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“Worth a visit on its own value”
Review of Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle
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Downton Abbey and Oxford Tour from London Including Highclere Castle
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Downton Abbey and Village Tour from London
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Small-Group 'Downton Abbey' and Highclere Castle Tour from London
Ranked #1 of 35 things to do in Newbury
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, this is considered to be one of the finest Victorian homes still in existence, which houses fine furniture and works of art.
Reviewed 18 June 2014

While visiting the Oxford area in April 2014 my husband and I had to, of course, visit the setting for Downton Abbey. We were there on Easter Day and I had checked in advance for tickets. The website said they were sold out, but upon calling I was told that they save a few tickets each day for walk-ins. We arrived right after they opened and easily made it in. The grounds are absolutely beautiful and look exactly as they do on TV. We took the indoor tour and I was surprised to see that everything in the show (except for the downstairs) was exactly as it is in the show. They even use the same furniture! We were, however, disappointed that no photos were allowed inside.

We expected our visit to last for a couple hours but, in fact, stayed for about five hours. We had a snack in the cafe and walked all around the property. Lots of beautiful sights to see, including the beautiful English countryside complete with picturesque flocks of sheep. The garden is also a must see.

An exciting surprise was the Egyptian exhibit in the basement of the castle. I've been to Egypt and am a huge archeology fan and knew that Lord Carnarvon discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun, but I did not realize the extent and the importance of the antiquities in the collection. This is stuff you've seen in National Geographic!

Overall we had a very lovely time at Downt...er Highclere Castle, and recommend it on a visit to the area.

1  Thank RobinontheRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 June 2014

Although the tv show interested me in Highclere Castle, I discovered there is so much more to the castle and it's history than a recent mini-series. I learned that the castle is older than I believed, that it has connections with many more industries than television, and that the staff who run the castle are personable. And accessible. I recently had the chances to tour the castle with my wife and I was truly surprised,- not just by the grandeur or the beauty of the movie set, but mostly by the history of the Herbert's, the family that is the Lord of Carnarvan.

A couple of thoughts on getting there. There are trains from the Paddington Station in London, although try to time your travel to go off-peak, so you do not pay premium prices like we had to. We also stored our bags in the left luggage area next to track 12. It cost 10 pounds, but that was worth the cost not to carry it around. The train ran on time and once in Newbury, the taxis are ready to take you to Highclere, And if you are lucky, they will fill you in with the history as well. We used Richard's taxi service and they were very good - poverty prompt and very informative. Call Richard at +4407599019699.

I encourage everyone to visit and view the Egyptology exhibit - that was well worth the entire trip. The gardens are wonderful and we spent over an hour just walking round admiring the flowers and plants.

Although off the beaten path, beat a path to this castle - despite the fame, there is much, much more there.

5  Thank Tanksmon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2014

We only went because we are fans of Downton Abbey but ended up having a great day.
Beautiful setting with gardens to match and a truly peaceful atmosphere.
The house itself was good with staff on hand to answer any questions and tell us about each room.
We also used the tea rooms which were fine and visited the gift shop too. Had a great day which we will remember for a long time.

2  Thank RVC33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

As good as it looks on Downton Abby but difficult to get tickets. Lovely grounds and you can spend the a full day here

2  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

How fortunate I was to have been able to visit and spend time at Highclere Castle during April 2014. Tickets are indeed very difficult to come by and we were told they are booked solid through 2016!

Driving up to the castle was an extremely striking view and walking through the front door was really feeling like you were walking into a comfortable home. I think that is the power you feel because Lord and Lady Carnarvon really do live there. Well, they do move out for about three months to another home on the estate while visitors come through the castle. The truth is I am a big fan of Downton Abbey and I have gone back to Season 1 and am watching everything again. I get so excited when I can say, "I remember seeing that...and that...and that...and that!" It is fun!

The castle is really as you see it in the seriies Downton Abbey; however, when the filming is not going on, the home is covered with family pictures and momentos just like any other family home. The staff of Highclere Castle are also the docents. What better docents could you ask for! They know the history of the castle and the current Lord and Lady. I enjoyed hearing that the green fabric wallpaper in the sitting room was a wedding gift to the real Lady Carnarvon who is Cora on Downton Abbey. Now when I see the green wall paper in that room I know where it came from and know that it was extremely expensive and has remained on the walls in that room of the castle since those times! I so enjoyed visiting with the staff of Highclere! One of the docents told us the filming company had just been there the day before and would be back again the next day. The day we were at Highclere, they were filming in the village! We would just be missing them for three days! Highclere Castle is a lovely English castle and I feel so fortunate to have been able to tour it and visit with people who take care of it on a daily basis.

It was incredible to walk down that amazing staircase and remember many things that happend on that staircase! Oh, and what a view!

There is a small gift shop in a small building hidden away from but near the castle. I liked the fact that it was small and not at all presumptious. What they had was very nice.

3  Thank TheBoysGrandma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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