Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle


Many ask if the Downton Abbey Castle is real, and where where it was filmed, and we have the answer! Downton Abbey was filmed at Highclere Castle. From the Countess to the Ladies Maid: discover their lifestyle with the behind the scenes tour of the real Downton Abbey.

We love sharing the beauty of the castle interior and the splendour of the grounds of Highclere Castle. Experience the upstairs and downstairs of Downton Abbey with a private tour of the stunning Highclere Castle found along the border of Berkshire and Hampshire, England.

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Visit Highclere Castle

Car journey time from London:

  • 1hr 45mins - 67 miles / 108 km

Recommended accommodation:

  • Heckfield Place
  • Cliveden House
  • Four Seasons Hampshire

Other History and Culture experiences:

View our suggested itinerary:

The 3 Days of Leisure and Relaxation Experience

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HIGHCLERE CASTLE

Highclere Castle, built in 1679, is a Grade I listed country house. In the 1840's it was largely renovated, with a park designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century. The 5000 acre estate is in Hampshire, England, about 5 miles (8 km) south of Newbury, Berkshire, and 9.5 miles (15 km) north of Andover, Hampshire. It is the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon, a branch of the Anglo-Welsh Herbert family.

Highclere Castle has been used as a filming location for several films and television series, including 1990's comedy series Jeeves and Wooster, and achieved international fame as the main location for the historical drama series Downton Abbey (2010–15) and the 2019 film based on it.

At the beginning of the first world war, Highclere Castle became a hospital for those wounded in the war. Lady Carnarvon helped with the organisation and assisted as a nurse.

The castle also became home to Egyptian artefacts after the 5th Earl, an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist, sponsored the excavation of nobles' tombs in Deir el-Bahari (Thebes) in 1907 and employed archaeologist Howard Carter in the search for the tomb of Tutankhamun.

During World War II the castle provided a home for dozens of evacuee children. The estate was also the location of several crashes of allied aircraft, including a B-17 Flying Fortress parts of which are now in the possession of Highclere.

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DOWNTON ABBEY AT HIGHCLERE CASTLE

Highclere Castle is home to the eponymous Downton Abbey, home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and their family since 1679. Highclere is undoubtedly one of England's most beautiful castles set amid spectacular parkland.

The current castle was largely rebuild in the mid 19th century by Sir Charles Barry, the architect who redesigned the Houses of Parliament. The majestic Victorian gothic edifice, standing in grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, is a testament to Britain’s pride and self-confidence of the time.

The Castle’s history also includes a fascinating connection with ancient Egypt, as the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings in 1922. The Castle houses an exhibition to commemorate this historic event, including some rare antiques from the 5th Earl’s earlier Egyptian excavations. A visit to the Egyptian Exhibition accompanied by one of Highclere’s tour guides can be combined with a tour of the state rooms of the Castle including remarkable works of art, paintings and furniture with fascinating historical links.

Immerse yourself in the glamour, the emotion and the beauty of Downton Abbey as you follow in the footsteps of the Crawley family and their servants.

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DOWNTON ABBEY AT HIGHCLERE

Since becoming one of the stars of Downton Abbey, the Castle has become very popular. All of our guests who have visited Highclere Castle have been thrilled by its magnificence and are delighted with the splendeur within the stone walls.

We are delighted to be able to offer you a private or public guided tour where you can experience the beautiful State Rooms, Castle Bedrooms and Egyptian Exhibition. Your expert guide will have exceptional knowledge of the building, artwork and furniture with plenty of anecdotes. Spend a day unravelling the secrets the Castle holds and behind-the-scenes of the Downton Abbey filming location.

After the tour, we can arrange a private lunch in the formal dining room, a fabulous afternoon tea or lunch at a traditional country pub just down the road.

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OTHER DOWNTON ABBEY LOCATIONS

COGGES MANOR
This beautiful, well-preserved 13th century manor house is situated on the banks of the River Windrush and was featured in the fourth Downton Abbey series. Beginning with the fifth series, the farm became home to the secret love child of Lady Edith. In the sixth series, Mr. Mason moved in with the aid of Daisy.

Enjoy a tea/coffee break on your arrival at the farm’s refurbished rustic Cow Shed Café and then take a tour and learn of the encounters between the tenant farmers and the landowners, featured in the TV series.

Experience a private tour of the grounds featured within Downton Abbey by the Director of Cogges Heritage Trust, who was present throughout the filming of Downton Abbey. You will be able to experience how this magnificent manor house was transformed into the ‘Yew Tree Fam Manor’ featured in the series.

BAMPTON
Your next destination is Bampton, where many of the locations of Downton Village can be found. Here your guide will take you to some of the most iconic places from the show. You will see St. Mary’s Church, the setting for many christenings, funerals, weddings, and not to forget the jilting of Lady Edith at the altar.

You’ll also be brought to Churchgate House, recognisable as the residence of Isobel and Matthew Crawley.

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Countryside Guide


Testimonials before

A job well done! I hope this message brings a smile to your face in knowing your efforts and care had an amazing impact on making lasting memories of our English experience in the country.

A Kleber

We had a truly amazing experience! Every detail was attended to and the whole adventure was complete perfection. Much thanks to you for dealing with all of our schedule changes and moving parts.

C Beck

Thank you so much for organising such a splendid and successful day on Friday last, we and all our guests so much enjoyed the day and experience.

D Marcuse

I would recommend you to anyone, your service cannot be faulted

Ian Clout

Everything was splendid. We very much appreciate your fast action in setting up the day. Could not have enjoyed ourselves more thanks to you.

J Cunningham