The Bridgerton effect! How Shonda Rhimes' Regency 'bonkbuster' has added £275m to economy as tourists flock to real life locations

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  • Netflix Regency-era romp’s creator opened London’s Stock Exchange on Friday
  • The show has boosted the UK economy by an estimated £275m in five years
  • Read more: The VERY surprising sex secrets of the real-life Bridgerton: Historian reveals the TRUTH about Regency-era romps

Bridgerton creator Shonda Rhimes made for London’s financial district on Friday to open the city’s Stock Exchange. 

The US producer and screenwriter’s visit to the Square Mile marked a two-fold celebration; the release last night of part two of series three and the huge impact – to the tune of £275million – that the Netflix bonkbuster has had on the UK economy. 

It’s thought the Regency romp, based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling books, has boosted up to 5,000 UK businesses, from the set designers who help bring the stories to life to tour guides and regal stately homes that have enjoyed lavish cameos.

Speaking about the impact on an estimated 5,000 UK businesses, Rhimes, 54,said: ‘The Bridgerton universe occupies a special space in culture, resonating with young and old alike, creating conversation, starting trends and influencing everything from baby names to weddings.’ 

Thanks Shonda! US producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes, whose company Shondaland is behind Netflix hit Bridgerton, opened the London Stock Exchange on Friday, after it was revealed the Regency romp has given the UK economy a £275 million boost via employment opportunities and tourism

Thanks Shonda! US producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes, whose company Shondaland is behind Netflix hit Bridgerton, opened the London Stock Exchange on Friday, after it was revealed the Regency romp has given the UK economy a £275 million boost via employment opportunities and tourism 

Rhimes is seen with London Stock Exchange CEO Julia Hoggett after it was announced the bonkbuster, which first aired on Christmas Day in 2020, has boosted the UK economy by more than a quarter of a billion pounds, supporting almost 5000 businesses over the past five years

Rhimes is seen with London Stock Exchange CEO Julia Hoggett after it was announced the bonkbuster, which first aired on Christmas Day in 2020, has boosted the UK economy by more than a quarter of a billion pounds, supporting almost 5000 businesses over the past five years

Perfect union: British businesses are set to keep reaping the rewards this summer, with part two of series three of the show released on Thursday - and a fourth in the pipeline. Pictured from left: Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington

Perfect union: British businesses are set to keep reaping the rewards this summer, with part two of series three of the show released on Thursday – and a fourth in the pipeline. Pictured from left: Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington

Everyone from caterers to costumiers are feeling the Bridgerton effect - but UK tourism has perhaps had the biggest boom, with stately homes, cafes and locations featured in the three seasons so far becoming a magnet for British and overseas visitors

Everyone from caterers to costumiers are feeling the Bridgerton effect – but UK tourism has perhaps had the biggest boom, with stately homes, cafes and locations featured in the three seasons so far becoming a magnet for British and overseas visitors 


‘The shows have also had a seismic impact on the UK economy, boosting it by a quarter of a billion pounds over the last five years and supporting thousands of jobs and businesses.

‘It is clear that the business of art and culture can make a huge economic contribution to local communities. I could not be prouder.’

Since the show first aired on Christmas Day in 2020, British tourism has been one of the biggest winners, with fans travelling from across the globe to see for themselves where the Duke of Hastings first whirled Daphne across the dancefloor (Marble Hall at Hatfield House), or to promenade like Lady Penelope Featherington in Painshill Park in Surrey.

And with Rhimes revealing there’s a fourth series already in the pipeline, British businesses are set to keep reaping the rewards. 

Here, Femail highlights some of places that you shouldn’t miss on a Bridgerton Grand Tour… 

LONDON 

Woburn Walk, Bloomsbury

Woburn Walk, which remains largely intact as a Regency-era street tucked between London's Euston station and King's Cross, features in the third and fourth episodes of the latest series of Bridgerton

Woburn Walk, which remains largely intact as a Regency-era street tucked between London’s Euston station and King’s Cross, features in the third and fourth episodes of the latest series of Bridgerton 

On the tourist map: The historic street was transformed for its appearance in the Netflix show but has become a must-see for tourists on the show's London tourism trail

On the tourist map: The historic street was transformed for its appearance in the Netflix show but has become a must-see for tourists on the show’s London tourism trail 

In the midst of central London, between Kings Cross and Euston stations lies Woburn Walk, which features in episode three and four of the latest series of the show. 

