Discover Downton Abbey, Literature & Landscapes at Highclere Castle
Exclusive Castle & Gardens small group tour. Learn behind the scenes stories from Downton Abbey, and also of the influence Highclere Castle had on American author Henry James and "England's greatest gardener" Capability Brown.
Available every day from Monday 15th May to Sunday 21st May 2017. At Highclere Castle the tour has been designed to allow a limited number of people access to the Castle and Gardens outside of the regular public opening time, with drinks/light refreshments provided.
This is a truly unique opportunity for any Downton Abbey, Henry James or Capability Brown fan to enjoy exclusive access to the Staterooms, Gardens and Grounds, accompanied by expert guides. Our Downton Abbey expert, and obsessive fan, will lead you through the day, with guides at Highclere Castle leading the Castle and Gardens tour. Firstly to Bampton in the beautiful Oxfordshire Cotswolds which doubles for Downton Village in the TV series, then onwards into Hampshire to Highclere Castle.
The day begins departing London and driving to the stunning Oxfordshire Cotswolds. The first stop is Downton village (Bampton) where you will get the chance to see St Michael's church, scene of weddings, funerals and at least one jilting! We can also see Churchgate House which was used as exterior shots for Isobel Crawley's home, the Cottage Hospital (Bampton library) which becomes the the source of many arguments in series 6, the village green, post office and Downton's two pubs, the Grantham Arms and the Dog and Duck. Entry is included to Bampton library.
After the village tour we drive south west from Oxfordshire to Hampshire, arriving at the Highclere Castle at 12:00. Here you can immerse yourself in the world of Downton Abbey with a visit to the great house itself, home of the Crawley family and the constant backdrop to this world famous television series.
In reality, of course, this is the majestic and stately Highclere Castle surrounded by a thousand acres of landscaped gardens designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown which feature many times in the show, from garden parties to hunting and horse riding.
This tour has been designed to coincide with the publication of Lady Carnarvon's new book, which explores Country House weekends at Highclere Castle in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The book details the extraordinary guests who stayed at Highclere, including Henry James. The day will include a guided tour of the Castle and grounds, together with a short lecture with light refreshments included in the price.
The tour of the Castle includes entry into the great house to see the rooms used in Downton Abbey. Climb the famous red stairs to the bedrooms and gallery, descend on the oak staircase to the library, dining room and entrance hall. Explore the rooms lived in by "his Lordship" Robert and his family and see where they sit for dinner and subject themselves to the cutting, but wonderfully timed words of the Dowager, Violet Crawley.
We depart Highclere Castle at 16:30 for an estimated return time to London at 18:00/18:30pm.
Important note about cancellations - Due to the very limited availability of Highclere Castle tickets all bookings for this day trip are 100% non refundable.
- Travel by executive coach
- Expert, friendly guides
- Visit to Downton Village (Bampton) with entry to Bampton library (Downton Cottage hospital)
- Entry and tour of Highclere Castle and Gardens
- Lecture from Highclere Castle guides, with drinks/light refreshments provided
- Maximum group size 18 people
Departure point – London
07:20am - Great Russell Street, outside British Museum. WC1B 3DG
07:30am - Great Portland Street tube, outside International Student House, London W1W 5PN
07:40am - Outside Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch. W1C 1LZ
08:00am - Outside Premier Inn, Knaresborough Place, Earls Court. SW5 0TJ
07.30AM Outside Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch (MAP)
07.45AM Outside Ashburn Hotel, 111 Cromwell Road, Kensington (close to Gloucester Road Tube Station), London (MAP)
Return to London
On the return to London your driver will drop you at Victoria Train Station in the city centre. This is one of the largest transport stations in London, with excellent connections to all parts of London and beyond.