Downton Abbey filming locations including Highclere Castle!

Media journalists with Lady Carnarvon

Lady Carnarvon (center) and media guests in front of the Van Dyke painting of George I on horseback as seen on Downton Abbey.

After six popular seasons of the Downton Abbey TV series, which was enjoyed in more than 100 countries around the world, the decision was made to film a big screen movie.

VisitBritain, which offers a large selection of tours for visitors to England, including filming locations for the Harry Potter movies and Game of Thrones, to name just a few, offered us the chance to see where Downton Abbey — both the TV series and the movie — were filmed.

If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you know that Highclere Castle, located in Hampshire on 5,000 acres, stands in as the castle where the Crawley family lives. The current Earl and Countess of Carnarvon live at the castle and offer a number of experiences for fans of the show, including a tour of the rooms that were used in Downton Abbey, Afternoon Tea, a variety of Christmas tours, an Egyptian Exhibit, Tours of the Gardens, and more.

Lady Carnarvon in the gift shop

Lady Carnarvon in the gift shop. Photo: Alexandra Heilbron

We were invited to enjoy a talk by the Countess, a.k.a. Lady Fiona, about the architecture of Highclere Castle in the saloon, followed by a tour of the rooms located on the main floor, such as the library, dining room, and drawing room, as well as the second floor bedrooms. That was followed by afternoon tea with the Countess and a trip to the gift shop, where the books the Countess has written about the history of Highclere Castle are available, in addition to many other items — so many we had a hard time choosing what we could pack in our suitcases for the return trip!

Later that night, we returned for an evening cabaret, followed by coffee, tea and chocolates in the dining room with the Earl and Countess, as well as their son Edward Herbert, who took a photo of us with the Countess (above) in front of the famous Van Dyke painting of Charles I on horseback that’s visible in many Downton Abbey episodes. Upcoming events include a Charles Dickens evening.

We also visited the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire, which stands in as the village of Downton Abbey, including the church (used both for interiors and exteriors), the cottage hospital (exterior only) and Isobel Crawley’s house (exterior only). Also in Oxfordshire you’ll find Coggs Manor Farm, which was featured in many episodes as Yew Tree Farm.

The series is extremely popular, with busloads of people arriving regularly at each location to see where the show and movie were filmed. Click here to see our Downton Abbey filming locations photo gallery.

Our tour also included filming locations for the hit movie Yesterday plus a tour of popular Beatles‘ spots in Liverpool and London, and filming locations for the hit Netflix series The Crown, which will air its third season on the streaming service beginning in November.

Many thanks to VisitBritain for this amazing tour — for more on Downton Abbey filming locations through Britain’s official tourism website, click here. ~Alexandra Heilbron

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Patricia Wright • September 18, 2019 @ 3:45 PM

    I loved Afternoon Tea times when I was a little girl. My Grandma gave me a delicate, beautiful miniature porcelain tea set for my dolls & me. She taught me how to pour, stir/sip the tea, remove spoon from cup, not clink the cup & saucer, use of napkin & always be a gracious hostess. We would place tablecloths/runners out with with cloth napkins and fresh flowers; play soft music for ambiance we made sandwiches/snacks on doilies for brunch/lunch, chat & enjoy each others company whenever we could. My only daughter & I share the same passion for teas; scones, jams, petit fours, macaroons, appetizers,etc. We’re planning to see Downton Abbey on Friday. I miss my Grandmother. She reminds me of “Granny” on Downton Abbey t and that’s what her loving grandchildren affectionately called her & still do even now. I didn’t realize then what significant values she instilled in me at the time;
    manners/social graces. CHEERS TO A LOVING SMART GRACEFUL LADY-WISH I STILL HAD THAT TEA SET GRANNY!

  2. VIRGINIA PADGETT JENKINS • September 19, 2019 @ 10:57 AM

    DOWNTON ABBEY , THE LUXURY LIFE OF THE ENGLISH IS A LESSON ON BEING WITH REFINED GRACEFUL LIVING TO VALUE AND APPRECIATE THE BEST LIFE WITH COMFORTS AND MANNERS OF HOW TO BE PROPER WITH RULES , REGULATION , AND HOMEMAKING, HOUSEKEEPING WITH UPSCALE LIVING A GREAT INFLUENCE GUIDE TO BETTER HOMEMAKING SKILLS . LUXURY LIVING GUIDE, DOWNTON ABBEY .

  3. Shelley • September 19, 2019 @ 8:12 PM

    What an amazing experience. I definitely have this on my wish list of places to visit, I’m hoping to go next summer, and maybe they’ll already be filming the next movie there by then!

  4. Frances • October 19, 2019 @ 11:51 AM

    Absolutely fantastic. Afternoon tea with the Countess in the castle where Downton Abbey was filmed, it would be like a dream come true! I’m trying to get together a group of friends to go to England next August and that’s going to be one stop for sure, I’m hoping to spend several days there so I can see not only the castle but go for walks on the gorgeous grounds.

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