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Highclere Castle

I am going to London next year and ready to sign up to see Highclere Castle. I didn't make it there last year ( to many things to do in London and ran out of time), but everyone on the forum suggested I go with Brit Movie tours. They have a tour for the time I will be in London next year.

Please help I really don't know which tour to take!

Has anyone been on the Brit Movie tour and if so did they enjoy it, would they recommend and what exactly did you get to see and did you get to spend enough time seeing Highclere Castle? Which tour did they take? I'm only going to see this once and I want to make the right decision but it seems a bit confusing on which one to pick.

Brit Movie tours have two tours, one for 120 pounds and one for 80 pounds. Same amount of hours, same time to meet. The difference is more expensive tour has only 15 people on it as opposed to a coach bus and it goes to:

Visit the Oxfordshire village used as Downton village and see the home of Matthew Crawley and where the church, village fair and hospital scenes were made
Watch episodes of Downton Abbey as you travel between locations
Wander around the ‘Above Stairs’ rooms of the property used as Downton Abbey including the drawing room, main hall and library where many of the dramatic scenes involving the Crawley family were filmed

Food for lunch can be purchased at Highclere Castle or you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it in the beautiful grounds. You’ll be able to explore independently the ‘Above Stairs’ area on the ground and first floors inside Downton Abbey with the aid of our self-guided information sheet. Areas of the castle you will be able to see include the entrance, library, music room, drawing room, morning room, staircase, saloon, dining room and the servant’s staircase.

The 80 Pound tour goes to:
Enjoy a full guided tour of Downton village and see the home of Lady Isobel Crawley and much more
Watch episodes of Downton Abbey on the coach as you travel between locations
See where memorable scenes from Downton Abbey were filmed inside the house

And three hours to enjoy Highclere with the 80 pound tour.

Your tour of the property with the aid of our self-guided information sheet will give you the opportunity to see where memorable scenes were filmed including the Library, Drawing Room, Saloon, Dining Room and the first floor bedrooms. Do note that the ‘below stairs’ scenes were filmed on a set at Ealing Studios. You are welcome to bring your own lunch or purchase food at Highclere Castle.

Thank you for your input! I really appreciate it.

Posted by
250 posts

I have -sort of- done both

I have been to Highclere in my own, and loved being in the grounds etc. I’d say 3hrs would be OK-(1hr and Egyptian museum, 2hrs+ grounds and sipping tea under the iconic trees with THE view) but of course more is always better :-)., and I can’t tell how the lines might be. I got there when it opened, and had much of the grounds to myself for a bit of time

I also went on my own the other location (Bampton) outside of Oxford, which was great. It’s a small town, but very cute. So depending on your interests, the one that visits other locations could be a great choice.

I also have been on a Brit Movie Tour of Midsomer Murders. The drive in the country was very nice, and I thought they did a very good job and it was worth it for me not to have to drive, as many locations were in the countryside

You will enjoy whatever you do!

Posted by
2317 posts

I was there last September and did my tour through Viator, cost was about $180 and was about a 10 hour day and I felt it was enormously satisfying--great guide, comfy bus, about 25 people. First stop was Cogges Manor Farm--where Marigold went to live, etc, called Yew Tree Farm on the show--about 1.5 hrs there to explore the lovely old house, gardens and farm grounds. Then to the village of Bampton, which was Downton Village on the show--toured the church where everyone got married and saw the houses that various characters "lived" in. Finally to Highclere--each stop was about 1 hour apart, lovely countryside to see--in time for lunch and then 3 hours to spend in the house and grounds, plenty to see there. We all explored independently once at Highclere, which I liked. Excellent food to be found there as well. Even if I wasn't a huge Downton fan I would have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the 3 distinctly different places and felt it was a good amount of time at each. It was a warm day and I spent the last 45 minutes at Highclere just relaxing under a tree with the lovely house in view.

My first choice is always a small group tour if at all possible, though really with your options the biggest difference is coach vs smaller van as you won't be staying with the group while at Highclere. Whichever one you choose, enjoy!!

Posted by
250 posts

Based on Christa’s info, I’d say that trip is the one to go for, for the smaller group and broader overview. Have fun!