At Home with the Edwardians: A Tour of Downton Abbey Film Locations
Experience life in the Edwardian era and visit Downton Abbey set locations
- Insights from the West of Ireland
- Fabulous shots from Smithsonian Journeys Expert Kirt Kempter
- Visiting Mount Fuji, by way of rural Japan
- Saturday in Pamplona
The wildly popular British TV series Downton Abbey has swept America with its captivating stories and fascinating portrayal of post-Edwardian England. Step back in time and learn more about the people, events, and sites depicted in the series through special visits and engaging talks, including a special meeting with Jessica Fellowes, author of The World of Downton Abbey.
At Highclere Castle, the magnificent Victorian country house used for filming the series, you’ll explore the scenic grounds and tour some of the familiar “Above Stairs” rooms featured in the series. You’ll also visit Byfleet Manor, Dowager Violet’s house; take a ride on the Bluebell Railway to recall scenes of passengers bidding fond farewells; and make stops at Greys Court and the picturesque Cotswolds village of Bampton, both used for outdoor scenes. Take a special tour of Blenheim Palace, where during a private talk you’ll learn about the role it played during World War I. Your tour concludes in London, with special visits to the London Charterhouse, used for hospital scenes; the Imperial War Museum, recently renovated for the centenary of World War I; and the Victoria and Albert Museum for its collection of Edwardian fashion. Limited to 28 participants.
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May 2 –Depart the U.S. for London
May 3 — London/Tylney Hall
Arrive in London. Meet your group transfer and travel through the Hampshire countryside to your home for the next few days, the lovely 18th-century manor house, Tynley Hall. The estate was used as a hospital during World War I, much like Downton Abbey was in the series. Upon arrival, enjoy an orientation by your tour staff, followed by a welcome reception and dinner. (R,D)
May 4 – Hampshire/Highclere Castle
Begin today visiting Sandham Memorial Chapel, which was built to honor the forgotten dead of World War I, who are not remembered on official memorials. The striking, large-scale murals on the chapel walls were inspired by the artist Stanley Spencer’s own experiences as a medical orderly and soldier. Afterwards, continue to Highclere Castle, the grand country estate and seat of the Earl and Countess of Grantham in the fictional Downton Abbey. Imagine the lives of the aristocratic families and their servants during the Edwardian era as we explore this beautiful Victorian castle. It is currently home to the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and is situated in 1,000 acres of stunning parkland. Explore the scenic grounds and tour the familiar “Above Stairs” rooms featured in the series, such as the salon, dining room, drawing room, entrance hall, and library. (B,D)
May 5—Bluebell Steam Train
This afternoon visit Byfleet Manor, used as Dowager Violet’s house in the series. This unique historical building is surrounded by magical gardens. Afterwards, ride the Bluebell Railway and recall the scenes where passengers bid fond farewells from these platforms in the Downton Abbey series. Visit the small museum devoted to England’s steam era. Return to Tylney Hall for dinner this evening. (B,D)
May 6 — Bampton, Blenheim Palace, Tylney Hall
Stroll through the quaint village of Bampton this morning, which was used as the setting for many of the exterior scenes in Downton Abbey. The village lies on the edge of the beautiful Cotswolds and is known to be one of the most picturesque villages in the region. Stop for lunch on your own in charming Woodstock. Afterwards, explore the ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough at magnificent Blenheim Palace. After tea and biscuits in the palace’s Indian Room, learn about the role Blenheim and its inhabitants played during World War I. Then drive to the center of the charming University city of Oxford. Check into the Randolph Hotel. (B,D)
May 7 – Greys Court, London Charter House
This morning, visit the delightful National Trust property of Greys Court. The house is a patchwork of styles dating from Tudor times to the 20th century. In season two ofDownton Abbey, its grounds were used for the picnic for the whole Crawley family. Continue on to London and visit the London Charterhouse, formerly known as Sutton’s Hospital this afternoon. Sutton’s Hospital was used in Downton Abbey as the hospital where soldiers underwent rehabilitation. Here we will enjoy a private guided tour and learn about the Charterhouse’s expansive history. Check into the Millennium Baileys Hotel this evening. This evening, meet Jessica Fellowes, the niece of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, and author of several books on the series. Jessica will discuss the real-life inspirations for the series, drawing on both the social history of the period and on members of the Fellowes family. (B)
May 8 – London
Visit the Victoria and Albert Museum to admire Edwardian fashion and the elegant clothing worn by the characters in Downton Abbey. In the afternoon visit the Imperial War Museum, recently renovated for the centenary of WWI. Learn about the lives of those shaped by the war, as well as seeing the galleries on modern weaponry. This evening, celebrate your journey at a gala farewell dinner. (B,D)
May 9—Depart for the U.S.
Bid farewell to London this morning and transfer to London Heathrow Airport for individual flights back to the U.S.
DISCLAIMER: The tour of Downton Abbey film locations is not an official “Downton Abbey” event and is not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly by Carnival Films, NBC Universal or Julian Fellowes and his representatives.