Highclere Castle is best-known to many Americans as the place where Downton Abbey, the popular TV drama series, was filmed. The castle has been getting a lot of visitors as many people travel to see the area after watching the TV series. Located in Hampshire, England, the Highclere Castle is a Victorian estate that sits on 1,000 acres of land and it has been in the Earl of CarnarvoIt’s family for many years. Keep reading to know more if you are interested in going on a Highclere Castle Tour.
The Downton Abbey show has been a huge hit all over, but more so in the United Kingdom ever since it was shown first on British television in September 2010. Aside from gaining huge audiences, the show has won many awards and is even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. There is no denying that the success of this show lies on the Downton Abbey itself which forms the beautiful backdrop as well as on its fine cast, lavish costumes and excellent writing. Like most fans, you might be disappointed to hear that Downton Abbey cannot be found anywhere in Yorkshire, as the real site is the Highclere Castle which is further to the south.
Highclere Castle provides more than just the exterior shots for the TV series, as many interior scenes had been filmed at the location as well. The one area that you will not find at the castle would be the living quarters for the servants. In addition to that, the local area surrounding Highclere will not be familiar because most of the outdoor scenes were filmed throughout Oxfordshire.
What to Expect on a Highclere Castle Tour
The mansion itself boasts fifty bedrooms at least and is a Victorian trophy house that was constructed for the Earls (third and fourth). It is owned privately but the doors are open to the public throughout the summer, Easter and bank Holidays, plus for special events on occasions. There are guided tours that will take you to the State rooms, the Saloon, Gallery and some bedrooms. An Egyptian Exhibition also takes place in the Castle cellars. The castle also has tearooms where you can get refreshments. On the outside, you can explore the trails and parkland through the woods.
Whether you choose to spend a morning or the afternoon at this unique English estate, you could become Lady or Lord Grantham for a day while you visit the famous Downton Abbey locations. While you at the castle, you will get to experience the life at Downton first hand by sipping tea in a café, strolling the gardens and admiring the sumptuous interiors. Furthermore, you will get a chance to hear interesting anecdotes about the way how the popular TV series was created; the actors involved a well as the history of the locations that you visit on this tour.
You could start the day of your tour by departing from the central London to visit the delightful Oxfordshire village that was featured as the Downton Village. While you are at this location, you can get a guided tour to explore locations such as the Downton hospital, local church, village pub as well as Matthew Crawley’s former home. After that, you might get a short comfort break.
Once you have explored the village and visit Highclere Castle to view the main area that was used for Downton Abbey set, you should learn enough about the thousand year history of this place. Even though the guided Highclere Castle Tour visits are not allowed in the castle itself, you will get a chance to explore the Above Stairs location of Downton Abbey independently with the help of a self-guided information sheet. As you walk around the estate and enter the aristocratic world of the Crawley family along with their servants it would be easy for you to imagine what life was like more than 100 years ago.
Here is a quick breakdown to highlight the places that you will explore on the tour. You will visit:
- Various locations for Downton Abbey film
- The State Rooms as well as the Capability Brown grounds
- An Egyptian exhibition inside the Highclere Castle
Please note that you can purchase food for lunch at Highclere Castle or bring your own meals to enjoy on the beautiful grounds.
If you really enjoy looking at big mansions, then it will be a sheer delight for you to visit Downton Abbey. The Castle is open not just for group tours, but for wedding ceremonies and corporate events. Highclere Castle Tour is readily available to large and small groups. You can start making preparations to go on your tour from early because this is a very popular place to visit today. This way you can be sure that proper arrangements are made for your entrance tickets, transportation, food, and more. There is no doubt that you will have an enjoyable trip!