower arrangements draped down from the balcony, even grander than the decorations for Series 2, which I also saw during filming. The lawn in the museum’s garden was coated in white frost, but the bushes behind were dotted with incongruous fake white roses. The whole setting looked magical.
Passing Edward Street again, we paused to watch another scene. ‘Rolling…Action!’ This time it involved the Bridgerton regular and favourite Penelope Featherington (played by Nicola Coughlan). Set to be the heroine of this series, as she is in the Bridgerton novel Romancing Mr Bridgerton, Penelope was in earnest discussion with a female friend as they walked towards the waiting carriage. In her hand was a paper that appeared to be an edition of Lady Whistledown’s scandalsheet. They paused and talked alongside the perpetually waiting carriage. ‘Perfect!’.
The next morning Bridgerton was already packing up and moving out. The floral decorations had been stripped from Lady Danbury’s house, and the rosebushes from the museum’s lawn were being removed.
Along at Edward Street, though, work was still afoot. This time the focus was on the Duke’s Hotel and the pavement in front of the building. The hotel’s doorsteps, decorated with plants and box trees, were being very carefully swept spotless. A decorative white cover concealed the modern keypad.
A ripple of pleasure ran through our small group of bystanders when the hotel door opened and out came splendidly costumed actors. They may have had blankets and gowns over their Regency finery to keep warm, but the entrance was still impressive. After make-up, clothing and hair touch-ups, the ensemble was ready for action.
The scenes being shot were the kind of linking, scene-setting shots we’ve seen in past series of Bridgerton. Promenading couples stroll, chat, and peruse the latest edition of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers. Urchins run among the finely-dressed society types (‘you’re rich!’ a director called out as a reminder) distributing the latest pages. A few rearranged pairings and choreography, and off the promenading Bridgertonians went again for another short lap of this stretch of pavement. Series 3 is looking reassuringly familiar and freshly stylish.
Despite understanding the artifice and hard work behind what we see on the screen, there is still something magical about this transformation of an everyday familiar street and modern people into another world evocative of Bath’s own history: bringing the streets to life as they would have been once – though of course, here with that unmistakeable Bridgerton aesthetic. These days with Bridgerton on location in Bath brought a delightful glamour to the city along with the fascination of seeing behind the scenes. Hopefully the gloriously sunny weather this week will bring good fortune to the production. Bath should certainly be looking its best when the new series is released around the world.
I should add that it was great fun discovering the filming locations and getting a chance to watch and enjoy from close up. Along with other onlookers, I found myself wishing we lived in a more elegant age and that the pavements of Bath were this stylish every day.