Enola Holmes, the story of Sherlock’s plucky little sister, was the most streamed movie on Netflix recently and is just the latest of many films to feature sumptuous filming locations across Britain. One of the stars of the film is Hatfield House, a Jacobean prodigy house built in 1611 and today the home of Lord and Lady Salisbury. One of the Treasure Houses of England, Hatfield is a very popular place to visit due to the many connections with Elizabeth I as she lived here for many years. It was on these grounds under an oak tree which still stands today, where in 1558 Princess Elizabeth was told that she was now queen following the death of her sister Mary. During the First World War, Hatfield served as a training ground for troops, and a section of the grounds were turned into the trenches of the Western Front, complete with barbed ware and craters.
Hatfield House’s striking exterior and lavish interiors have served as film sets for numerous films and television shows over the years in addition to its recent turn in Enola Holmes as the home of Viscount Tewkesbury, Marquess of Basilwether. You can see Hatfield starring in The Favourite, Paddington 1 & 2, Wonder Woman, The Crown, The King’s Speech, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, V for Vendetta, Shakespeare in Love, and many more.
Hatfield House is an easy trip from London, less than half an hour on the train will get you from central London to the town of Hatfield and it is a short walk from there to the house, or you can take a private driver right to the gates. A private guided tour of the house allows you the opportunity to take your time enjoying the famous Rainbow Portrait of Elizabeth I, and when followed by an exclusive tour of the gardens with the Head Gardener is quite a treat that is definitely not to be missed. Stroll along the Lime Walk, visit the gates erected for Queen Victoria’s visit, see the stone frieze of Elizabeth I saved from a fire in 1855, or visit the Sundial Garden and the North Front to see some modern sculptures made especially for Hatfield. On Fore Street, just outside the walls of Hatfield House, you will find the 13th century St. Etheldreda’s Church. In the church there is a monument to Robert Cecil, and among the tombstones you will find two Prime Ministers and a rather curious memorial to a man named John Whitemore, a man who lived in three centuries, from 1698 to 1801.
Round out your day trip to Hatfield with a visit to nearby St. Albans and the delicious Thompson
restaurant. Their menu closely follows the changing seasons and features locally sourced produce (some is even grown by the chef’s father-in-law) that celebrates the very best of modern Britain. I would recommend the chef’s tasting menu with wine pairing. Afterall, what better way is there to wind down after a long day than with good food and drink before your driver takes you back to the city?