Tuesday, 9 August 2016

My Downton Abbey experience

We had chosen this location for a holiday since Trisha had like nag wanted to visit Highclere Castle where, of course, Downton Abbey was filmed. We tried several years ago when we stayed in Oxford - not realising that you had to book to visit the house months in advance. This year we were prepared - our tickets were booked in February - on the day they opened this booking period!

The visit didn't disappoint. We could go into the house between 1 and 4 but could go into the grounds, tea shop and gift shop all day - so we arrived around 11 ( only had to go twice round a roundabout this time!) and headed for the tea shop.  The weather was perfect for sitting outside with our coffee and scone!

After the gift shop had given up some of its goodies, Trisha and Julia went to explore the gardens whilst I tried my hand at some sewing design.  I am wondering if, like the scrapbooking I used to do, I could design a small wall hanging to reflect the holiday.  No artistic skill of course but I do have some Downton Abbey fabric at home so am, at least, spared that!

Then we made our way to the house where we were strictly told that no photos were allowed - these are off google!  Downstairs large stills gave you an idea of the tie in with the to series whilst upstairs was a little more disappointing with a strange use of modern fiction placed in the rooms.  For example - The Stud by Jackie Collins was placed in the bedroom where the lover died in the to series - all quite peculiar.  However we did get to walk down the g and staircase!

After another refreshment break we then went to see the Egyptian exhibition. I knew that Carter discovered Tutankhamen but didn't realise that the owner of Highclere castle had bank rolled him for 16 years, eventually giving Carter one last chance.  Even more fascinating was that once the tomb had been found, Carter sealed it up again and waited two weeks for the Earl of Canaervan to arrive so that they could discover it together!  Oh if only I had that patience!!  By the way - these aren't real - just thought that I ought to warn you otherwise this picture would be a bit gruesome!

So - it's been a great day with an evening of a tribute Tom Jones to look forward to.  The plan is to go shopping in Bath tomorrow ( we have afternoon tea booked at the pump rooms) and then to spend the day here on Thursday trying out the activities ( I have an Indian Head Massage booked!!). We are even talking about trying another one next year - if we can find one within travelling distance to Leamington Spa for Trish and Warwick Castle for me that is!


  1. Good to see the weather has been kind to you. Hope it continues. xxxxxx

  2. Glad you had a good time...we must have struck it lucky, we just turned up one Sunday afternoon and got straight in with nothing off limits. Lovely setting for sure.
    Enjoy Bath tomorrow