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Why the Great British Bake Off made big location change ahead of new series

The Channel 4 series is back!

gbbo 2022
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
September 20, 2022
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Everyone's favourite baking show is back for a new series! Last week, Channel 4 aired the first episode of the Great British Bake Off, presenting a brand new batch of hopeful contestants hoping to impress judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith.

MORE: The heartbreaking reason behind GBBO star Matt Lucas’ weight loss journey

As the new episode began, however, eagle-eyed fans might have noticed that the location of the iconic white tent was at a different location to the last two years. Here are the details on where it's filmed and why they made a big change…

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For the 2022 series, the judges, presenters, and 12 bakers headed to Welford Park in Berkshire. The stately home, which is a Grade-I listed building, is located on an estate in the village of Welford, about 5.2 miles northwest of Newbury.

If the name or look is familiar to Bake Off fans, it's because the location was used for filming the Channel 4 show from 2014 to 2019. But, in 2020 and 2021, the cast and crew instead headed to Down Hall in Essex.

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gbbo 2022 judges© Photo: Channel 4

The new series returned to Welford Park

The coronavirus pandemic made filming for the show more difficult. Government restrictions meant that the contestants, judges, and presenters Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, were forced to become a "bubble" during the series' run. Down Hall was, reportedly, more accommodating when it came to ensuring the safety of everyone involved and sticking to strict restrictions.

But, Channel 4 have since returned to their old home, Welford Park, since they are no longer required to follow government health guidelines regarding COVID-19.

gbbo baker© Photo: Channel 4

Are you enjoying the new series?

It seems the crew are pleased to returned to their old stomping ground, including judge Paul. "I love filming at Welford and we've been away for a couple of years," the baking pro told the Express.

"I sat on the grass, not far from the tents. It's a very reflective place and Bake Off's been a big part of my life for quite a while now. It's lovely being back. I felt totally chilled out and relaxed." 

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