Filmed on location throughout Britain and now in cinemas, the Downton Abbey movie celebrates some of the prettiest and most traditional locations in Britain. And while much of the film’s action takes place at Highclere Castle, if you fancy a Downton-inspired trip to Britain, there are a host of filming locations just waiting to be explored.
Highclere Castle, Hampshire
If you’re looking to experience all things Downton, there’s no better place to start than Highclere Castle. Home to the Carnarvon family since 1679, the castle has been the iconic filming location doubling as Downton Abbey for all six series in addition to the film, and is instantly recognisable to fans of the show. From September you can get a taste of life at Downton on a special Real Lives & Film Sets Tour. Follow in the footsteps of the actors and relax in the Saloon, climb the Oak Staircase or explore the Egyptian Exhibition.
The picturesque village of Bampton, in Oxfordshire, makes a welcome return to the screen in the Downton Abbey movie. It was here that many of the outside scenes of Downton Village and Crawley House were filmed and you’ll notice lots of well-known sites such as the church(filmed at St Mary’s Church), the post office and the Grantham Arms and The Dog & Duck pubs. You’ll also find Bampton Community Archive in the Old Grammar School, which posed as the hospital in Downton village and houses a range of memorabilia from the drama, from handy town maps to those all-important souvenirs.
Beamish Museum, County Durham
Step back in time on a visit to Beamish Museum, a living museum that reveals the history and traditions of life in north-east England in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The setting for several scenes in the TV series, the Beamish Open Air Museum was used to film several scenes in the forthcoming movie. With different areas dedicated to life throughout the ages in the region – from a 1820s village complete with Waggonway to a 1940s farm, the museum is a must-see if you’re a history buff looking to explore the past in true Downton Abbey style.
With its cobbled streets and cosy stone cottages, the National Trust village of Lacock has been a favourite filming location for decades, not least for Downton Abbey! It’s here that the exterior of Carson’s cottage was filmed for the hit TV show, and in summer 2018 members of the cast were once again spotted filming in the town, in a major scene from the film that brings to life the ceremony of British royal traditions. Home to the 13th-century Lacock Abbey, the village’s rich history and traditions are embedded in every stone, making it a perfect stop on a Downton-themed journey into British rural history.