Despite the vastly changing landscapes around the street, first built in 1822-1826, it has remained a perfect example of a Regency street – but was still transformed for Bridgerton.  

Head of locations Tony Hood said: ‘We don’t do anything small in Bridgerton. So we changed the whole street. We occupied all 16 shop fronts on the whole walkway’. 

Wilton’s Music Hall: Series two political meeting hall 

In the East End, Wilton's Music Hall had a cameo in series two of the show, and has seen increased interest in the Victorian music hall from fans

In the East End, Wilton’s Music Hall had a cameo in series two of the show, and has seen increased interest in the Victorian music hall from fans 


Performing arts venues in 2024 face a struggle but this Victorian music hall, built in 1859 at 1 Grace’s Alley, it was put on the Bridgerton map in series two, when Eloise is seen attending a feminist political meeting in the space. 

Described by the Theatres Trust as ‘The most important surviving early music hall to be seen anywhere’, it was built by John Wilton to ‘provide West End glamour, comfort and first-rate entertainment for East End working people’.

The Bridgerton family home: Ranger’s House

Chez Lady Bridgerton: Thousands of fans have made their way to Greenwich for a glimpse of Ranger's House, which provides the exterior shots for Lady Bridgerton's home

Chez Lady Bridgerton: Thousands of fans have made their way to Greenwich for a glimpse of Ranger’s House, which provides the exterior shots for Lady Bridgerton’s home 

Where Greenwich Park glides into Blackheath in London’s south-east, find Ranger’s House, an imposing Georgian villa that doubles up as the Wisteria-draped home of Lady Bridgerton (and her eight alphabetically-named children). 

RAF Halton in Aylesbury provided the interior shots, but stepping inside this winsome red-brick, now a museum, is very much worth the effort, with the chance to browse a 700-piece world class art collection, amassed by 19th century diamond magnate Sir Julius Wernher. 

Don’t miss the Renaissance masterpiece Madonna della Melagrana; Botticelli’s original hangs in Florence, but Werhner snapped up what is considered the world’s closest copy. 

The Gentleman’s Club: Lancaster House

Clad in claret smoking jackets and nursing brandies, the mail characters are frequently seen carousing in a high society ‘club’, aka lavish Lancaster House. 

A five-minute walk from Green Park tube, this Neo-classical Bath stone beauty enhanced St James’ skyline in 1825, when it was built for the Duke of York, and boasts opulent Louis XIV interiors – the music room once saw Chopin play for Queen Victoria. 

Like every truly discerning venue, mere mortals can’t often get in, but it does fling open its doors for Open House London every September. Tourists can swoop down the Versailles-inspired staircase, gripping the rococo balustrade.

BATH   

Modiste dress shop: The Abbey Deli 

The Abbey Deli is one of the many Bath businesses that have seen an upturn since the show began; the cafe doubles up as Madame Delacroix's dress shop, Modiste in the show - with owners  Nicky and Jon Ison selling Bridgerton-themed merchandise

The Abbey Deli is one of the many Bath businesses that have seen an upturn since the show began; the cafe doubles up as Madame Delacroix’s dress shop, Modiste in the show – with owners  Nicky and Jon Ison selling Bridgerton-themed merchandise

The Grade II-listed building with double-fronted bay windows became Modiste in the show (Pictured: Madame Delacroix, played by Kathryn Drysdale)

The Grade II-listed building with double-fronted bay windows became Modiste in the show (Pictured: Madame Delacroix, played by Kathryn Drysdale)

Strewn with purple wisteria, the Abbey Deli on Abbey Green in Bath, close to the city’s famous honey-hued Roman Baths, is certainly enjoying the Bridgerton effect. 

Housed in a Grade II-listed building with double-fronted bay windows, the cafe and deli doubled up as Madame Delacroix’s dress shop, Modiste, in the show. 

And the enterprising deli owners, Nicky and Jon Ison, have capitalised on the interest from tourists, selling merchandise themed around the show and trademarking the word ‘Modiste’. 

