- Available April to October on dates when Highclere Castle open to the public - Fully refundable and amendable up until 14 days before travel
Take a behind-the-scenes peek into one of TV’s most successful shows on this ‘Downton Abbey’ filming locations tour from London. Delve into the pretty Cotswolds countryside with your guide, and visit Cogges Manor Farm and Highclere Castle – aka Yew Tree Farm and Downton Abbey. Discover sites of interest including Mrs. Crawley's house, Mrs. Patmore’s bed and breakfast, and The Grantham Arms pub. Reach corners of the Cotswolds the big tour buses can’t access, and enjoy a personalised experience on this small-group tour – limited to 18 people.
Explore ‘Downton Abbey’ filming locations throughout the Cotswolds and Hampshire, from London
Visit Cogges Manor Farm and Highclere Castle, more famously known as Yew Tree Farm and Downton Abbey
See countryside locations where key scenes from the TV series were filmed
Reach hidden Cotswolds filming sites that the big tour coaches can’t reach
Enjoy a personalised experience on this small-group tour, limited to 18 people
Spin into the beautiful Cotswolds countryside to visit some of the filming sites of ‘Downton Abbey’. Your first stop is Cogges Manor Farm, beautifully located on the banks of the River Windrush. Here, learn of the farm’s role in Downton Abbey as Yew Tree Farm — where Lady Edith's daughter Marigold was raised by the Drewe family. Visit the kitchens and Mr. Drewe’s living room, see the farmyard where many scenes were filmed, and watch a unique and special video about the farm's role in the popular television series.
After a coffee break, continue on to the delightful village of Shilton, famous for its shallow ford and used in series two to double as the village of Swinbrook. It was here that Lady Sybil and Tom Branson spent the night on their aborted elopement.
Head onwards to Bampton to see St Mary's Church — the scene of so many weddings, a funeral or two, and even a jilting! During your guided walk, take in sites of interest including the cottage hospital, Mrs. Crawley's house, the village green, the post office, Mrs. Patmore’s bed and breakfast, and The Grantham Arms pub.
Next, make your way southwards from the Cotswolds to the chalk down land of Hampshire, home to magnificent Highclere Castle — known to many as Lord Grantham's family seat, Downton Abbey itself. Head through grounds landscaped by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, and up the gravel drive to the grand front door. Lord and Lady Carnarvon have welcomed cast and crew here for the entire run of the show, and its subsequent film, and visitors can discover many familiar locations both inside and outside the house.
See where O’Brien tripped up Bates, where Kemal Pamuk’s body was moved, and the dining room where delicious dialogue was served up with decadent food. Visit Robert Crawley’s library and the various bedrooms, and walk down the grand staircase. Enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants here, before heading into the beautiful grounds. In the basement there is a special Egyptology exhibition, thanks to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and his excavations in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
We will spend around three hours in Highclere Castle and its grounds, before our small-group day trip ends and we begin the journey back to London.
This day trip is operated in partnership with Oxfordshire Cotswolds tourism. All destination images used have been provided by Oxfordshire Cotswolds. For further details of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds please go to http://www.oxfordshirecotswolds.org
Disclaimer: International Friends Downton Abbey day trips and tours are not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Carnival Films, NBC Universal or Julian Fellowes and his representatives.
Please note that Highclere Castle is a private residence, and as such reserve the right to close part or all of the Castle, Gardens or exhibition at short notice. As such, the itinerary for this tour is subject to change at any time.
International Friends would like to politely remind our guests to please bear in mind that although used as a filming location, Bampton is not a film set, and is home to many residents. Disrespectful behavior, such as taking photographs through front room windows, sitting on or causing damage to residential property, or causing any distress to the residents of Bampton will not be tolerated. Any guests found to behave in this way may be asked to leave the tour and make their way back to London at their own expense.
Please ensure you arrive at your allocated departure point at least 10 minutes before your departure time.
London departure points
Outside The British Museum main entrance on Great Russell Street (MAP). Nearest tube stations are Holborn or Tottenham Court Road.
