Trip to Anywhere

Tour Downton Abbey and the Edwardian World

Posted on 09/23/2019

Julian Fellowes focused on Highclere Castle as he wrote Downton Abbey. He wanted a house that served as a symbol of the confidence of the Edwardian period, and loved the dramatic effect the long drive created as it twisted through sheep and rolling countryside, to suddenly showcase a familiar tower.

It's beautiful. It's optimistic. It's dramatic and unmistakably Downton.

All eyes are on Highclere Castle as the Downton Abbey film hits theaters this fall and loyal fans are searching for ways to immerse themselves in everything Edwardian.

Did you know you can get up close and personal with the real Downton Abbey, as well as the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire, by joining a Downton Abbey-themed tour across the pond?

Here's a sample itinerary of a five-day tour of Downton Abbey and the Edwardian World.

Day 1 LONDON

Private transfers depart London Heathrow. At 1PM at your hotel, join fellow fans of Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Dan Stevens on a panoramic tour of London. Follow in the footsteps of the Downton Abbey characters and some of the filming locations in London. Grantham House is the London residence of the Crawley family, and they very nearly lost it when Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham lost most of his wealth in a family investment which went sadly wrong – but he never had to sell once his heir received a large fortune.

We won’t give too much away, but among the highlights you will get to see the London home of smooth-talking Michael Gregson, and a stroll inside a famous London park will reveal the location where Lady Mary and Lord Gillingham had a blazing row.

Doctor Thompson’s ‘underground’ clinic is in London, where illegal abortions are carried out, and it is located in a London town house – and your knowledgeable Guide and Downton Abbey expert will have plenty of surprises for you.

Day 2 BASILDON PARK

Featured in the special Lady Rose wedding episode. Basildon Park provides the interior for Grantham House, the family’s London residence and was the grand setting for the preparation for Lady Rose’s coming out ball and Rose and Atticus’s wedding. It was also used film Pride & Prejudice as a location for the movie Marie-Antoinette and as Lord and Lady Radley's house in the film Dorian Gray

Day 3 DAY FREE IN LONDON

You'll have a hop on hop off tour to explore other areas of London, and enjoy a Thames cruise.

Day 4 HIGHCLERE CASTLE & VILLAGE

The fictional Downton Abbey is located in Yorkshire (northern England) but the show is actually filmed at Highclere Castle, located some 70 miles west of central London in picturesque Hampshire, and is owned and inhabited by the real life Earl and Countess Carnavron. Highclere Castle is one of England's most beautiful Victorian Castles set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland.

Depart London and drive away from the city to the delightful Oxfordshire Cotswolds to see key filming sites of Downton Abbey. We head over to the charming Oxfordshire hills and go in search of familiar sites from the hit TV series. Our first stop is Cogges Manor Farm with its collection of friendly animals beautifully located on the banks of the River Windrush. We will learn of its role in Downton Abbey as Yew Tree Farm where Lady Edith's daughter Marigold was raised by the Drewe family. Visit the kitchens, see the farmyard and watch a special presentation video about the farm's role in the television series.

After a coffee break we will continue to explore the region, stopping in delightful Shilton with its shallow ford, used in Series two and the village of Swinbrook where Lady Sybil and Tom Branson spent the night on their aborted elopement. Onwards to Bampton to see St Mary's church scene of so many weddings, a funeral or two and a jilting when it was transformed into St Michael's in Downton Abbey. See the Cottage Hospital and Mrs Crawley's house during the guided walk, visit the village green, post office and The Grantham Arms pub.

We then make our journey southwards from the Cotswolds to the chalk down land of Hampshire to visit the magnificent Highclere Castle. This will be known to many as Lord Grantham's family seat, Downton Abbey itself. We head through the landscaped grounds by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and up the gravel drive to the door. Lord and Lady Carnarvon have welcomed cast and crew here for the entire run of the show and one can come across so many familiar locations both in and outside of the house. See where O'Brien tripped up Bates, where Kemal Pamuk's body was moved, the dining room, where delicious dialogue is served up along with the food. Visit Robert Crawley's library and the various bedrooms and walk down the grand staircase. Enjoy lunch in one of the restaurants here and then explore the beautiful grounds. In the basement area there is another treat in store. Almost a hundred years ago the 5th Earl of Carnarvon spent many years in Egypt and along with Howard Carter helped locate the tomb of Tutankhamun. Enjoy a visit to the Egyptology museum as part of your visit.

In many ways Highclere Castle epitomized the confidence and glamor of the Edwardian period in the first few years of the twentieth century. Visitor books record the house parties full of politicians, technological innovators, Egyptologists, aviators and soldiers. During the First World War, Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, transformed the Castle into a hospital, and patients began to arrive from Flanders in September 1914. She became an adept nurse and a skilled healer and hundreds of letters from patients and their families bear testament to her untiring work and spirit of generosity.

Go behind the scenes of the show and of real life in a great house at the beginning of the 20th century. The grounds and several rooms of Highclere Castle are featured throughout Downton Abbey. The salon, library, dining room and entrance hall are seen frequently. The servants' living areas were constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios.

Day 5 HOMEWARD FROM LONDON

You depart for home, with memories of many new-found friends. Transfer included.

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Arrival and departure Heathrow airport transfers.
  • Private car & motorcoach transportation with the services of a driver/guide (1 person).
  • Hop on hop off tour with Thames cruise.
  • Hotel accommodation with private bath.
    Your 4 star hotels or similar
  • London - Doubletree by Hilton Victoria or similar
  • Full breakfast daily
  • Admission charges and entrance fees, including: Basildon Park, Visit to Yew Tree Farm (Cogges) and Downton Village (Bampton), Entry and tour of Highclere Castle and Gardens
  • Scenic drives countryside villages
  • All taxes and service charges.

Contact Destinations today for a quote and tour availability!

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