To mark the eagerly anticipated Downton Abbey film, we’ve picked out five different filming locations across the UK, which are great for group trips.
Highclere Castle, Berkshire
Although Downton and its Abbey are fictional, Highclere Castle has become a significant landmark, appropriately posing as the striking Abbey, and the home of the Crawley family since the ITV show first aired in 2010. The exterior shots of the house and most of the interior upstairs activity was filmed there on site, giving visitors an authentic experience. The castle has now opened its booking window for next year too, with one group organiser and one coach receiving free entry, as well as the coach driver offered a voucher to spend in the tea room.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
The castle in the north is known in the show as Brancaster Castle, the holiday home for Lord Sinderby and his guests. The castle actually showcases a Downton Abbey exhibition which is available to guests on their visit, featuring photography, costumes and props used during filming. The castle also featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. Guided tours are available for your group to discover the site with the guide sharing anecdotes from behind-the-scenes and more.
Harewood House, Yorkshire
Home to Princess Mary (played by Kate Phillips) in the Downton Abbey film, Harewood’s Gallery, Terrace, Yellow and Cinnamon Drawing Room all feature in the new release. The house is a top spot for a group visit, open late March until early November, as well as for five weeks at Christmas, offering discounted rates for 15 or more. GTOs can also make use of free entry, guided tours, group catering options, boat trips and much more.
Cogges Farm, Oxfordshire
Better known to fans of the show as Yew Tree Farm, Cogges Farm was once a working farm but is open today as a heritage centre. It has featured in several episodes of Downton Abbey, firstly owned by Mr Drewe and later by Mr Mason. Cream tea packages are available for visiting groups and the filming locations are close together and can be seen within an hour. The site also houses a variety of farmyard favourites, including pigs, goats, ponies and chickens.
Downton Abbey tours available with Shearings
A five-day ‘Highclere – Home of Downton Abbey’ coach tour departs on various dates between May and August 2020, and includes a full day visit to Highclere Castle. The trip offers the chance to explore the State Rooms and the gardens, with pick up points available across the UK. Free places are available but depend on group size.
Beamish, The Living Museum Of The North, County Durham
To get a taste of the new film, the museum welcomed more than 100 cast and crew in October last year for filming. Period vehicles were provided by the museum to make scenes look as realistic as possible. Rhiannon Hiles, Beamish’s deputy director, commented: “We were thrilled to welcome Downton Abbey’s cast and crew to Beamish Museum for filming for the new movie.” Groups rates are available for 15 or more.
Inveraray Castle, Scotland
The Scottish castle is seen on screen as Duneagle Castle, home to Lord and Lady Flincher. It was chosen as the location for 2012’s two-hour Christmas episode, providing viewers with a look at some of Scotland’s marvellous natural countryside, as well as nail-biting, wedding-drama instalment. Groups visiting the castle can see its gallery, walk through its grounds to step in the footsteps of the cast and stop in its delightful tea room.
Lancaster House, London
The house’s interior was used to simulate Buckingham Palace in the show, where Lady Rose gave her presentation. Although the house is regularly closed to the public, it can be visited on certain open days throughout the year. The grand house has a state drawing room, music room, long gallery and more.