Highclere Castle

Enter your dates to find available activities

Highclere Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

1. From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

Journey by comfortable air-conditioned coach towards the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire. Listen to an informative commentary about Downton Abbey and the locations you will visit along the way. Upon arrival in Bampton, take a guided walking tour of the village to see locations from the TV series, such as the post office and the house where Matthew Crawley lived before he moved to the abbey. Continue to Highclere Castle to enjoy approximately 3 hours to explore the house and grounds of the setting for Downton Abbey with the aid of a self-guided leaflet. Use the time to enjoy lunch at the castle (own expense) or purchase some souvenirs at the gift shop.

Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

2. Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

Become Lord or Lady Grantham for the day, as you visit the film locations used in the BAFTA award-winning Downton Abbey period drama. Hear how the global hit TV series was made and about the actors involved and the wonderful history of the places you visit on this full-day tour. You’ll depart central London in the morning on a drive to the charming Oxfordshire village that has been featured in the series as Downton village. Enjoy a guided tour of locations such as Downton Hospital, the village pub, the former home of Matthew Crawley, and the local church.  Take a short comfort break before continuing on to Highclere Castle, which is the main setting used in Downton Abbey. En route you’ll learn about the thousand-year history of Highclere Castle and life above and below the stairs. Lunch can be purchased at Highclere Castle or you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it on the beautiful grounds. Although guided tours are not allowed inside the castle, you’ll be able to explore the above-stairs area of Downton Abbey independently with the aid of a self-guided information sheet. Imagine life as it was over 100 years ago and enter the world of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as you wander around the estate. The tour ends in central London.

Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

3. Full-Day Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton Tour from London

Explore Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, home to one of the world’s oldest universities. Admire the architectural highlights of the many colleges. Next on this 10-hour tour is a visit to Bampton, the setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

4. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

Depart London by luxury mini-coach on an 11-hour Downton Abbey tour. Stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) to see filming sites used throughout the TV series. Continue to the Swan Inn at Swinbrook, location of one of the series' most controversial story lines. Next stop is in Shilton, a Cotswolds village inaccessible to larger coaches. See the old stone footbridge, duck pond and the old pump and well, before the short journey to Bampton (Downton village). Head to Highclere Castle, home to the Grantham family in the series. Enjoy the gardens before entering the castle. Take a guided tour of the castle’s opulent rooms. There will also be time to take in the Egyptian exhibition.

From Oxford: Downton Abbey and the Cotswolds Full-Day Tour

5. From Oxford: Downton Abbey and the Cotswolds Full-Day Tour

Leaving the beautiful medieval city of Oxford, head south to Highclere Castle for a morning visit of the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Immerse yourself in the history of this 19th century castle, still very much a family home, and explore the grounds and beautiful gardens. Imagine sitting at the grand table in the family dining room with the 'Dowager' Violet, Lady Mary and Lady Cora, being served your lunch by Mr. Carson. After the visit to Highclere Castle, your tour continues to quaint Bampton, one of the oldest villages in Britain. Wander around the part of the village used to film Downton Abbey and visit St Mary's Church, where so many events in the life of the Crawley family took place. From Bampton, a scenic drive takes you to the charming old market town of Burford, the 'gateway to the Cotswolds,' with its sloping high street and quaint shops. Enjoy lunch in a typical local cafe or pub. After lunch, go on a panoramic drive through some of the sleepy stone villages of the Cotswolds. Make your last stop in the idyllic village of Swinbrook, which was a film location for 'Downton Abbey' and 'Bridget Jones' Baby.' Delight in a walk through this charming village, before returning to Oxford.

London: Downton Abbey Countryside Black Taxi VIP Tour

6. London: Downton Abbey Countryside Black Taxi VIP Tour

Begin with a pickup from your central London hotel and a drive through London and out into the Oxfordshire countryside. Your first stop will be in Oxfordshire, where you will visit the villages that became the village of Downton. Have photographs outside Matthew Crawley’s house, and see the Hospital, the village church, and the two village pubs. Discuss the filming with the locals and visit inside a village home used in the filming (owner being in of course). Have time to buy Downton souvenirs before moving on. Visit several other villages, plus a farm, which will be a secret to surprise you on the day. Leaving the villages behind you, start to head cross country to Highclere Castle. On the way to the castle, take an authentic countryside pause, stopping for lunch at an old English pub. Arrive at Highclere Castle after lunch, where your tour continues. Your expert guide will explain all there is about the castle’s history as well as the Downton locations you will see before you enter the rooms. Later in the afternoon why not have a cream tea, before returning to London.

Frequently asked questions about Highclere Castle

What are other attractions than Highclere Castle that are worth visiting in Hampshire?

How can I visit Highclere Castle?

Possible ways to visit the Highclere Castle:

To enter Highclere Castle, you need to have a ticket or be part of a guided tour.

Other Sightseeing Options in Highclere Castle

Want to discover all there is to do in Highclere Castle? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Highclere Castle

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 135 reviews

Lovely day out with plenty of time at the two major stops. Our driver was fabulous and Toby, our guide, was very entertaining. As a bonus the whole group was prompt and friendly. Cogges Manor Farm was such a lovely place and we had ample time at Highclere for all the sights plus lunch and a wander. Very glad I chose this trip and I’d definitely recommend it!

It was amazing to see the locations of the Downtown Abbey series! The guide was very attentive and gave information throughout the tour. The transport left on time and everything went according to plan.

As huge Downton Abbey fans we enjoyed the day very much, we felt like we were there with the characters. Our guide Eva was fantastic!

Great tour! Frank was funny and informative and Carlos did a great job driving the bus. Thank you!

Amber was a wonderfully knowledgeable tour guide. An amazing house. We’ll worth the visit.