6.6km Promenade of Downton Abbey’s Film Spots
This route can be walked if you choose to visit each of the sites. However, it was curated so that you can run past the sites. The route may seem full of twists and turns; however, it is to avoid the busier streets as it is taking place in the city centre.
For Downton Abbey fans or those who fantasise about living in the post-Edwardian era, this route will take you down the metaphorical memory lane. Promenade along the same streets as Lady Edith, past the House where Lady Rose was presented, and the fabulous Ritz Hotel.
Our route starts at Wildy and Sons.
Wildy and Sons, a large antique legal text bookshop, was the meet-cute point for Lady Edith and Bertie Pelham, an old acquaintance. Wildy and Sons has remained here in Lincoln’s Inn since 1830. This bookshop has also survived multiple bombings during both wars and has been severely short-staffed around that time. It now celebrates its 193rd year.
Leaving Wildy and Sons, turn right down Carey Street following its curve. Then, turn left down Grange Court, also following its curve to the right. Turn left into Houghton Street.
At the main road, turn right onto Aldwych, right at Drury Lane, and left onto Travistock Street.
Continue following Travistock Street. Turn left into Southampton Street, then immediately right into Maiden Lane, where you will see Rules.
Rules is London’s oldest restaurant, established in 1798, which Lady Edith and Michael Gregson frequented in the third season of Downtown Abbey. Additionally, it is where Lady Rose had her bachelorette luncheon. If you’d like to reserve a table at this fabulous restaurant, you can book here.
Leaving Rules, turn right down Maiden Lane which becomes Chandos Place. Keep right along William IV Street at the intersection to turn left into Irving Street. You can take the shortcut through the green patch onto Orange Street, turning left, or continue down Irving Street onto Orange St and turn left. Just before the end of Orange Street, turn left into St Martin’s Street, following the curve of the road, then left into Whitcomb Street and left to The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square.
The National Gallery was a rendezvous point for Lady Grantham and Simon Bricker in season five. While there, they shared their admiration for Piero della Francesca’s Nativity. The Gallery was established in Trafalgar Square in 1838 and holds paintings from well-known artists including Da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks. Entry is free and there are frequent events and exhibitions you can see here.
Find your way back onto Orange Street behind The National Gallery. Turn left down Orange Street then right up Whitcomb Street, left in Panton Street, right in Haymarket, left in Jermyn Street and left again onto Regent Street Saint James’s.
Turn right onto Charles II Street through St James’s Square onto King Street.
Turn left onto St James’s Street, then right onto Cleveland Row, and continue around the bend onto the pathway to Green Park. The image below and the Google Maps link show where Lancaster House is. You could peep over the tall hedges as the House is sadly not open to the public.
Lancaster House is set not far from the fictional Grantham House in the show. In the 2013 Christmas special, Lady Rose was presented in this house. The interior was used as it closely resembled the rooms of Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately, the house is not open to the public however, if the exterior is any indication, the interior is surely just as extravagant.
Moving away from Lancaster House, run along the straight tarred road with the buildings on your right. Spencer House will be on your right which you can see over the hedges.
Although not featured in Downtown Abbey, Spencer House has a magnificent exterior one could easily mistake it as one of the homes of Downtown Abbey’s Aristocrats during the post-Edwardian era. Starting in 1756, it took a decade to construct this house. Its restoration in the 1980s demonstrates why the initial construction took a meticulous ten years. Lady Diana, a direct descendant of the First Lord and Lady Spencer, officially opened the house in 1990. You can book a guided tour here.
Continue along the same tarred path in the same direction until you reach the end of the path. Exit the park and turn right where you will see The Ritz.
The Ritz was chosen for the final scene of the series. Quite a fabulous finale, in fact. The Ritz first opened in 1906. Over the years, the hotel had gathered a star-studded guest list including Winston Churchill, Dwight Eisenhower, Lady Diana Cooper, and Charlie Chaplin. Several scenes from “Notting Hill” were also filmed here including the scene where Anna Scott, played by Julia Roberts, held a press conference in the Trafalgar Suite. The late Queen Elizabeth frequented the hotel having dined there numerous times. A Michelin Star was also awarded to the restaurant in 2016, and it has since maintained it.
Re-enter the park and continue straight turning right towards and past the fountain to be on the parallel pathway to Piccadilly.
Past the Bomber Command Memorial and at the very end of the path. Turn slight left, then right over the pedestrian walkway towards the Wellington Arch. Behind the arch, turn right over the pedestrian walkway to the right of the Royal Artillery Memorial towards the columned entrance into Hyde Park. Cross over the road at the traffic light and run along the path with the short fence and trees directly on your right.
Continue following this path, and where the path curves around a green patch, turn right towards The Serpentine.
Continue following the path closest to The Serpentine and under the West Carriage Drive bridge until you see the Peter Pan Statue on your left.
The Peter Pan Statue was the meeting place of Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham. Lady Mary told Lord Gillingham that she had decided not to continue their scandalous relationship. Since its establishment in 1912, the statue has been well-loved by children, especially throughout the wars as it served as a happy distraction.
If you enjoyed this route, see our 5km Royal Parks Run.