The award-winning television drama series and film of the same name, Downton Abbey was mostly filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire. The country house which is the home of the Earl of Carnarvon was designed by the architect Charles Barry in the 19thC and is surrounded by parkland landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown.
The Castle which is still a family home is open to the public at certain times throughout the year, there are self-guided tours or guided tours where you can learn what life is like to live in a Castle and go behind the scenes of the real Downton.
Downton Abbey is set on a fictional estate in Yorkshire, but while the exterior and most of the interior filming is done at Highclere Castle the village of Bampton, Oxfordshire is used as Downton village. This ancient market town in the Cotswolds will be easily recognisable to fans of the TV series and film, St Mary’s Church is used for St Michael and All Angels and the Bampton Library was used for the Downton Cottage Hospital. While the old rectory is used as Isobel Crawley’s house.
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There are many different locations throughout England and Scotland that have been used during the filming of Downton Abbey and on a vacation to the UK it is possible to visit many of them.
The beautiful Inveraray Castle, Argyll is seen as ‘Duneagle Castle’ in a Christmas special, and is well worth a visit on a tour of Scotland. Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was also used in other Christmas specials.
Greys Court, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire is picturesque Tudor manor house which is owned by the National Trust and was used by the Crawley family in Downton Abbey as a second home.
The heritage steam railway line, the Bluebell Railway and the railway station at Horsted Keynes in East Sussex is used as Downton Station. Near to Sheffield Park Gardens it is a wonderful day out for all the family on any vacation to Southern England.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent has also been used in many episodes. Only 35 miles from London it makes a great day out for all the family, whether you are a Downton fan or not.
The medieval Lincoln Castle in the historic town of Lincoln was used as the prison where Bates’s prison scenes were filmed. You can walk around the medieval walls for a spectacular view of the city and Lincoln Cathedral and visit the Victorian Prison which was used from 1848-1878 and see a copy of the Magna Carta. Lincoln Castle is the only place in the world where you can see the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest side by side.