Downton Abbey and the English Country House Experience
With six seasons under its belt, the popular HBO series Downton Abbey is never too far from our imaginations. You have only to look at the upcoming movie to see how much we all love experiencing refined, aristocratic, and leisurely lives of Victorian England.
Have you visited an English country house yet?
Whether you are on a Highclere Castle Tour – the actual location where the series was filmed – or exploring some other manor, how will you know what to look out for?
Here are some things that make a stately house authentic:
- The ‘State’ or the grandest rooms that were well-suited to hosting even royalty!
- Artwork from very famous artists — you know your usual Rembrandt, Stubbs, and Rubens.
- The kitchens with different rooms where various kinds of food were stored.
- Gardens and landscaped grounds for promenading with parasols in summer.
Now that you know what you should be searching for, why not live out the Downton Abbey fantasy? Experience the English country house vibe for yourself.
Below we mention five stunning locations in England that don’t just emulate the elite Downton Abbey experience. They bring it to life!
Weston Park in the Heart of England
If you fell in love with the Downton Abbey Castle, you will love this central England beauty. Available for the exclusive use of you and your family and friends. Be welcomed by the house butler when you arrive, before the team of housekeepers and chefs provide you with 5* service customized just of you. The 300 year old mansion stands in 1000 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland. Every room is furnished with antiques and family heirlooms and it’s yours to enjoy as you live like a Lord. Walk down grand the staircase, dine in style with Old Masters paintings looking down on you as you are served by the house staff. Go to sleep every night in a room with priceless antique furniture and period design features along with sumptuous modern bathrooms. Wake up to a meal of English–style breakfast served by the housekeeping team in a period-style breakfast room and in the evening relax in the intimate saloon and drawing rooms filled with family treasures.
Lismore Castle, Ireland
The 800 year old castle is the Irish family home of the Dukes of Devonshire. Its been in the family since the 1750’s so well before the Downton Abbey period. But it has that genuine family house party atmosphere. For generations of the Dukes of Devonshire, the castle has been used for family celebrations where guest curl up in front of the fireplace, take afternoon tea in the Drawing room or dine on a feast in Banquet Hall. Once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh, world class art – contemporary and Old Masters – hang from the walls. The castle staff of house butlers, housekeepers, and private chef deliver a 5*+ personal service second to none. Head butler – Denis – has been with the family for over 40 years and knows just how to provide that “Downton Abbey” experience.
Blervie house, Scotland
This wonderfully renovated country mansion dates from the Edwardian early 1900’s – very much the Downton Abbey period. It is situated close to the Spey valley whisky area and HM Queen Elizabeth’s Scottish summer home. Blervie House is ideal for a family gathering in the Scottish Highlands and is fully staffed to make your visit effortless.
Highclere Castle, England
Where Was Downton Abbey Filmed? In the Highclere Castle! Located in Hampshire, Highclere is counted amongst England’s most noble houses. Partake in Champagne and canapés in the saloon on your arrival. Or relax in one of the lavish reception rooms. Follow a guide and explore the beautiful Victorian-styled house to while the day away. At the end of the evening, you can enjoy a succulent three-course dinner that is prepared in the castle’s kitchens! Worried about the location being too secluded? You wouldn’t if you knew How Far is Highclere Castle from London. Just an hour and a half away!
Alnwick Castle, north of England
Still, the home of the Duke of Northumberland, this 700 year old castle has a starring role in many films. It was Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter films and is Brancaster Castle in the Downton Abbey show. The castle has an exhibition and displays of the show in the Staterooms.
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