The goings-on inside The Great British Bake Off tent are what we’re all interested in, but have you ever found yourself wondering where it actually is?
Since 2014, Bake Off has been filmed in Berkshire, with the tent pitched in the grounds of Welford Park in Newbury.
However, this year, Matt Lucas’ addition wasn’t the only thing new about the series, as the location of the show was also changed for 2020.
So where is it? Here’s everything you need to know about the new Bake Off grounds.
Where is The Great British Bake Off filmed?
This year, Bake Off moved to a brand location.
The famous white marquee was put up in the Down Hall Hotel in Bishop’s Stortford, on the Hertfordshire and Essex border, as revealed on the Channel 4 show’s first episode.
The producers made the decision in order to ensure they could hire the entire property out for filming in order to stick to COVID-secure guidelines.
The Victorian country house sits in 110 acres of woodland, parkland and landscaped gardens.
Kieran Smith, creative director at Love Productions, revealed the behind-the-scenes changes they had to make to film the brand new series.
He joined forces with managing director Letty Kavanagh to hire a South-East hotel, which housed all cast and crew alongside 20 hotel staff members, 80 Love producers and around 20 “children, chaperones and dogwalkers,” according to Broadcast.
Each episode is filmed over the course of a weekend, with the contestants arriving at 9am on a Saturday morning.
Usually, The Great British Bake Off contestants would return to their day jobs during the week, but due to coronavirus, they had to isolate and leave together for seven weeks.
Former Bake Off judge Mary Berry was said to be especially fond of the previous location at Welford gardens. While the contestants were stewing and sweating over their technical bake, she is said have enjoyed deadheading the roses…
Prior to Welford Park, the show took place in various locations including Fulham Palace, London (series one), Valentines Mansion, Redbridge (series two) and Harptree Court, Somerset (series three and four).
What’s the history of Down Hall Hotel?
Down Hall Hotel is one of England’s most established country house hotels. Located in Hatfield Heath, near Bishop’s Stortford on the Hertfordshire and Essex border, Down Hall is 45 minutes from central London and also ideally located near Stansted Airport.
Dating back to 1322, the mansion is a historic setting.
The 98 bedrooms are all individually designed to reflect the grandeur, elegance and character of the historic property.
The Classic and Executive bedrooms are spacious and comfortable, whilst their Feature rooms enjoy stunning views across the landscaped gardens.
The first Down Hall was a Tudor house, once owned by poet Matthew Prior.
Prior was acquainted with landscaper Charles Bridgeman, who he commissioned to landscape the estate’s gardens.
After Prior’s death in 1721, the house was passed to his friend Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Earl Mortimer, who undertook further rebuilding. Twenty years later, and with the house still unfinished, Harley died.
During the First World War, the house was used as a sanatorium for wounded soldiers. The estate was affected by the post-World War I recession, and was subsequently sold at auction.
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021
Following its sale, the house was used as a school until 1967 and as an antiques business and conference centre from 1967 to 1986.
In 1986, the estate was purchased by the Veladail Group, who have operated the site as a four star hotel, conference centre and luxury wedding venue since.
Late reality TV star Jade Goody famously wed her partner Jack Tweed at Down Hall in 2009.