Highclere Castle
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A Day at Downton
Channel your inner Downton Abbey-ness and head to Highclere Castle in Newbury. An hour train ride from central London plus a short cab ride brings you to the mile-long, tree lined driveway of "Downton Abbey." As you round the final corner of the drive, you can see Highclere Castle’s glorious gothic turrets through the trees. You can almost imagine the curtains twitching as Lady Edith watches you pull up the drive. Tickets to house are timed and the house tours are self-guided. Visitors are allowed to wander through the glorious dining room where the portrait of Charles I hangs over Carson’s sideboard and the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) throws her infamous one-liners at unsuspecting guests. Visitors can also see the library (Lord Grantham’s office and study) and the glorious “saloon”, where the Grantham family gathers and the sisters plot their various schemes. Upstairs, visitors file past Sybil and Edith’s bedrooms as well as the “Rose bedroom” where Lady Mary and Mr Pamuk had their passionate, ill-fated romp. When you're finished touring the house, you have hours to wander the gardens and grounds or recreate the "walking-up-the-hill" opening scene from Downton Abbey.
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