Are you tuning into Downton Abbey? If you’re dreaming of walking the grounds of Downton like Mary and Matthew, the UK has real-life ways for fans to let loose your inner Dowager Countess….if only for an hour or two. From hunting to high tea, Travel Correspondent Alyssa Caverley’s report on how you can travel back to Downton.
1. Visit the Real Downton Abbey: Highclere Castle Tour
You can take a guided tour of the castle and gardens including the bedrooms and the gallery. End the tour by walking down the Oak staircase to the Saloon.
Highclere Castle, Newbury RG20 9RN
Tel: 01635 253210
Open: 10:30am to 6:00pm
(£16 for adults or £9.50 for children)
2. Lord for a Day: Downton Abbey Tour of Locations
Visit Highclere Castle then travel by mini coach to Oxfordshire Village, used in the show as Downton Village. The tour, which is more than 8 hours, also includes a visit Bampton in Oxfordshire, home to St. Mary’s Church and many exterior scenes.
Tours are Mondays at 9:30 am
Meet at the Gloucester Road Tube Station (District, Circle & Piccadilly lines). Your guide will be standing outside Flowers Inc next to station entrance.
Prices: (adults £55, children under 15: £4o)
3. Dine like Downton: Tea at Fortnum and Mason and Brunch at The Wolsely
Fortnum and Mason now has a Roaring ’20s-style high tea and The Wolsely has a Downton-inspired brunch in an old-fashioned antique setting that resembles Downton Abbey.
Fortnum and Mason
181 Piccadilly London W1A 1ER, United Kingdom
0845 602 5694
Address: 160 Piccadilly London W1J 9EB, United Kingdom
020 7499 6996
4. Revisit Wartime in the UK: London Imperial War Museum
Matthew Crawley, Thomas Barrow, and William Mason all went to fight in the World War I. If you are interested in the early 1900s war era (1916 Battle of Somme) go to Churchill War Rooms.
London Imperial War Museum
Open daily 9:30-6
Lambeth Road London SE1 6HZ, United Kingdom
020 741 5320
(Adults £16.50, Children under 16 free)
5. Ride and Hunt: Hyde Park Stables & Huntington UK
First learn to ride at Hyde Park Stable, the most famous equestrian venue in England for 300 years. Then visit Huntington UK for pigeon shooting in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, The Cotswolds, Devon, Sussex and Wales.
Hyde Park Stables
Open weekdays 7am-5pm, weekends 9am-5pm.
63 Bathurst Mews, London W2 2SB
020 7723 2813
(£64 per hour group lesson, private lessons also available, hats and boots provide free of charge)
Box Farm, Castle Street Marsh Gibbon, Near Bicester, Oxon OX27 0HJ
phone number: 01869 278 946
(pigeon shooting: £150 per person, beginners courses are ￡300 per person for two days, minimum two people, all equipment provided)
For more ways to travel like the Right Honorable Granthams, check out:
- Travel Tip: Visiting Historic Estates
- Off the Brochure London
- The British Isles archives
- The Pop Culture Travel archives
By Alyssa Caverley for PeterGreenberg.com
Feature Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons, JB+UK Planet