Category Archives: Books & films

Bridgerton Series 3 filming in Bath – January 2023

Bridgerton filming on Edward Street, Bath
Bridgerton in Bath, January 2023: Penelope (centre) holds Lady Whistledown’s gossip sheet

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.

Ready for action: filming Bridgerton Series 3 in Bath

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.

Bridgerton Series 3 filming in Bath this week

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.

Frost and flowers at the Holburne Museum

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.

Behind the scenes on location

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.

Bridgerton Bath at its finest

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.

My video of some filming highlights
Have you heard the latest?
Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers
Gorgeous costumes on display in Bridgerton’s take on Regency fashions
An elegant promenade

Persuasion (Netflix) filming in Bath

One of the great things about Bath is that you can watch a Jane Austen drama being filmed in the morning, stroll among elegant buildings and actors in Regency costume, and then enjoy an outdoor lunch and a walk in the countryside in the afternoon.

Persuasion filming in Bath: A horseman on the Royal Crescent

A horseman on the Royal Crescent

When we saw road closure signs for two of Bath’s top filming locations this week, we thought that maybe Bridgerton was back in town – the locations were two of those used frequently in Bridgerton Series 1 (as well as lots of other films). But news got out that this filming was to be for a new Netflix adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, many people’s favourite novel by the author. Starring Dakota Johnson as heroine Anne Elliot and with confirmation of a ‘modern, witty approach’ and ‘colour-blind casting’, this sounds like a very post-Bridgerton movie.

The Persuasion cast and crew were in Bath filming yesterday and today, and I went to have a look. Yesterday morning, filming was on Bath Street, a grand colonnaded street next to the local branch of Primark. Some of the Primark windows now contained wigs and Georgian-era fashion accessories (more photos at the foot of the page for fans of props and details). Extras in elegant Regency outfits waited by this pop-up historic haberdasher-milliner; a man in breeches walked past with a tray of coffees, and horses waited down side streets.

Persuasion filming in Bath

In between takes on Bath Street

Persuasion filming in Bath

Elegant ladies outside the haberdasher (aka Primark)

At their cue, the costumed actors promenaded along, chatting, carrying hatboxes, and generally bringing Bath back to life as it would have been two hundred years ago. A carriage clattered past the Cross Bath building (part of Bath’s historic spa complex). It seemed that a scene involving the characters was taking place by the carriage – our view was mainly of the background activity.

Persuasion filming in Bath


Later yesterday, filming was taking place in the screened-off Gravel Walk, a pedestrian route between Queen Square and the Royal Crescent, invisible to the public, though loud voices were audible as we passed nearby. I included this path as part of my Bridgerton walking tour, as I really like the ambience of the route, which runs along behind the garden walls of Bath’s grandest houses, and gives access into a restored historic garden. It’s not such an obvious filming location, generally speaking, but in Persuasion Austen mentions the Gravel Walk as a backdrop at a key point in the novel, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it is used on screen.

When I arrived in the town centre this morning, those two filming locations were returning to normality, and Primark advertising had reappeared alongside the temporary haberdasher signs. Today’s action was up on the Royal Crescent, Bath’s biggest location of all. Yesterday there was prep work taking place, and I saw a crew member taping cardboard over evidence of the modern world: a burglar alarm.

Over an hour or so this morning I watched a single scene being shot, several times and from different angles and in close-up. The public were welcome to watch from the park nearby, keeping beyond a cordon, or from the end of the closed-off street. In between takes, passers-by were allowed to walk along the street, past carriages and actors.

Royal Crescent during filming for Persuasion

Royal Crescent during filming for Persuasion

The scene consisted of carriages, horse-riders and pedestrians passing along in front of No. 1 Royal Crescent, while two female principal characters walked slowly up to the railings in front of the Crescent, engaged in what seemed to be a serious heart-to-heart. This appeared to be a scene between Anne, in dark colours, and her friend/mentor Lady Russell (who is played by Nikki Amuka-Bird), perhaps discussing love interest Captain Wentworth. Her companion in a gorgeous red gown then moved away, leaving ‘Anne’ to look out over the wrought-iron fence, apparently downhearted (from where we were, anyway), and then walk back trailing her hand along the railings despondently.

Persuasion filming in Bath

A heart to heart in front of the Royal Crescent

Filming Persuasion on location in Bath

Lost in thought?

As well as seeing a bit of a favourite novel brought to life, it was good fun to see horses and carriages evoking Bath’s glory days. The Royal Crescent is very attractive with no parked cars, and the horses and grooms waiting around were a great bonus – like a tiny snapshot of Bath in the 18th and 19th centuries. And the costumes, of course, were gorgeous.

Persuasion in Bath (Netflix)

Little tents were set up between the Gravel Walk and the Royal Crescent where extras waited, looking hot in their costumes, and had their make up touched up. Some tourists and locals, walking through, were slow to notice the historic costumes and film crew around them: ‘Oh my God! We’re on a film set!’ I heard one woman shriek after passing about 15 Regency-costumed actors.

Filming Persuasion on location in Bath

Props and actors

My favourite production of Persuasion (so far) is the BBC’s 1995 adaptation with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds – I’d really recommend watching this if you like the book, and while you wait for the Netflix movie to be released. There’s another adaptation from 2007 which has some good points – Rupert Penry Jones is a good sensitive Captain Wentworth (my only reservation is that perhaps he is just too handsome for the Captain) – but I don’t personally like the characterisation of Anne in this one.

And of course the novel itself is masterly. If you’ve read it once, and been unsure, it’s worth returning to. I find new things in it each time I read it, and appreciate it far more than I did when I was younger. Many of Anne’s trials are so very relatable – I particularly love the excruciatingness of her experience at a concert where social rules, mischance and misunderstandings prevent her from resolving problems with a conversation. So many of the themes, and human nature, are timeless.

The Netflix movie ‘Persuasion’ is apparently likely to be released some time in 2022. If you’re interested in Bath as a filming location you might be interested in my article about Bridgerton filming locations or locations featured in the 1995 BBC Persuasion

Filming in Bath

View from the Royal Crescent

Persuasion (Netflix) in Bath

Tents for crew and actors

Persuasion filming in Bath: A horseman on the Royal Crescent

Spectators this morning

Bath with decorations for filming Persuasion

Detail of the on-street set in Bath

Horses waiting on the streets of Bath, just like in days gone by

Persuasion filming in Bath

Preparing the Royal Crescent for filming

Decorators prepare for filming

Prep work: concealing signs of modernity