A recent Instagram post showed the Isons are clearly excited about an influx of new fans after the latest series dropped, teasing: ‘Will our beautiful Deli feature again as Madame Delacroix’s famous boutique; Modiste™️? …. More importantly will Penelope find herself a suitor?’

Owner Nicky Ison told the BBC in 2022 that the impact of the show took them by surprise at first, saying:  ‘We do have crying people on the doorstep, because the Duke of Hastings has been in our shop. I can’t believe what a phenomenon it is.

‘We’re not defined by it, but it is a lovely thing to have and we’re very proud of it.

‘It’s nice that people can come into the shop and see where it was filmed.’ 

12 Trim Street: Gunter’s Tea Shop

Swish-looking hair and beauty salon 12 Trim Street sits on one of the key sites for tourists on the Bridgerton tour in Bath. In 2022, owners Layla Arthur and Emily Thatcher told the BBC that they'd seen more footfall simply because of their location
In 2022, owners Layla Arthur and Emily Thatcher told the BBC that they'd seen more footfall simply because of their location

Swish-looking hair and beauty salon 12 Trim Street sits on one of the key sites for tourists on the Bridgerton tour in Bath. In 2022, owners Layla Arthur and Emily Thatcher told the BBC that they’d seen more footfall simply because of their location 

Another hotspot for fans of the show is 12 Trim Street in Bath, an upmarket hair and beauty salon that doubled up as Gunter’s Tea Shop in the Regency period drama.

The hairdresser’s said simply being on the route of the Bridgerton tours that run in the city has increased their business. Owners Layla Arthur and Emily Thatcher told the BBC two years ago that the show had created ‘a buzz and real excitement on Trim Street.’

Royal Berkshire Polo Club, Windsor

Series two episode 'Off to the Races' saw Bridgerton use the Royal Berkshire Polo Club as its location

Series two episode ‘Off to the Races’ saw Bridgerton use the Royal Berkshire Polo Club as its location

How the Windsor equine playground - opened by the King in 1985 - appeared on screen

How the Windsor equine playground – opened by the King in 1985 – appeared on screen 

Fit for a Bridgerton Duke - and a real-life Prince: The Berkshire Polo Club took centre stage in an episode of the show from series two. Pictured: The Prince of Wales at the club in 2021

Fit for a Bridgerton Duke – and a real-life Prince: The Berkshire Polo Club took centre stage in an episode of the show from series two. Pictured: The Prince of Wales at the club in 2021

Series two saw an entire episode, Off to the Races, of Bridgerton dedicated to polo season, with the Royal Berkshire Polo Club doing the honours for the cast and crew. 

The club in Winkfield, Windsor, continues to be favoured by the cream of British society with Princes William and Harry regulars in their teenage years, and the King opened the park in 1985. 

Those wanting to take a Bridgerton-style day out can book tickets for a match – some are free – or a Sunday roast at the clubhouse’s restaurant La Cantina by Amie’s Kitchen. 

LINCOLNSHIRE 

Grimsthorpe Castle

Less obvious than Bath, keen Bridgerton fans might make the journey to 13th century Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire

Less obvious than Bath, keen Bridgerton fans might make the journey to 13th century Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire

Lucie Voncarthy from Grimsthorpe Castle told the BBC in May this year that she hoped there would be a big tourism drive after the beautiful abode featured in the latest series

Lucie Voncarthy from Grimsthorpe Castle told the BBC in May this year that she hoped there would be a big tourism drive after the beautiful abode featured in the latest series

The house dates back to the 13th century and boasts lavish interiors

The house dates back to the 13th century and boasts lavish interiors

A vision in limestone, this 13th century castle near the small Lincolnshire town of Bourne might be for the more die-hard Bridgerton fan. 

The last work of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard architect Sir John Vanburgh, it has a beautiful courtyard and acres of green lands to explore. Tourists on the Bridgerton trail can make the most of the summer opening – and kids will love the adventure playground. 

Lucie Voncarthy from the castle told the BBC in May this year that she hoped there would be a big tourism push on the back of the latest series.

She said: ‘The last time filming took place was 1995 so we were all so excited to see the castle on the big screen. We had code names for the show, and we had to just keep the secret.

