Downton Abbey - Culture - Things to do - VisitBritain.com

Take a Trip to Downton Country!

If you're a fan of Downton Abbey, find out where episodes were filmed.

Highclere Castle, Hampshire

If watching this award-winning show makes you wish you were having afternoon tea in a magnificent stately home, then wish no more. We’ve put together a list of must-visit locations from the series.

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle in Berkshire (South East England) is the real castle that plays the role of Downton Abbey. Set in 1,000 acres of parkland, this Victorian manor is home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived on the site since 1679. Downton Abbey author, Julian Fellowes is a longstanding family friend and had Highclere in mind while penning the series.

At the castle you can experience Downton life first hand: sip tea in the café, stroll the gardens, and admire the sumptuous interiors, many of which were used for filming. Just make sure you buy your entrance tickets in advance, as it’s a popular place to visit now!

The Carnarvon Arms

For Downton lovers that want to sleep in the same room as their heroes, we recommend booking a room at The Carnarvon Arms, a grade-II listed former coach house. As it’s only a short distance from Highclere, The Carnarvon makes the perfect base for the cast during filming, and has recently undergone a restoration by British celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, so you can feast on gourmet pub grub and keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of Matthew or Carson at the bar.

Lady Sybil and Branson’s bolthole

The Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is north of Highclere, and in series two, it was the site of scandal when Lady Sybil eloped with the chauffeur, Branson. The pair went to Swinbrook in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, and filmed at the Swan Inn, a boutique pub which makes for an idyllic base from which to explore the area.

Downton village

Also in the Cotswolds, is the picturesque village of Bampton, where many of the exterior scenes of Downton Village and Crawley House are filmed.

Stop off at Bampton Coffee House for an English cream tea or lunch at the Vineyard at Stockcross, an elegant hotel with a great restaurant. Maggie Smith, Downton's resident Dame, is rumoured to have stayed here during filming.

Bates’ prison cell

Did he or didn't he? Season Three sees John Bates locked up in York prison for murder. On closer inspection, however, the prison is actually Lincoln Castle, a few of hours south of York. Lincoln Castle is home to the Lincoln Magna Carta, which dates back to 1215, as well as the Charter of the Forest, a 1217 document that ensured England's forests weren't taken over by the aristocracy.

Downton Abbey Tours

Brit Movie Tours offers a three-day Downton Abbey Experience where you can hear anecdotes about the cast, filming and production, and take in the main Downton Abbey locations before trying out life as an Edwardian aristocrat.

Short on time? They also offer a day tour of Downton Abbey Locations.

The Wayfarers lead a week’s walking holiday taking in a private tour of Highclere Castle; pretty Cotswold villages; the Neolithic stone circle at Avebury; and Lacock village, where filming took place for Pride & Prejudice and Harry Potter.

With P&P Tours you can take one-day, escorted visits to a choice of Downton locations including Bampton and Highclere Castle.

You can have a private chauffeur and guide for the day with Great British Tours, taking in Highclere Castle and Bampton.

With European Waterways you can take a seven-day cruise along the River Thames reaching Highclere Castle.

Visit Oxfordshire has created a handy map of the Downton Abbey locations, so you can visit the places yourself.

Find out more about Downton Abbey locations and see them on a map on the VisitBritain Lovewall!


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