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Highclere Castle in Berkshire (South East England) is the real castle that plays the role of Downton Abbey. Set in 1,000 acres of parkland, this Victorian manor is home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived on the site since 1679. Downton Abbey author, Julian Fellowes is a longstanding family friend and had Highclere in mind while penning the series.
Britain’s favourite period drama, Downton Abbey has been taking the world by storm of late, so get your top hats and teacups at the ready, and prepare to get a taste of Edwardian-era England.
Downton Abbey: Winner of best mini-series at the 2012 Golden Globes, Downton Abbey is the most successful British period drama since Brideshead Revisited, with ratings exceeding 10 million viewers
Highclere Castle is one of England’s most beautiful Victorian Castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland
The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current Castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years Visitors follow a route through the Castle though rooms with guides in each State room happy to share anecdotes and information. Visitors can then go up the Red Stairs to view some of the Bedrooms and the Gallery before walking down the Oak staircase to the Saloon in the heart of the Castle. As well as the castle, the extensive grounds are rewarding to explore
Make a trip in 2014 when the castle is open to visitors and experience Downton life first hand: sip tea at the café, stroll the gardens and admire the sumptuous rooms, many of which are used during filming. Buy tickets and book tours in advance to avoid disappointment.
View our Downton Abbey Tours from London and book early!
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