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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 28 May, 2023
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Perhaps best known as the setting for the hugely popular drama series Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle sits amidst 1,000 acres of greenery and is a paragon of aristocratic heritage. This marvel of Victorian architecture boasts majestic staterooms complete with baroque ceilings, Italian embroideries and an exhibition of Egyptian antiquities.

The castle’s imposing beauty is best viewed from the glorious parkland that surrounds it, dotted with fruit-laden trees, exotic topiary and six 18th century follies.

Don’t miss 

In 1922, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon famously discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and uncovered one of the most extraordinary ancient Egyptian collections.

The current owner of Highclere, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, has created an exhibition at Highclere displaying the remaining fascinating antiquities that escaped sale to museums worldwide.

Logistics

Price from: £24
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 3 hours

Getting there & doing it

Highclere Castle lies in Hampshire, about 67 miles west of London. Trains from London Paddington to Newbury takes less than an hour, followed by a 15-minute taxi ride to the castle.

Booking in advance is recommended, although there are some ‘walk-in’ tickets available each day after 2pm. Tickets are divided into morning and afternoon sessions, granting entry according to the assigned 2.5-hour time frame.

You are free to wander unguided within this time slot, and informative stewards are on hand to answer questions. Admission tickets for the gardens have no time limit. There’s a café on-site, or take a picnic – there are picnic areas with views of the castle.

When to do it

Only open on specific days from July to September (with occasional other events throughout the year), generally Sundays to Thursdays but check the website for available dates.

Who to go with: organised tours

5

Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

Downton Abbey and Oxford Tour from London Including Highclere Castle

London

Downton Abbey and Oxford Tour from London Including Highclere Castle
See top filming locations from the award-winning ‘Downton Abbey’ television series on a full-day tour from London! After touring Oxford, enjoy a walking tour around Bampton Village, the setting used for filming outdoor scenes in the show. Then, head to Highclere Castle in Hampshire, home of the real Downton Abbey, for a tour. Offering a real insight into Edwardian England, the tour gives you all the insider gossip about popular characters from the much-loved period drama as well as stories of the real family who have owned the castle since its 17th-century heyday. This tour has limited availability and sells out fast, so book now to avoid disappointment!

Price: £165

Min age: 3

Rating 4.60 / 5 [588 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from London

London

Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from London
Take a journey back to the early nineteenth century on this fully guided small group tour from London that includes a tour of Downton Village and entry to Highclere Castle.

Price: £175

Min age: 16

Rating 4.68 / 5 [234 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Small-Group 'Downton Abbey' and Highclere Castle Tour from London

London

Small-Group 'Downton Abbey' and Highclere Castle Tour from London
Visit Highclere Castle, the Cotswolds village of Bampton and other sites on a full-day 'Downton Abbey' tour from London! After traveling to Oxfordshire with an expert guide, knowledgeable about the hit British TV series, visit a farm near the village of Cogges, and then continue to Bampton — the setting of Downton village. See the church and the popular Grantham Arms pub, and then spend the afternoon at Highclere Castle aka the Grantham family home. Tour the state rooms and gardens and learn all about the real-life Carnarvon family who own the estate. Numbers are limited to 18 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention from a guide.

Price: £199

Min age: 3

Rating 4.74 / 5 [182 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Downton Abbey and Highclere Castle Tour from London

London

Downton Abbey and Highclere Castle Tour from London
Explore Highclere Castle, the Cotswolds village of Bampton and other sites made famous by the hit British TV series 'Downton Abbey' on this full-day tour from London. With an expert guide, travel to Oxfordshire where much of the show was filmed. Visit Cogges Manor Farm and Bampton, the setting of Downton village. Get up close to the Grantham Arms pub and the church where Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley were wed. Then, tour the state rooms and gardens at Highclere Castle, the grand country estate otherwise known as the Grantham family home.

Price: £169

Min age: 3

Rating 4.56 / 5 [85 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Downton Abbey and Village Tour from London by Mini Coach

London

Downton Abbey and Village Tour from London by Mini Coach
Enjoy a day trip into the world of Downton Abbey on a 9-hour coach tour from London. The tour features behind the scenes information, scenes from the show itself played on the bus as you head out of London. Your first stop on tour will be the charming village of Bampton used as Downton village where you will receive a guided tour before heading to the jewel in the crown of the popular TV show - Highclere Castle or Downton Abbey as fans of the show will know it as.

Price: £150

Min age: 3

Rating 4.69 / 5 [82 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

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Destination guides

1

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Oxford

Oxfordshire, United Kingdom (UK)

External view of the beautiful round building, in golden stone, with domed roof

One of Britain’s most beautiful and historic cities, graced by heartstopping architecture and home to the world’s second-oldest university.