Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

1. From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

Step into the hit TV series Downton Abbey on this full-day bus tour from London. Visit filming locations from the show like the village of Bampton which was used for the village of Downton and Highclere Castle which was used as Downton Abbey.  Journey by comfortable air-conditioned coach towards the village of Bampton in Oxfordshire. Listen to an informative commentary about Downton Abbey and the locations you will visit along the way. Arrive in Bampton and take a guided walking tour of the village to see locations from the TV series, such as the post office and the house where Matthew Crawley lived before he moved to the abbey.  Continue to Highclere Castle for 3 hours of free time to explore the house and grounds of the setting for Downton Abbey at your own pace. Find your way around with ease using a helpful leaflet. Have plenty of time to purchase a delicious lunch at the castle or shop for some souvenirs at the gift shop.

From London: Day Trip to Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton

2. From London: Day Trip to Downton Abbey, Oxford and Bampton

Visit Oxford and top 'Downton Abbey' filming locations on this guided day trip from London. Start the day with a walking tour of Oxford and its famous university buildings. Continue to the Cotswolds’ village of Bampton. Visit the magnificent Highclere Castle with entry tickets included. Board your bus in London and set out on your tour. Journey in a comfortable bus as you head towards your first stop for the day, the city of Oxford. Here, embark on a guided walking tour of the city, home to one of the world’s oldest universities and packed with architectural highlights. Next up is a visit to Bampton, the filming location and setting for the exterior village scenes in Downton Abbey. See the church, the house of Matthew Crawley's mother, and homes transformed into the post office and various pubs. Head to Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon. The tour of the Castle’s public rooms includes the magnificent main hall, the library, sitting rooms, and other rooms featured in Downton Abbey. Take home a copy of Lady Carnarvon's book as a souvenir of your visit.

Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

3. Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

Become Lord or Lady Grantham for the day, as you visit the film locations used in the BAFTA award-winning Downton Abbey period drama. Hear how the global hit TV series was made and about the actors involved and the wonderful history of the places you visit on this full-day tour. You’ll depart central London in the morning on a drive to the charming Oxfordshire village that has been featured in the series as Downton village. Enjoy a guided tour of locations such as Downton Hospital, the village pub, the former home of Matthew Crawley, and the local church.  Take a short comfort break before continuing on to Highclere Castle, which is the main setting used in Downton Abbey. En route you’ll learn about the thousand-year history of Highclere Castle and life above and below the stairs. Lunch can be purchased at Highclere Castle or you can bring your own lunch and enjoy it on the beautiful grounds. Although guided tours are not allowed inside the castle, you’ll be able to explore the above-stairs area of Downton Abbey independently with the aid of a self-guided information sheet. Imagine life as it was over 100 years ago and enter the world of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as you wander around the estate. The tour ends in central London.

London: Downton Abbey Countryside Black Taxi VIP Tour

4. London: Downton Abbey Countryside Black Taxi VIP Tour

Begin with a pickup from your central London hotel and a drive through London and out into the Oxfordshire countryside. Your first stop will be in Oxfordshire, where you will visit the villages that became the village of Downton. Have photographs outside Matthew Crawley’s house, and see the Hospital, the village church, and the two village pubs. Discuss the filming with the locals and visit inside a village home used in the filming (owner being in of course). Have time to buy Downton souvenirs before moving on. Visit several other villages, plus a farm, which will be a secret to surprise you on the day. Leaving the villages behind you, start to head cross country to Highclere Castle. On the way to the castle, take an authentic countryside pause, stopping for lunch at an old English pub. Arrive at Highclere Castle after lunch, where your tour continues. Your expert guide will explain all there is about the castle’s history as well as the Downton locations you will see before you enter the rooms. Later in the afternoon why not have a cream tea, before returning to London.

Other Sightseeing Options in Highclere Castle

Want to discover all there is to do in Highclere Castle? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Highclere Castle

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 371 reviews

This was a well organized and lovely excursion. Logistically: instructions for meeting location spot on, departed and returned on schedule, stopped mid-way through bathe drive for a “bio break”, comfortable & clean coach, and very informative. Both the tour guide and driver were friendly and helpful people. The village tour was a lot of fun and we had plenty of time. Our guide, Emma, provided a lot of information about the locations used for filming and a bit of history. We also had plenty of time allotted to tour inside and wander the grounds (which I was expecting and they were spectacular). I would recommend this excursion and your company. I had a really nice day.

Our Downton Abbey Tour was one of the highlights of our trip to England. Small group tours are the way to go! Our tour guide was friendly and informative and the other people on our tour were lovely. Cogges Farm was surprisingly interesting and our visit to the town of Bampton brought back memories of many key scenes in the Downton series. Highclere Castle was delightful. We loved walking through the same rooms inhabited by our favorite characters and descending the beautiful main staircase. We ate lunch outside and strolled through the beautiful gardens. It was a beautiful, memorable day.

This was the absolute best tour we did on our trip to London. Amber was a wonderful guide and kept the group informed and on time throughout the day. We saw many locations used in the filming of Downton Abbey; in addition to Highclere Castle which was the highlight of the day. There was some downtime at the castle where we enjoyed a snack and the gin cocktail bar. The bus ride was fun as well, with Amber involving the group in trivia challenges, etc. We highly recommend this tour.

The day was excellent, great sceneries and the Cotswolds are a gift! Unfortunately, we had to wait 45 minutes to be picked up in the morning. There was a misunderstanding somewhere along the way... I booked with Get Your Guide but the tour was offered by International Friends. There was a disconnect and without calling the tour guide 3x, we would still be waiting...

Excellent guide-Michael was engaging and informative! Visiting the town of Brampton and hearing of its important role in filming just added to the very lovely day. Plenty of time in the schedule to walk the Highclere estate as well as enjoy the house and have a delicious lunch.