‘A lot of the actors said the castle was the most beautiful location they had filmed at. I hope being in the show will bring a new crowd and a new demographic.’

SUSSEX

Theatre Royal Brighton

Another landmark theatre that enjoyed a moment in the spotlight in series one of Bridgerton; Brighton's Theatre Royal was featured in the seventh episode of the first series

Another landmark theatre that enjoyed a moment in the spotlight in series one of Bridgerton; Brighton’s Theatre Royal was featured in the seventh episode of the first series 

The Regency era theatre proved the perfect setting for a date night between the Duke and Daphne - and fans of the show can take their own tour of the auditorium

The Regency era theatre proved the perfect setting for a date night between the Duke and Daphne – and fans of the show can take their own tour of the auditorium 

Episode seven of season one of Bridgerton played out in Brighton’s historic theatre. Thanks to its Regency design, complete with red velvet chairs, the location was an easy choice for scouts looking to recreate an authentic period auditorium. 

Bridgerton fans wanting a closer look can take a backstage tour, with a knowledgeable guide on hand to talk through how the bonkbuster came to life in the Royal. 

SURREY

Painshill Park 

Series three sees Lady Penelope and the cast of Bridgerton once more at Painshill Park in Surrey

Series three sees Lady Penelope and the cast of Bridgerton once more at Painshill Park in Surrey

The gothic Surrey parkland saw the latest series of the show - released in two parts - filmed at the beauty spot back in 2022. The five-arch bridge is a star attraction for Bridgerton fans

The gothic Surrey parkland saw the latest series of the show – released in two parts – filmed at the beauty spot back in 2022. The five-arch bridge is a star attraction for Bridgerton fans

Colin Bridgerton is seen in the third episode of season three trying to prevent a hot air balloon tragedy - in scenes filmed in Painshill Park

Colin Bridgerton is seen in the third episode of season three trying to prevent a hot air balloon tragedy – in scenes filmed in Painshill Park 

Emerald Serpentine lake in Painshill Park has been a feature from series one to now. In 1773, this verdant patch of Surrey parkland had been dressed up as a love letter to 18th century Europe, after aristocrat Charles Hamilton returned from his Grand Tour determined to re-create vistas that had bewitched him. 

Highlights of his work include the amphitheatre, crystal grotto and Gothic-style temple. 

Painhill’s ivory-hued five-arch bridge remains the star attraction for Bridgerton fans.

In the new series, fans will spot Painshill in third episode, Forces of Nature, when Colin Bridgerton does battle with an out of control hot air balloon. 

Queen Charlotte’s Palace: Hampton Court

Henry VIII's stomping ground has had a new feather to its tourism bow since Bridgerton arrived on the scene

Henry VIII’s stomping ground has had a new feather to its tourism bow since Bridgerton arrived on the scene

Daphne, the fourth Bridgerton child (Phoebe Dynevor), was seen frequently enjoying Hampton Court Palace in series one

Daphne, the fourth Bridgerton child (Phoebe Dynevor), was seen frequently enjoying Hampton Court Palace in series one 

And the Royal Palace's manicured gardens were also given screen time in season two

And the Royal Palace’s manicured gardens were also given screen time in season two

Good enough for Henry VIII? Then it’s certainly good enough for Bridgerton’s feisty incarnation of Queen Charlotte, who pinches the Tudor King’s extravagant home as her own for the series. With the Thames coiling around it, Grade I-listed Hampton Court remains an intoxicating day out. 

Promenade around 24 hectares of greenery, snake through the famous maze, marvel at a kitchen that once cooked up 800 meals a day, and wince at the finer details of those beheadings. The Haunted Gallery, where the distressed ghost of Catherine Howard is said to still stalk, remains a tourism must-do. 

SALISBURY

The Duke of Hastings house: Wilton House

Rege-Jene Page was regularly seen in scenes filmed at Wilton House - the Duke of Hastings' home - in Salisbury in the first series

Rege-Jene Page was regularly seen in scenes filmed at Wilton House – the Duke of Hastings’ home – in Salisbury in the first series

Lucrative: The house has also seen Emma, Tomb Raider and episodes of The Crown filmed there

Lucrative: The house has also seen Emma, Tomb Raider and episodes of The Crown filmed there

A period drama past master, 16th century Wilton House, has tempted dozens of Hollywood casts to Salisbury, and appeared in series one as the Duke’s London mansion. 

