Where to visit in the English Countryside: Review of Downton Abbey the Movie

Where to visit in the English Countryside: Review of Downton Abbey the Movie

The Downton Abbey movie has been described as “delightful fun" by the BBC’s Caryn James. She goes on to say “The movie is so sumptuous and enticing... It fulfils the longing not just for a lost age, but for a television show brought back to life."

You may have heard that the Crawley family are graced with a visit from King George and Queen Mary, which sends the family upstairs and their faithful team downstairs into a flurry of activity and anticipation. No detail is overlooked and even the temperamental British weather doesn’t hinder the preparations…as befits a royal visit.

One of the features of Downton Abbey that really gets people talking is the fabulous group of characters, both upstairs and downstairs. We love their human frailties that make them a little more like us - the insecurities and desire to be loved applies to Lord Grantham as much as Daisy, the kitchen maid. Friendships are built and tested and romances blossom and wane but the family units remain at the core.

Surprisingly, the royalist versus republican discussions are not limited to below stairs and the new cast members add their own distinct flavour to the Downton Abbey story.

The role of women and their increasing ambitions in the workplace have been an ongoing theme throughout the series, notably with Edith at the helm of a publishing house and gaining a reputation as a highly competent publisher. The role of education is explored in the increase of employment opportunities for those who have always accepted their role "in service" and the concerns of some about the changing order in the world.

We are always guaranteed the starring role of Highclere Castle, adding the splendour and magnificence required of such a drama. From the scenes set in the plush red velvet of the library to the stunning grounds and imposing cedar trees, the Highclere setting is so wonderfully familiar that it’s quite easy to imagine yourself sipping champagne in the drawing room before enjoying a sumptuous dinner in the dining room.

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