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High Tea at Downton Abbey

Any comments on this title? saw pics on their website and it is only available at the coach house of the estate. Would like to have feedback on if this is worth it or what tour to take otherwise at Highclere. Also, changing subject, what is weather like usually first half of May around London?
Thanks,
Evelyn Smith

Posted by
2658 posts

Highclere is only open to the public 6 days in May, and the tickets are sold old.
It's Afternoon Tea, (not High Tea which is an evening meal), but in order to purchase tickets to Afternoon Tea, you also have to purchase the admission tickets which are sold out. I so enjoy having Afternoon Tea, so to me it would be worth it. Admission tickets are £22.00, then it would be another £25.00 for the Afternoon Tea, so it would be £47.00 per person. No children are allowed in for Afternoon Tea.

Posted by
14898 posts

Weather is unpredictable any time in London. Just be prepared for heat wave, cold spell, pouring rain, and bright sunshine. No snow.

Posted by
5540 posts

I can't believe that people are prepared to pay £22 pp entry, which is about double the going rate for similar and arguably more interesting historical houses without the Downton connection.

May is often the nicest month weatherwise, but last year it was very wet. It has been one of the wettest winters on record, but mild to date.

Posted by
1010 posts

I just communicated with a site "Wilson's of London Exclusive Tours". "Oliver@wilsonchauffeurservice.co.uk" He gives private tours out to Highclere. I questioned how he could do private tours to the estate, if it is only opened for size days in May. He said he does the private tours there. It may be of interest to people who want to see "Downton Abbey".

Posted by
12 posts

These comments have been most helpful! Thank all of you--has helped me plan my trip so much easier!

Posted by
205 posts

I can't believe that people are prepared to pay £22 pp entry, which is about double the going rate for similar and arguably more interesting historical houses without the Downton connection.

The "going rate" is what the market will stand. As the place always seems to be booked out why would the owners reduce the price?

Posted by
2658 posts

I just saw that the admission "summer tickets" for Highclere is £15.00 for adults, the tickets are on sale for July and August now, and will go fast. The £15 admission ticket includes the castle and gardens, £22 admission ticket includes castle, gardens and exhibition, £7 admission ticket is for gardens only.
I was surprised when I saw the price for the "special" 5 day June opening...this is from Highclere website.....
Special Opening Dates:
•Sunday, 5th June 2016: Afternoon Tour only
•Monday, 6th June 2016: Morning & Afternoon Tours
•Tuesday, 7th June 2016: Morning & Afternoon Tours
•Wednesday, 8th June 2016: Morning & Afternoon Tours
•Thursday, 9th June 2016: Morning & Afternoon Tours
A limited number of tickets are available at £100 per person which includes a Guided Tour of the Castle with plenty of time to view the Grounds and Gardens, complimentary refreshments and a goody bag! Please select either a morning ticket, where you arrive at 10am departing at 1.30pm, or an afternoon ticket where you arrive at 1.30pm departing at 5pm. The Guided Tour will commence at your chosen ticket start time.

I can't imagine paying £100.00 for a ticket

Posted by
5540 posts

Melsmith1962

"Why would the owners reduce the price?" They won't because gullible people are prepared to pay this outrageous price! The tours seem to be full of people of a certain nationality and they aren't British!

Posted by
70 posts

Gracious. What nationality would they be? Must be Swedish.

Posted by
993 posts

Jennifer, I'd like to see Highclere but Chatsworth is higher on my list. Entry fee to the house and garden is 23 pounds but because I'm old I can get in for 21. It I want afternoon tea, and I have afternoon tea wherever I am, it 19.50. Of course none of this helps Evelyn. So Evelyn, if you want to see Highclere, it's worth every penny of the entry fee.

Posted by
1010 posts

If you go to tours of Highclere Castle, you will see there are now some more dates available for Highclere Castle.

Posted by
2658 posts

I have to agree with Laurel, I would like to see Highclere, but others are higher on my list like Chartwell and Chatsworth. I would pay for tea at both of these places. If I was going to Highclere I would definitely pay for Afternoon Tea. Evelyn, if you get a ticket to Highclere then have tea if that's what you would enjoy. I enjoy tea every where I go.

Posted by
3336 posts

Honestly, I don't mind paying highish fees to visit country houses in England since the money is used to preserve and repair these great properties that are so terribly expensive to maintain. I would think that, regardless of your country of origin, you would feel that it is a good use of funds because not only do you get to spend time and experience being there, you are also contributing something valuable. I don't blame Lord and Lady Carnarvon one bit for capitalizing on the popularity of Downton Abbey to preserve their spectacular property. When you go you'll see some of the problems with the property such as a severe lichen infestation on the exterior of the house as well as a leaky roof that is damaging the main salon with it's beautiful leather-tooled walls. If I can contribute a tiny amount to assist in fixing this, I'm happy to in exchange for a visit.

Posted by
5697 posts

And if you saw tonight's episode of Downton Abbey you saw the Crawley family discussing the possibility of opening the house for tours to get money for repairs and maintainance.

Posted by
91 posts

I managed to purchase two tickets for Highclere and I couldn't be more pleased. I had it marked on my calendar tickets would go on sale Feb. 1st - I got this info by emailing Highclere before Christmas and again in January; they were nice enough to respond quickly and in a very friendly manner. I had to change our visit from a Sunday afternoon to the following Monday morning as the Sunday was already sold out! I have been Downton fan since the first episode and nothing was going to keep me away. I'm sure there are nicer manor homes, but I'm not familiar as I am with Downton, and we just happen to be spending time in that part of England.

Posted by
2023 posts

There are times when you can visit Highclere without pre buying tickets. We were in England in early September two years ago and just stopped by HC and bought tics at kiosk on the property and toured it with lots of people. No one was turned away. It was definitely worth it but Chartwell was very special--no crowds when we visited--also September just before HC.

Posted by
2658 posts

This is from Highclere Castle website............ If you really want to see Highclere Castle, I wouldn't take a chance on walking up and getting a ticket. pre book a ticket on line to guarantee your entry.

Walk-up Tickets
During our Public Open dates in the Spring and Summer we do sell a number of tickets at the gate. These tickets are subject to availability and entrance to the Castle cannot always be guaranteed.

Pre Booking tickets......is the only way to guarantee your entry.

Posted by
409 posts

If you want to see this house, specifically than you'll pay whatever it costs!

I was in England for three months last summer, and bought the English Heritage pass -- there are many grand houses of less American TV fame that have lovely afternoon teas in grand atmospheres! English-Heritage.org.uk

Another great resource in general is VisitEngland.com

Many grand houses are only open for a month. If a family gets funding assistance from the government for upkeep or renovations, they are required to be open for a short viewing time to the public. Remember, people - this IS their home, and they have every right NOT to make it a tourist mecca!

Enjoy!