In real life, the 18th Earl and Countess of Pembroke let tourists wander their majestic home and gardens landscaped by Capability Brown. 

Inside, marvel at fresco ceilings, orante plasterwork and ‘cube’ rooms, designed by Inigo Jones. There’s an adventure playground for kids, and the Earl’s gleaming classic car collection is often on display during summer. 

The smoking room’s carved violin bookcase was crafted by Thomas Chippendale in 1760, no less.

YORKSHIRE

Castle Howard: Clyvedon Castle, near York

Fictional Clyvedon Castle was actually Castle Howard, which lies just 15 miles from York

Fictional Clyvedon Castle was actually Castle Howard, which lies just 15 miles from York

Castle Howard has always attracted tourists, but fans of Bridgerton have seen numbers spike in recent years

Castle Howard has always attracted tourists, but fans of Bridgerton have seen numbers spike in recent years 

One of the UK’s most breathtaking stately homes, it doubles up as fictional Clyvedon Castle in the show. 

Built in 1699 and 15 miles from York, it’s a perfect union of lavish architecture and stunning landscaping. 

Inside, the styles are divided, with the east wing’s Great Hall a shrine to all things baroque, while the west wing is more sedate classical palladian in style. The castle’s famous baroque cupola, which was inspired by St Paul’s Cathedral. 

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Badminton House: Lady Danbury’s home

In good company: The Queen pictured at Badminton Horse Trials earlier this year

In good company: The Queen pictured at Badminton Horse Trials earlier this year

Seated in Gloucestershire’s rolling hills, Badminton House provided the interiors (Bath’s Holburne Museum of Art provided the exterior shots) for the home of Lady Danbury, the Duke’s confidante in series one. 

Famous for its horse trials, Badminton estate is the private home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort, but book onto a small group tour and you can unlock the doors of this 400-year-old beauty. 

Highgrove, home to King Charles and Queen Camilla, is just 20 minutes away. 

Visitors on a Bridgerton grand tour can take in stirring views from the house of the South Garden, a vision of hedges, beds and borders inspired by the Loire Valley.

KENT 

Historic Dockyard Chatham 

The boxing matches between the Duke of Hastings and Will were filmed at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent

The boxing matches between the Duke of Hastings and Will were filmed at the Historic Dockyard in Chatham, Kent 

This Kent tourist attraction has preserved its Georgian streets, with the show’s cast and crew wandering up and down the cobbles for scenes in series one to portray London’s more down-at-heel streets. 

It’s not the first time the important Royal Dockyard, which played a role in the Cold War and Spanish Armada, has featured on the small screen – it was in Sherlock Holmes in 2011 and has cameod in Call the Midwife.  

HERTFORDSHIRE

Hatfield House

The interiors and the exteriors of Hatfield House, an hour north of London, have had a starring role in the show

The interiors and the exteriors of Hatfield House, an hour north of London, have had a starring role in the show

Taking a turn: The dance scenes in the first season of Bridgerton played out in Marble Hall at Hatfield House

Taking a turn: The dance scenes in the first season of Bridgerton played out in Marble Hall at Hatfield House

Back catalogue: Episodes of The Crown were also filmed in the regal stately home

Back catalogue: Episodes of The Crown were also filmed in the regal stately home

A 20-minute train hop from London lands you in Jacobean England; although Hatfield House did a fine impression of the Regency period for Bridgeton’s location scouts. 

Built around 1611 for the first Earl of Salisbury, the mansion is gloriously ornate on the inside, with silk wallpapers, sweeping oak staircases and the famous Rainbow portrait, which depicts Elizabeth I, who spent much of her childhood her. 

Stride out into Hatfield’s grounds and the greenery is both wild and manicured, with the West Garden, West Terrace and North Front all used in Bridgerton. Pick up artisan jewellery and crafts in the Stable Yard shops.

The giddy debutantes of Bridgerton have swirled across Marble Hall’s chess board floor, the setting for one of the show’s many soirees.