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.
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