Coach trips to Highclere Castle including admission and hotel stay
When: Spring - Summer 2024
Where: Highclere Castle, Berkshire, RG20 9RN
You can't fail to notice that filming location tours to the home of 'Downton Abbey', Highclere Castle, are so incredibly popular that tickets to go inside this beautiful building are like gold dust! Due to the huge success of the television drama series, visitors from across the world are descending upon Berkshire in order to walk in the footsteps of the fictional 'Crawley Family'.
Highclere Castle is a 19th century architectural beauty set in almost 1,000 acres of parkland near Newbury. The 200-300 room (no one has bothered to count them) remains the part-time residence of the real-life Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The creator of 'Downton Abbey' and long-standing friend of the Carnarvon Family, Julian Fellowes, modelled the fictional Grantham estate on Highclere after visiting the property on numerous occasions.
Before the popularity of 'Downton Abbey', Highclere Castle was struggling with crumbling turrets and damp leaving at least 50 of the rooms uninhabitable. 'Downton Abbey' fans have helped to turn the Castle's fortunes around with around 1,200 visitors passing through its doors during its summer openings.
When visiting Highclere Castle, visitors will have the opportunity to access both the Castle, gardens and Egyptian Exhibition. You can glide like 'Lady Grantham' down the stunning grand oak staircase and stroll around some of the beautiful chambers. Don't forget to take a peek inside the bedroom of 'Lady Mary' where the Turkish diplomat 'Kemal Pamuk' suffered a suspicious demise in an early episode of 'Downton Abbey'.
Even though you are unable to see the servants quarters as featured in 'Downton Abbey', you will be able to go into the cellars which is now home to the magnificent Egyptian Exhibition which features many artefacts from the personal collection of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon after his visits to Egypt with his archaeological colleague Howard Carter and their epic discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.
Day trips to Highclere Castle start from £70 per person. Tours start from only £199 per person and each 'Downton Abbey' filming location tour package includes: return coach travel, overnight accommodation in a quality hotel, hotel-to-venue transfers plus ticket to the event.
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What you need to know about your visit to Highclere Castle
What do I wear?
As always, the British weather can be extremely temperamental so it is definitely worth taking a peek at the weather forecasts before you travel. Comfortable shoes as there will be a fair amount of walking involved especially in the grounds. A jumper, coat and brolly might be useful too!
What to take with you?
A camera so you can take photos of the grounds and exterior of the Castle. A jumper or coat in case it is chilly when you visit. A brolly is an essential item too! A small picnic as the food on sale can be quite expensive.
Is there a guided tour?
Unfortunately not, however, there are guides in each of the rooms who will happily answer questions should you have any. It might be worthwhile purchasing a guide book so you can find out more about Highclere Castle, it’s history & connections with Egypt.
Are there any catering facilities?
The Tearooms are open from 10am to 5pm for morning coffee or afternoon tea. Light lunches are served from noon until 2pm.
Can I take photos?
You are not allowed to take photographs when inside the Castle but you can take pictures of the grounds as long as they are for personal use only.
Can I bring the children?
Yes but the Castle is not really suitable for them so they may get a little bored. Pushchairs are not permitted in the Castle. However, if there is space at the Front Hall, you can leave them here but they are left at the owners risk.
The Egyptian Exhibition, is it worth a look?
Yes if you wish to discover Highclere Castle’s links with Egypt. The 5th Earl of Caernarvon worked alongside Howard Carter & is famous for discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun. He bought back with him, many artefacts from his visit there & created one of the most extraordinary collections in the world. You’ll see faces, figures, beautiful crafted jars and a coffin of a noble woman from 3,500 years ago!
What should I look for when visiting?
You can walk up and down the spectacular staircases and see the state rooms, including the leather-walled saloon and massive library where most of the memorable scenes of ‘Downton Abbey’ have been filmed. Some of the bedrooms are also available to view.
What will I not be able to see?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to see the servants quarters or kitchen that feature in ‘Downton Abbey’, this is because these scenes are filmed at Ealing Studios in London. Highclere Castle is also a private family home so do expect some areas to be restricted to the public.
When is the best time to visit?
Highclere Castle is closed until Easter then open on limited days through June and on Sunday through to Thursday from July to mid-September.
What if I am in a wheelchair?
There is accessibility in most areas of the Castle however please note that it is an historic building and there is no lift available. If you cannot get to the first floor, there is a photo album of pictures of the bedrooms for you to look at. There are a limited number of manual wheelchairs available for hire.
Can I bring my motorised scooter?
Unfortunately, these are not allowed when in the Castle. However you can use them along the pathways around the lawns of the grounds.
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Address: Highclere Park Newbury, West Berkshire RG20 9RN
How to get there: All coach packages will include transfers directly to the venue. If you are travelling by car the castle is easily accessible by taking the A34 just off the M4. The nearest train station is Newbury however it is not advised to walk (2 hours) so you would need to book a taxi.