Outside the Cumberland Hotel main entrance, Marble Arch (formerly the Hard Rock Hotel). (MAP) Nearest tube station is Marble Arch
97 Cromwell Road, SW7 4DN - Formerly Holiday Inn Kensington Forum - Please wait at Bus Stop GV on Cromwell Road (Ashburn Gardens Stop) (MAP) Nearest tube station is Gloucester Road
Please note that from 16th January 2024 this pick up will change to: Outside Gloucester Road Tube station, meet at the station exit. (MAP)
If you intend to travel to our central London meeting points by public transport, you can plan your journey in advance on the Transport for London website - click here
Arrive at Cogges Farm
Cogges Farm via Shilton & Swinbrook
London Victoria Station
Please note that all timings above are estimated and assuming normal traffic conditions. Due to the changeable nature of road conditions, we cannot guarantee a precise time when you will arrive back in 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.
Helpful Information about the day of your Tour
Downton Abbey Filming locations, Cotswolds and Highclere Castle
Are the meeting points easy to find?
YES! All are within short walking distances of tube and bus stops, and very easy access for taxis. We recommend you arrive at the meeting point 10 minutes before the departure time. Your International Friends day trip has been carefully planned to ensure maximum enjoyment, which sadly means we cannot delay our departure times to wait for latecomers. This would impact the day's itinerary and could mean we miss booked entry times at certain attractions. If you are running late please phone the emergency number and our team will help you. If you miss the departure for your tour, you are welcome to join the tour at the first scheduled stop. Any expenses incurred in doing so will be at your own expense. Refunds cannot be issued for passengers who miss their tours departure through lateness.
How will I identify the International Friends vehicle at the meeting point?
Depending on the number of people travelling on a particular day we use 8 or 16 seater executive vehicles. On arrival at the pick up location the guide/driver will announce themselves, will be holding a sign reading “International Friends” and will be aware of your names ready to welcome you on board.
How much time at each sightseeing stop?
Cogges Farm - Approximately 1 hour. As the original Downton Tour Company, Cogges Farm opens early for our customers giving us private access before they open to the public, therefore missing the queues and crowds!
Bampton - You will have approximately 30 minutes in Bampton where you will see the Church, the cottage hospital, the village green & the post office
Highclere Castle - We will spend around 3 hours exploring Lord Grantham's family seat, Downton Abbey itself. Time to visit the magnificent gardens, tea rooms and the Egyptology exhibition in the basement of the castle itself.
Are entries into the attractions included in my ticket price?
The day trip includes entry into Cogges Farm, Bampton Library & Highclere Castle.
Will we get to meet any of the cast of Downton Abbey?
We never say never! However it is very unlikely. Sadly when filming is taking place most of the locations are shut off to the general public. You will however be immersed in the history and story of the hit drama as your guide shows you many of the locations that as a fan of the series, we are sure you will recognise. We do ask all customers to please be mindful that places such as Bampton are not film sets. You will be visiting villages with peoples homes, please be respectful of their privacy.
How can I find out more information about the attractions we will see on this tour?
Unless specifically stated as part of the itinerary, our tours do not include food and drink. There will be opportunities to buy food whilst touring, and to maximise time spent sightseeing you are welcome to bring a packed lunch with you.
Can I bring food and drink onboard the vehicle?
There is to be NO Hot Food or Beverages (exception if hot beverage is in a sealed reusable thermal cup) on board the coaches due to the risk of scalds or burns and smells remaining on board the vehicle. Only Cold food & beverages with screw top lids are to be taken on board any vehicle. All litter must be taken from the vehicle and disposed of appropriately.
How much walking is involved in this tour?
Cogges Farm - Very short walks along pathed areas
Bampton - Approximately 200 - 250 yards between the Pub, Church and Post Office.
Highclere Castle - In the Castle itself there is very limited walking and some stairs. If you choose to explore the Gardens there will be 30-45 minutes walking involved.
How many people will be joining this tour?
This is one of our Small & Friendly day trips with maximum 18 people.
Do we need to tip staff?
Tips are entirely at the customer’s discretion and in no way expected. Should you feel inclined to tip, your driver or guide would be grateful, but you should not feel obliged. A 10% tip is considered customary in the UK.
What time do we arrive back in London
We aim to arrive back in London at approximately 6:30pm. Please note that all timings above are estimated and assuming normal traffic conditions. 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.