4. Downton Abbey Filming Locations & Highclere Castle Tour
Depart London in the morning, making your first stop at Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm), the home of the Downton Abbey tenant farmers. This beautiful, well-preserved 13th century manor house is situated on the banks of the River Windrush, and was featured in the fourth Downton Abbey series.
Beginning with the fifth series, the farm became home to the secret love child of Lady Edith. In the sixth series, Mr. Mason moved in with aid of Daisy.
Enjoy a tea/coffee break on your arrival at the farm’s refurbished rustic Cow Shed Café and then take a tour and learn of the encounters between the tenant farmers and the landowners, featured in the TV series. Your private tour of Yew Tree Farm is scheduled before it opens to the public!
Once you’ve visited the farm, you’ll continue on to Downton village, which is actually called Bampton, a lovely, well-preserved village in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. This village has been featured extensively throughout the popular TV series as its Downton village.
The local library served as the Downton Cottage Hospital and Doctors’ surgery, and St. Mary’s Church became Downton Church. Churchgate House also featured in exterior shots as the Crawley family home. Now, you will have the chance to walk along these village streets!
In the early afternoon, you’ll head to Highclere Castle, the Grantham family home. You’ll have time to explore the Monk’s Garden, the White Border, the Secret Garden, and the Wood of Goodwill, and have time for a light lunch at the café/tearooms in the Castle kitchens.
The Carnarvon family have lived at Highclere Castle since 1679. In 1838, the Third Earl of Carnarvon commissioned Sir Charles Barry to transform the castle into an outstanding mansion. It served as a hospital during the Great War and was returned to private residential use in 1922.
The current Earl and his wife, the Countess of Carnarvon, live part of the time in the castle and part of the time nearby in their country home. They remain closely involved in the everyday life of the castle and the plans for its future.
Once you have entered the castle, you’ll follow a set route with guides in each state room, including the saloon, library, dining room, music room, drawing room, and smoking room. You can also go up the red stairs to see some of the bedrooms and the gallery, before making your way down the oak staircase back to the saloon in the center of the castle.