If you are a fan of the award-winning historical drama Downton Abbey, you will definitely enjoy taking a look at these filming locations.
Highclere Castle, Hampshire, England
The majority of the show is filmed in this castle and it definitely has a very strong first impression. It is a perfect fit for a glamorous period drama like Downton Abbey. It is surrounded by 1,000 acres of parkland and it has been home to the family of Earl and Countess of Carnarvon since 1679. However, the roots of the property go 1300 years back when a house in the area belonged to the Bishops of Winchester.
The author of the series, Julian Fellowes, was actually thinking about Highclere as he was writing Downton Abbey and thankfully, he is a long-time family friend of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon.
If you want to feel like you are a part of the world the series takes place in, the castle is the perfect place. You can peacefully sip your tea, walk around the gardens and park fabulously designed by Capability Brown and enjoy the magnificent interiors which you have seen all throughout the series. However, it is a popular visiting place; so in order to avoid any complications, you should get your tickets as soon as you can. Another thing you should keep in mind is that you can visit the castle only during the summer months, so you may want to plan ahead of time and free yourself some time during those months.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
During the most recent episodes of the series, Alnwick has been used as the Brancaster Castle. The famous library where Lady Mary and Henry Talbot were dancing in the 2014 Christmas special is actually a part of the Alnwick Castle. In this castle, Lord Sinderby, who is Rose’s father-in-law, invites the family to a grouse shooting party, but certain events occur.
There is also a Downton Abbey exhibition where you can see some of the props and costumes that appeared in the series.
Lady Sybil and Branson’s love nest:
Swinbrook, Oxfordshire, England
The north side of Highclere is called The Cotswolds and it is stated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In the second season, this area was used as the place where Lady Sybil eloped with her chauffeur, Branson. The couple decided to go to Swinbrook in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds and the crew filmed in Swan Inn which is a boutique pub that created a heavenly environment.
Village of Downton:
Bampton, Oxfordshire, England
A lot of the outside sequences of Downton Village and Crawley House were filmed in the idyllic village of Bampton which is also located in Cotswolds. You will spot many familiar places like the church, post office, and pubs which are transformed from local residents’ homes. For example, Bampton Community Archive is just next to the post office and it appeared as the hospital in Downton. You can get tons of merch from the drama like maps of the town and gift mugs.
You can visit Bampton Coffee House to drink an English cream tea or stop off at Biztro to get an exclusive yet contemporary lunch.
Bates’ prison cell:
Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire, England
In the third season, we see John Bates in a prison in York where he is convicted of murder. Actually, this prison is Lincoln Castle which is located in the south of York.
Downton Abbey features many historic locations but Lincoln Castle is the oldest one of them. Lincoln Magna Carta which is a 1215 document and Charter of the Forest which was written in 1217 in order to keep England’s forests from being claimed by the aristocracy are both displayed in the castle.
Lady Rose’s tea dances:
Hoxton Hall, London, England
During episode two when Lady Rose put her hair down to go to a servant's tea dance, the location of the set was this east London Victorian music hall. A lot of modern music, theatre, and more are being showcased within the old gospel church, air-raid shelter, and art gallery of the Hoxton Hall which is now a lively performance space.
Picnicking in the park:
Kensington Gardens, London, England
You may remember this garden as the park near the Albert Memorial where Madeleine, Martha Levinson, William Allsopp, Violet, and Cora’s brother Harold had a jolly picnic in the 2013 Christmas Special of Downton Abbey. Queen Victoria decided to build the golden gothic structure in memory of her beloved husband Prince Albert who died in 1861. The construction process took 10 years.
You can even recreate the whole scene by getting lunch from a deli or café in nearby Notting Hill. After that, you may want to keep walking the garden to see an ornamental water garden which is 150 years old.
Visitors were once not allowed in the glorious gardens as it was the private land of Kensington Palace which used to be home to Princes Harry and William but now you can visit it all you want. Especially if you want to visit with your children, you should go to Diana Memorial Playground where they can freely explore the huge wooden pirate ship.
Crying over Christmas pudding:
Inveraray Castle, Argyll and Bute, Scotland
If you liked the Duneagle Castle where Crawley went for an eventful weekend with Rose and her feuding parents in the 2012 Christmas special, you may want to visit the Inveraray Castle where the episode was filmed. You can see the State Dining Room in which a great supper was held in the episode.
The castle belongs to the Duke of Argyll and his family, and it will definitely make for a great day for you. There are many things that will leave you amazed like paintings of the interior, the opulent tapestries, and 16 acres of various natural beauties.
Down on the farm:
Cogges Manor Farm, Oxfordshire, England
This farm which is run by a family definitely has a charm for itself. In the fifth season, this farm was known as Yew Tree Farm and it was home to Mr. Drewe’s family who adopted Lady Edith's child, Marigold.
You can take a Downton-themed tour in the Cogges manor house and its surroundings. You can feed the farmyard animals like the pygmy goats, Shetland ponies, and 3 guinea pigs. However, if you’d rather fill your own belly, you can buy yourself delicious sandwiches, soups, and home baked cakes.