Destination Downton Abbey

Visit Britain

Mr. Carson Downton Abbey film
4127_D006_00013-00014_R_COMPJim Carter stars as Charles Carson in DOWNTON ABBEY, a Focus Features release. Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features

Downton Abbey: We’ve Been Expecting You

The worldwide phenomenon Downton Abbey becomes a grand motion picture event this fall as the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives. A royal visit from the King and Queen of England will unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance. Written by series creator Julian Fellowes and starring the original cast.

Downton Abbey film
(l-r.) Laura Carmichael stars as Lady Hexham, Maggie Smith as The Dowager Countess of Grantham, Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham, Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Elizabeth McGovern as Lady Grantham in DOWNTON ABBEY, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Focus Features

The film Downton Abbey arrives in theaters September 20th.

Experience Real Life Downton Abbey: Visit Britain

Downton Abbey fans can Visit Britain to experience the places plus fun things to do, as seen in and inspired by the movie.

Cross the Atlantic Ocean for an authentic fix of genuine Downton Abbey. Here are just a few ideas:

Spend the Night at Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle near the Hampshire/Berkshire border doubles up as the famous setting for Downton Abbey. The home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, the stunning period property and 5,000-acre estate features Jacobean Revival architecture from Sir Charles Barry which dates back to the 1820s.

In addition to the country house are its pristine grounds, landscaped by renowned gardener Capability Brown in 1770, and designated a Sight of Special Scientific Interest since 1991.

Many visitors come for a tour of the property, but you can also spend the night: There are actually lodges on the estate that you can rent and stay at to explore the grounds further. 

Explore the Trail of the Hit Film

With filming locations dotted around south-east England, you can get follow this Downton Abbey-themed five-day itinerary for a road trip to remember with stops including Highclere Castle, the surrounding areas of Brancaster CastleBampton Village (Oxfordshire/ Cotswolds), Lacock Village, and Wrotham Park.

Live like a Lord or Lady

One of the most successful British TV dramas of all time, Downton Abbey’s sumptuous depiction of the quintessentially British aristocratic lifestyle of yesteryear delights from start to finish.

If you dream of magnificent stately homes and settling down to afternoon tea, you don’t need a time machine to indulge in fantasy. Immerse yourself in some of Britain’s best Downton-esque locations and experiences.

UK Castles, Manors and Lords and Ladies

The UK has many stately homes, castles and manors that are open for visits and unique experiences found only in Great Britain.

The stately homes in the UK, many open to the public, are still overseen by the same families that began their watch generations ago. Tours, lectures and events are all a part of their charge to preserve the history and heritage of these locations.

Downton Abbey film
(l-r) Cinematographer Ben Smithard, director Michael Engler and producer Gareth Neame watch the drone technician on the set of DOWNTON ABBEY, a Focus Features release.
Credit: Liam Daniel / © 2019 Focus Features, LLC

Behind the Scenes

The Edwardian period is not often portrayed in television drama, with dramatists and writers favouring the regency period of Jane Austen instead.

“This is a time that perhaps our parents, but more likely our grandparents, would have lived in, so it’s not a completely foreign country,” explains Gareth Neame, CEO, Carnival Films and Executive Producer on Downton Abbey. “The modern era began at the end of the 19th Century and this was something Julian and I discussed a lot. By the late 19th century, electricity came in and then gradually motor-cars, telephones, people commuting to work on the London Underground or on a bus and then came mortgages and pensions and are all things that modern audiences recognise and identify with.”

“My father was born in 1912,” adds series creator Julian Fellowes, “So 1912, which is the year the television series began, is a period that many people alive today have heard about from their immediate family members; it’s still relatively recent history.”

More Information…

Visit Britain

– Text and images courtesy Visit Britain

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