Experience Downton Abbey in Britain

The feature length Downton Abbey movie hits the screens September 20, with the new trailer providing plenty of reasons to get excited if you’re a fan of the period drama!

Director Brian Percival’s feature length production will welcome back the stars of the hit TV series, last seen on our screens in 2015. And there are ample opportunities to visit the real Downton Abbey, both before and after the movie lands in cinemas this 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 home of 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, you can also explore the 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 you a chance to experience the impressive building first-hand. The Castle and Gardens, as well as an onsite Egyptian Exhibition, are open to the public from 7 July 2019 to 2 September 2019, although the Castle is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

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. Tour the castle, walk in the footsteps of the stars, and take in a spectacular collection of costumes from the 1920s era. Highclere’s own cocktail van, ‘Josephine Vanessa’ will also be on site on 7-8 September, helping everyone get into the vintage spirit of things with a delicious array of themed drinks.

Real Lives and Film Sets – Special guided tours

Once the film is released, you’ll 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 give you a chance to explore the beauty of the State Rooms, climb the Great Oak Staircase and get immersed in 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. With tours on selected dates throughout September and October, you’ll also have the chance to tuck into a delightful seasonal buffet at the estate’s Coach House Tea Rooms.

Beamish Open Air Museum

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. Be transported back in time to discover how families lived in the build-up to the First World War in the 1900s, or visit the Pits and the Colliery for a unique insight into working life. A recreated tramway, a 1940s farm, an Edwardian style railway station and 1820s Pockerley are among the other star attractions.

27 Mar 2020(last updated)