Highclere Castle is a stunning Jacobethan country house and is famously the location for the filming of Downton Abbey. Walk round the state rooms and visualise Carson escorting you to the library, or book afternoon tea in the Coach House and imagine Mrs Patmore and Daisy preparing it! Do allow yourself plenty of time to explore Downton Abbey house as there are also lovely gardens and woodlands - and even a secret garden!
Highclere Castle has been owned by the Carnarvon Family for generations and is still partly occupied by them. Lord and Lady Carnarvon live in the house during the winter months then over the summer they downsize to a cottage in the garden and open the house to the public. They have used the visitor income from Highclere Castle to pay for the extensive restorations and repairs that were estimated to be in the region of £12 million.
As it is a private residence it has limited opening days which means it is advisable to plan your trip and buy your tickets in advance via the Highclere Castle website. Highclere Castle does sell a number of ‘walk-up tickets’ at the gate on each of its open days. These tickets are subject to availability and entrance to the Castle cannot always be guaranteed.
If you’re interested in the Carnarvon story which is just as dramatic as Downton Abbey itself – there is a film ‘The Secrets of Highclere Castle’ which documents the real life history of the Carnarvon family and Highclere Castle.
Where to Stay
If you are seeking the perfect accommodation from which to visit Highclere Castle and the surrounding area with all its attractions, we would recommend the Holiday Inn Salisbury-Stonehenge just 28 miles away. There are so many things to do on your doorstep – you’ll be spoilt for choice. Visit any one of many country houses and gardens during the day, and then sit back and relax in the sophisticated, well-appointed and air conditioned rooms. Venture downstairs for a delicious meal in the highly acclaimed Solstice Bar and Grill in the evening.