Highclere Castle, near Newbury, on the Berkshire-Hampshire border, is 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 testaments to Britain pride and self-confidence of the time.
The Castle’s history also includes a fascinating connection with ancient Egypt, as the 5th Earl, with 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 of 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.
All of our guests who have visited Highclere Castle have been thrilled by its magnificence and splendour, and delighted with the feeling of intimacy. Since becoming one of the stars of Downton Abbey, the castle is has become very popular.
We are delighted to be able to offer you a private or public tour where you can experience a guided tour of 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.
After the tour, we can arrange a private lunch in the formal dining room or a fabulous afternoon tea or lunch at a traditional country pub.
Please Note: Due to the release of the new Downton Abbey film and the festive season approaching, the castle is very busy and I’m afraid there is no public opening availability for the remainder of the year.
Travel time from Central London to Highclere Castle is 1hour 45minutes but may vary dependant on traffic.