Dotty for Downton - discover the filming locations of the Downton Abbey movie
The feature length Downton Abbey movie hits the screens in September, with the new trailer providing plenty of reasons for fans of the period drama to get excited.
Director Brian Percival’s feature length production will welcome back the stars of the hit ITV series, last seen on screens in 2015. And there are ample opportunities to visit the real Downton Abbey, both before and after the movie lands in UK cinemas on 13 September.
What to expect from the movie?
Set around a year after the finale of the TV series, in 1927, the Downton Abbey movie will revolve around a royal visit from His Majesty King George V and Queen Mary.
It will once again follow the aristocratic Crawley family and their dedicated staff on the fictional Yorkshire estate. Starring old favourites including Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech, Lesley Nicole and Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter will also return as Carson the butler in a bid to restore Downton to its former glory.
See the real Downton Abbey!
The picturesque star of the movie, and of the past television series, Highclere Castle near the Hampshire/Berkshire border doubles up as the famous setting for Downton Abbey. The home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, the stunning period property and 5,000-acre estate features Jacobean Revival architecture from Sir Charles Barry which dates back to the 1820s. In addition to the country house are its pristine grounds, landscaped by renowned gardener Capability Brown in 1770, and designated a Sight of Special Scientific Interest since 1991.
Events at Highclere Castle
Highclere Castle opens for a limited period during the summer, and on selected other dates for special events throughout the year, giving Downton Abbey fans a chance to experience the impressive building first-hand.
When? The Castle and Gardens, as well as an onsite Egyptian Exhibition, will be open to the public from 7 July 2019 to 2 September 2019, although the Castle is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
Downton Abbey Live Open Air Concert
Fans can prepare for the forthcoming movie release by taking in the TV show’s magical soundtrack this June. Set in the grounds of Highclere Castle, the Chamber Orchestra of London will join forces with the TV show’s composer John Lunn on piano for an exclusive open air concert. Hosted by Jim Carter, renowned for his portrayal of Mr Carson, the Downton Abbey Live open air concert aims to bring the TV phenomenon to life on 22 June.
When? 22 June, from 4pm
Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours
Just in time for the Downton Abbey movie release, Highclere Castle is hosting Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours on the weekend before it hits cinemas. Visitors can tour the castle, walking in the footsteps of the stars, while taking in a spectacular collection of costumes from the 1920s era. Highclere’s own cocktail van, ‘Josephine Vanessa’ will also be on site serving up a delicious array of refreshing drinks.
When? 7-8 September 2019. Grounds open from 10am to 6pm, with access on the Castle limited to the type of ticket. Morning ticket access from 10.30am to 12.30 pm. Afternoon ticket access from 12.20pm to 2.30pm.
Real Lives and Film Sets – Special guided tours
Once the film is released, fans of Downton Abbey will be able to set foot in many of the locations were the scenes were shot as part of exclusive special guided tours. Real Lives and Film Sets will enable visitors to explore the beauty of the State Rooms, climb the Great Oak Staircase and be immersed by the extensive Egyptian Exhibition – which details the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by the fifth Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter – while discovering more about the rich and varied history of the site. Tours also include a seasonal buffet at the estate’s Coach House Tea Rooms.
When? Tours on selected dates in September (14, 17, 20, 25, 28, 29) and October (16, 17, 23, 24) with morning sessions starting at 10.30am and afternoon sessions starting at 2.30pm for entry to the Castle.
Beamish Open Air Museum
Used as a backdrop for the upcoming Downton Abbey film, the renowned Beamish open air museum in County Durham explores life in North East England in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1900s Town allows visitors to discover how families lived and worked in the build-up to the First World War, supported by highly engaging and thought-provoking Pit Village and Colliery experiences. A recreated tramway, a 1940s farm, an Edwardian style railway station and 1820s Pockerley are among the other star attractions.
When? Open daily from 10am to 5pm until 3 November 2019, with reduced opening hours of 10am to 4pm during the winter. Beamish is closed on selected days during the winter.
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