Bringing Jane Austen to life

If you're a Jane Austen fan, the names of the settings in her stories are as readily recognisable as those of her characters. Ever wished to take a peek inside Netherfield, or admire Pemberley from across the lake? It's easier to follow in the footsteps of Lizzie and Darcy or Elinor and Marianne than you might think. Here's our pick of the places we care for that have starred in adaptations of Austen's novels.

View across the parkland to the West front at Basildon Park
Basildon Park in Pride and Prejudice National Trust Images/Rupert Truman

Basildon Park 

Basildon Park took a central role in the 2005 production of Pride and Prejudice, which starred Keira Knightley as Lizzie and Matthew MacFadyen as Mr Darcy. The 18th-century Palladian mansion played Mr Bingley's house, Netherfield, a suitably grand residence for a 'young man of four or five thousand a year'.

The North Front at Belton House, a restoration country house built 1685-88
Belton House in Pride and Prejudice ational Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Belton House, Lincolnshire 

In the 1995 BBC TV version of Pride and Prejudice, it was the good fortune of Jennifer Ehle’s Lizzie to dine in the splendour of Belton House, which played Lady Catherine De Bourgh’s residence. As Mr Collins would attest, no greater honour can be bestowed than an invitation to dine at 'Rosings'. Belton also featured in the scenes leading up to Mr Darcy's first excruciating proposal to Lizzie.

View over the Zig Zag Road at Box Hill, Surrey
Box Hill in the final episode of Emma National Trust Images / John Millar

Box Hill, Surrey 

The 2009 BBC TV version of Emma, starring Romola Garai as Emma and Jonny Lee Miller as George Knightley, features Box Hill as the backdrop for a picnic in the final episode. Can you spot it?

View of the West Front of Claydon House
Claydon House National Trust Images / Andrew Butler

Claydon House, Buckinghamshire 

This fine Georgian country house was the location for the ballroom scene in the 1996 film of Emma. The film stars Gwyneth Paltrow as the self-elected matchmaker, Emma, who inevitably gets a taste of her own medicine.

Houses in the village at Lacock, Wiltshire
Lacock was Maryton in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Lacock Village, Wiltshire 

Lacock, a wonderfully preserved village dating from the 13th century, played the village of Meryton in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice. It was here that the Bennet girls, in particular Lydia and Kitty ‘whose minds were more vacant than their sisters’, shopped for bonnets, sought the latest tittle-tattle from their Aunt Philips, and hoped to attract the attentions of the officers - in particular a certain Mr Wickham.

The lake and south front of Lyme Park, Cheshire
Lyme Park as Pemberley in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice National Trust Images / Arnhel de Serra

Lyme Park, Cheshire 

Lyme Park is a Tudor house transformed into an Italianate palace, famous for its role as Pemberley, Mr Darcy’s home, in the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice. Jennifer Ehle’s Lizzie was shocked by the approach of the soaking wet figure of Mr Darcy, played by Colin Firth, post-dip in the lake. The scene cemented Firth's sex symbol status and turned Lyme Park into one of TV's most iconic backdrops.

The East front of Montacute House, Somerset
Sense and Sensibilty at Montacute House National Trust Images / Robert Morris

Montacute House, Somerset 

Montacute most recently wowed cinema audiences as Johnny Depp's 'den of iniquity' in The Libertine. Ten years earlier it took on a more refined role in Sense and Sensibility. The Oscar-winning film starred Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet as sisters Elinor and Marianne. Our hearts went out when the inconsolable Marianne got caught in the rain, trying to escape the heartbreak of Willoughby's rejection. The garden she passed through was at Montacute.

West front view of the Palladian style house at Saltram, Devon
Austen exchanged letters with the first Countess of Saltram National Trust Images / Nick Meers

Saltram, Devon 

The novelist exchanged correspondence with Frances, the first Countess, and you can read these letters to this day at the house.

Morning sunlight coming through the columns of the Temple of Apollo at Stourhead
Temple of Apollo at Stourhead National Trust Images / James Dobson

Stourhead Landscape Garden, Wiltshire 

The 2005 production of Pride and Prejudice features the 18th-century landscaped garden, Stourhead, and one of its enchanting temples. The Temple of Apollo, set above the tranquil lake, was used as the location for Mr Darcy’s first and futile proposal to Lizzie. Afterwards an offended Lizzie makes her exit across the Palladian Bridge.