Fans of TV period drama Downton Abbey are being given a chance to discover the true story behind the real Downton Abbey, with a private day trip to Highclere Castle, the filming location for the hugely entertaining, Emmy-winning series on PBS Masterpiece Classic.
Die-hard fans of the series can step into the life of the real Earl & Countess of Carnarvon with a specially designed package.
- Arrive at Highclere Castle to be greeted personally by the eighth Earl & Countess of Carnarvon under the soaring Gothic columns of the entrance to Highclere Castle. Your day begins with tea and coffee served in the Countess’s private morning room.
- Continue with a tour of the State Rooms with either the Earl or the Countess. Walking through the vaulted salon to the drawing room evokes a curious mixture of the familiar and unfamiliar. The setting is unmistakably Downton, but the tables and mantelpieces are crowded with framed photographs of the Carnarvon family, with an occasional royal thrown in for good measure!
- Enjoy a private lunch in the State Dining Room accompanied by fine wines chosen by the Earl from his own wine cellar. See a glimpse of the fictional Crawley’s home, while truly getting a taste of being ‘to the manor born’.
- After lunch, be transported in one of the Earl’s private 4×4 off-road vehicles to Beacon Hill. The 5th Earl of Carnarvon (who funded and assisted Howard Carter’s investigations, culminating in the discovery of Tutankhamen’s fabulous tomb in 1922) is buried at the summit and see the remains of an Iron Age fort. If the weather is inclement, enjoy an escorted tour of Highclere’s Egyptogology Exhibition. Housed in the cellar, guests have the opportunity to view ancient artifacts from earlier digs as well as a reconstruction of the entrance to the young pharaoh’s tomb with peepholes to peer through as Carter did when he broke a hole in the door to the burial chamber with the Earl behind him. Written on the wall is Carnarvon and Carter’s thrilling exchange: "Can you see anything?" "Yes, wonderful things!" What a good way to describe a visit to Highclere Castle itself!
- The visit ends with the serving of High Tea, at which guests have an opportunity to gain an intimate and informal insight into the working life of the Countess.
To commemorate the visit, guests receive complimentary copies of Lady Fiona Carnarvon’s books, including a new biography "Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey," with an opportunity to have a personal dedication written by the Countess herself.
This exclusive Highclere Castle package must be booked in advance and is subject to availability. For those wishing to experience the wonders of Edwardian life a little longer, a variety of independent travel components are available: hotel stays, chauffeur-driven cars or specially designed sightseeing excursions that can be added to this specially designed Downton Abbey experience.
Contact your Stellar Travel Advisor to book this amazing Downton Abbey adventure with our partners Noteworthy Events.