Even if the goings-on inside The Great British Bake Off tent are what you’re really interested in, you can’t help but admire its lush surroundings. Since 2014, Bake Off has been filmed in Berkshire, with the tent pitched in the grounds of Welford Park in Newbury.
Even though the presenters and judges may have changed when the show moved from the BBC to Channel 4, the filming location has remained the same. Find out more about the location below.
How is Bake Off filmed?
Every April, the marquee is erected in the grounds of Welford Park for 10 weeks. Each episode is filmed over the course of a weekend, with the contestants staying at nearby hotels, arriving at 9am on a Saturday morning and returning to their day jobs during the week.
Apparently, Mary Berry was especially fond of Welford’s gardens. While the contestants are stewing and sweating over their technical bake, she enjoyed deadheading the roses…
What’s the history of Welford Park?
Welford Park was originally home to a monastery until King Henry VIII called for their dissolution in 1536. He kept Welford as his personal deer hunting lodge, but later gifted it to one of his courtiers, Sir Thomas Parry, in 1546.
Sir Thomas later became Queen Elizabeth I’s treasurer and passed on Welford Park to his son. The manor has only changed hands for money once: when the second Sir Thomas’s heir sold it in 1618 to Sir Francis Jones, who subsequently served as the Lord Mayor of London.
The current house was built for Sir Francis’s grandson in the 1650s and other bits were added in the 18th and 19th century, including a massive dining room that is used as the Bake Off green room. During the First World War, it temporarily became a hospital for distressed soldiers.
Nowadays, the estate belongs to a chap called John Puxley, who inherited it from his mother in 1997 and lives there with his wife and two children. They opens their doors to the public once a year in February and early March when Welford’s famous snowdrops are in bloom.
It’s believed snowdrops were first planted here by Norman monks who used them to decorate their churches and thought they could alleviate headaches.
For more information, go to: welfordpark.co.uk