The popular TV series Downton Abbey was released from 2010 to 2015 and managed to gain a lot of fans during this time.
The audience loved the historical saga so much that at the time of the release of the final sixth season, it became known about the creation of a full-length film that was released in 2019. But the story did not end there either, and on April 29, 2022, the British premiere of the new film will take place.
The action of the series begins in 1912, when the wreck of the Titanic becomes not only a global, but also a personal tragedy for Earl Grantham from the Crowley family: the heir to the estate was on board the liner. Over the next decade, the Crowley family has to deal with many family ups and downs, as well as with historical events such as the First World War, the Spanish flu pandemic, the Irish War of Independence and others. The Abbey is loved by viewers around the world not only for its perfect balance of drama and comedy, multi-faceted characters and exciting plot twists, but also for its stunning filming locations, many of which are open for visits and tours. The brightest locations and a map with addresses are in our selection. Beware, the material contains spoilers!
1. Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle, Hampshire
Highclere Castle in the English county of Hampshire undoubtedly plays a major role in the series: most of the events take place within its walls. The family nest of the Earls of Carnarvon since 1679 was built at the beginning of the 17th century, and the castle began to acquire its current appearance in 1842, when architect Charles Barry took over it. Back then, the castle was a classic square mansion, and Barry remodeled it in the Jacobean style, drawing inspiration from the Italian Renaissance style, especially while working on the interiors. Legend has it that the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon asked Barry in 1838 to turn the house into a grand mansion that would amaze the world. As a result, when MP Benjamin Disraeli saw Highclere, he exclaimed: “How theatrical!” Sir Charles Barry died in 1860 before he could complete the work. Then the 4th Earl invited his assistant Thomas Allom to complete the transformation of the estate. In 1878, Highclere Castle acquired its present form.
2. Downton area – Bampton, Oxfordshire
The village of Bampton in the Cotswolds became a filming location for the surroundings of the village of Downton and the home of Matthew and Isabelle Crowley. If you happen to be in the Bampton, you’ll notice a lot of familiar places from the show: the church, the post office, and the pubs (the latter are actually the homes of the locals). Next to the post office is the Bampton Archives, which in the series acted as Downton Hospital. There you can find the paraphernalia of the series: souvenir mugs and, for example, a map of the city. Stop by Bampton Coffee House for a cup of milk tea or head to Biztro for lunch.
3. Violet Crawley House – Byfleet Manor, Surrey
The Dowager Countess Violet Crowley lives near Downton, but in reality, Highclere Castle and Byfleet Manor are separated by a long distance. The building was built in the 17th century for the wife of King James VI of Scotland. The house was rebuilt several times, changing its appearance. During World War II, Byfleet served as a military hospital. This historic building has not become a museum, but several of its premises are open to visitors as tea rooms.
4. Swan Inn – Swinbrook, Oxfordshire
Another place in the Cotswolds, the village of Swinbroke, has become a haven for Sybil Crawley when she runs away from home to be with her chauffeur lover Tom Branson. Scenes with Cybil and Tom were filmed at the Swan Inn, a pub hotel that is a great place to stay and explore the area.
5. Yew Tree Farm – Cogges Manor Farm, Oxfordshire
Cogges Manor, a working family farm with a 13th-century manor and a neat walled garden, has pastoral charm. Known as Downton’s Yew Tree Farm, it was the home of Mr. Drew and his wife, who adopted Lady Edith’s child, Marigold, in the fifth season. There are guided tours around the farm, where you can not only admire the views and learn everything about the series, but also feed vegetables to animals on the farm. They have dwarf goats, Shetland ponies, sheep, guinea pigs and rabbits. Or, if you prefer to feed yourself, head to the farm shop and choose from a delicious range of sandwiches, soups and homemade cakes.
6. Crowley’s London residence – Basildon Park
Basildon Park was first mentioned in archival documents as early as 1311. Since then, the owners of the site and the house have changed each other more than once, and in 1978 Basildon was transferred to the National Trust of Great Britain. In Downton Abbey, the house acted as the Crowley family residence in London (the interiors were filmed there), and you could also see it in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice: there it became the charming home of Mr. Bingley. Bridgewater House in Westminster was used to film the exterior of the building.
7. Danielle Castle – Inveraray Castle, Argyle and Bute, Scotland
In the Christmas episode of the third season (trust me, we also want to forget its ending), the Crowley family heads north to visit Rose McClair and her parents. Inverary Castle, called Danielle in the series, was built in the 18th century, but the building was badly damaged by a fire in 1817 and acquired its current appearance as a result of reconstruction. In the castle, which in real life belongs to the Duke of Argyll, you can admire the luxurious tapestries and paintings inside, and outside – 16 acres of magnificent lawns, flower beds, parks and forests.
8. Brancaster Castle – Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Alnwick Castle first appears in Downton Abbey in the Christmas episode of the fifth season, when the Crawleys visit Lord Cinderby. It is there that Robert tells Cora about his health problems. Mary dances with Henry Talbot in the castle’s beautiful library. Tours are held in the castle, where you can not only admire the halls and surroundings, but also learn more about the series, see the props and costumes from the shooting. Alnwick was also used during the creation of the Harry Potter film series: it was he who became the prototype of Hogwarts.
9. Jubilee Dance Hall – Hoxton Hall, London
At the beginning of the fourth season, Lady Rose secretly from the Crowley family goes to a party for the common people. Together with the maid Anna and the footman Jimmy, they dance in a beautiful hall, which is actually located in east London. Once a church, an art gallery and even a bomb shelter, Hoxton Hall now hosts concerts and theatrical performances.
10. Restaurants – The Criterion and Rules
At The Criterion, which opened in 1874, Edith Crowley received her hope for happiness: it was there that Michael Gregson announced that he wanted to divorce his wife in order to marry Edith.
And the Rules establishment, where the characters of the series dined, is rightfully considered the oldest restaurant in London: it was opened in 1798. Named after the surname of the first owner, Rule (“rule”, “tradition”), the restaurant serves traditional English dishes and retains the look of England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
London Airport Transfers LTD will provide first-class service with an experienced chauffeur and a comfortable vehicle and will take you to all Downton Abbey filming locations.
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