Tourists Can Now Visit the ‘Real’ Downton Abbey in Hampshire, UK
Ellenborough Park is the site at which the PBS series Downton Abbey is filmed. EOTours / MCT
Here’s hoping the kind people in the mistaken Downton Abbey locale — the village of Downton on the Wiltshire-Dorset border — don’t miss the confused Americans they’ve become accustomed to seeing.
Ellenborough Park, a country house hotel in the Cotswolds, is promising private access to the stately home in Hampshire as part of a package available from September 30 to October 7.
Guests will be able to explore areas where the show is filmed, including the saloon, state rooms and bedrooms.
They will also be able to see its Egyptian Exhibition, which contains relics from tombs discovered in Egypt by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter.
Highclere Castle – a 19th-century building designed by Sir Charles Barry, who was also the architect behind the Houses of Parliament – is sporadically open to the public, but will not be open again this year until December, apart from for exclusive private viewings.
Recently, tourists were reportedly heading to the village of Downton on the Wiltshire-Dorset border in the mistaken hope of tracing sights associated with the series. Landlords at the village pub – around an hour’s drive from Highclere Castle in Hampshire – described Downton Abbey inquiries as “a pretty regular occurrence.”
The package for the private Highclere Castle viewing will require deep pockets, however. It costs from £1,600 per person through the Mantis Collection ( www.mantiscollection.com ), including an all-day visit to Highclere Castle, an overnight stay at Ellenborough Park, and a visit to Ditchley Park, a stately home that housed Winston Churchill and his war cabinet during the Second World War.
Read more: Highclere Castle: the real Downton Abbey. Watch a tour of Highclere Castle.