Good morning England, My husband and I will be in England for three weeks in September. we are both Seniors and have been in England many times. We are swept away on PBS every Sunday with the story of "Downton Abbey" and would like to visit it one day if possible. We will not want to drive...but would love to have a tour bus or train take us there. We will be staying in Chelsea for a week and for 2 weeks in a flat in Bermondsey on the Thames. Hopefully somebody has done this and can advise.....we don't mind going a day early to stay overnight in a nearby town where the railroad arrives or we are happy to stay overnight after the tour of Highclere. We have read the book about Lady Albina and have been enchanted to watch the Crawleys and their servants! Thanks in advance for any wisdom< Mollie Bee
I have good friends that live on Camano Island! To answer your question, a quick Google search showed some tour bus groups that visit Highclere. You might try for one of those rather than trying to visit on your own. I've read that tours of the castle are limited and sell out in advance, no doubt due to the popularity of Downton Abbey. So you might have to settle for just seeing the grounds and the exterior on a tour. But it's worth a try.
If you want to do it by yourselves using the train, then you go from London Paddington to Newbury (journey is about 50 minutes), then from Newbury take a taxi to Highclere (it's rather less than 10 miles away from Newbury station). Newbury has two stations, you want the one just called Newbury, not the one called Newbury Racecourse.
I can't add to the information about getting there since we drove ourselves but we visited last August and it was great fun. The train/taxi combo sounds more fun as it gives you a certain amount of freedom to roam. Just make sure there's a taxi waiting for you when you're done visiting the castle. We, too, read the book which helps to appreciate the history. PBS had a program called Secrets of Highclere Castle earlier this month (DVDs available on the PBS website), which was also informative about the current residents. You'll love it.