- Special offer: Book now for 2021 at 2020 prices! - Fully refundable and amendable up until 28 days before travel
Booking a private small group tour with International Friends gives you flexibility to visit your destinations at your own pace, with the added support of expert advice and guidance. Book a private day trip and take advantage of the following inclusions:
Exclusive use of an executive touring vehicle for 9 - 10 hours
Expert staff on hand to help plan your itinerary & ensure you make the most of your day
Door to door service. We collect from all London & Heathrow addresses, other pick ups available on request.
Optional service of an expert guide to accompany you for the day
All vehicles deep cleaned daily. Hand sanitisers and face masks available in all vehicles
Flexible booking guarantee
This private Downton Abbey day trip is an absolute must for all Downton Abbey fans! Begin the day with collection from your London or Heathrow address. We can collect from your hotel lobby, air bnb, airport arrival terminal, train station, guest house or private address.
Your day trip from London begins with a journey to the charming Oxfordshire Cotswolds hills, to visit some of the most familiar sites from the hit TV series and recent movie. Your first stop of the day is Cogges Manor Farm, known 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, and see the farmyard with its collection of friendly animals, where many scenes were filmed.
The next stop on your private day trip is delightful Shilton with its shallow ford, used in Series Two where Bates found employment, followed by the village of Swinbrook where Lady Sybil and Tom Branson spent the night on their aborted elopement. From here your journey continues to Bampton where you will see St Mary's church, transformed into St Michael's in Downton Abbey, the Cottage Hospital and Mrs Crawley's house, Mrs Patmore’s Bed and Breakfast and The Grantham Arms pub.
Your driver will then continue south, toward Hampshire. Here lies to the magnificent Highclere Castle*, Downton Abbey itself! Lord and Lady Carnarvon have welcomed cast and crew here for the entire run of the show, so many of the locations in the house and grounds will be familiar to Downton Abbey fans. See the dining room, Robert Crawley’s library, various bedrooms, and walk down the grand staircase. Enjoy lunch in the tea room or cafe, and explore 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.
*Please note that Highclere Castle is open select dates in April & May, and Sunday through Thursday from July - September. If Highclere Castle is not open on your preferred day, we would recommend swapping Highclere Castle for a visit to Blenheim Palace. Our office will discuss this with you and advise should this be the case.
We have three services, tailored to cater to a range of budgets. The services below do not include entries or meals, but we are of course very happy to help with this - should you wish to include entry tickets or meal bookings please see our FAQs tab.
An experienced driver who is familiar with our touring routes, but does not guide. Should you book this service, you will visit Cogges Manor Farm, Bampton & Highclere Castle independently.
An experienced driver who can guide from the vehicle. Please note guiding is not permitted inside Highclere Castle, but there are staff members available in the Castle who are able to answer questions.
Driver with guide
Our most popular option. An experienced driver and a separate professional guide who can guide from the vehicle and lead walking tours in destination. Please note guiding is not permitted inside Highclere Castle, but there are staff members available in the Castle who are able to answer questions.
Please bear in mind that when booking this service, you will need to allow a seat for the guide. For example, booking this service for 8-16 people will allow seats for a party of 15 passengers plus the guide.
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.
Prices from 1st April 2020:
Please note all prices include vehicle hire with driver, plus guide where applicable. Prices are based on one pick up and one drop off point. They do not include meals or attraction entries.
1-4 people in luxury car/MPV
5-7 people in luxury minivan
8-16 people in luxury minicoach
Driver with additional guide
Once we have received your booking, our expert staff will create a tailored itinerary based on your locations and pick up address. We may make suggestions and amendments to ensure you maximise your time spent touring. Occasionally additional fees may be applicable in order to accommodate all of your requests e.g where itineraries will require unusually early or late starts or finishes, or if additional pick ups and drop offs are required. If you do have any special requests we recommend you contact us before booking.
If you require additional services, such as meals or tourist attraction tickets, we will be very happy to help. We can offer unbeatable rates at tourist attractions, and work with a selection of amazing restaurants in stunning locations for meals. Details available on request.
Are entry to the attractions and meals included?
Attraction entries and meals are not included in the prices for private tours, however we are very happy to take care of your entry tickets should you require assistance with this. We offer unbeatable rates at tourist attractions, and work with a selection of amazing restaurants in stunning locations for meals. Tickets may be subject to a handling charge, details are available on request.
Alternatively, you can book your entry tickets directly with the attraction using the links below. We will of course advise which entry time to book once we have finalised your departure time.
Highclere Castle - please be aware that Highclere Castle do not allow guiding inside the premises. If you have booked a guide to accompany you for the day they will assist you with your entry, but will have to adhere to the attractions guiding policy once inside. There are staff members available in the Castle who are able to answer questions. 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.
Is this service only available from London or Heathrow?
The advertised prices are based on pick up and drop off from London or Heathrow. But we can also offer this service from selected locations outside London on request. Please email your enquiry to [email protected] for further details.
How much luggage can I bring?
When booking private tours where you will have luggage (e.g. starting or ending at a cruise terminal or airport), please ensure you check the below for information regarding vehicle luggage capacity.
Booking 1-4 people, the vehicle will accommodate up to 4 large cases and 4 small (carry on) cases
Booking 1-7 people, the vehicle will accommodate up to 8 large cases and 8 small (carry on) cases
Booking 8-16 people, the vehicle will accommodate up to 12 large cases and 12 small (carry on) cases
Large cases must have a maximum weight of 23kg per case, small cases a maximum 10kg per case.
Should you wish to bring any mobility aids (wheelchairs or walkers) you MUST contact us in advance to let us know. We will require full dimensions and weight. These items must be able to be folded and stored in the luggage hold. Wheelchairs must be counted as 1 item of your hold luggage.
Are there any time limitations?
All private tour prices are based on 9 - 10 hours. Our office staff are experts in being able to help you plan your route in advance, to help you get the most out of your day. On the day of your booking our experienced team of drivers and guides will also be able to help and advise you if they need to make time or route alterations depending on prevailing traffic conditions.
All British professional driver working hours are regulated by law in the interests of your safety. Our standard scheduled itineraries are compliant with the current regulations. If you feel you would like to arrange a more bespoke itinerary this will require detailed planning and preparation. In this situation we recommend you email us at [email protected]nternationalfriends.co.uk or call us on on 01223 244555 so we can discuss and help plan your perfect day out.