Tribute to Downton Abbey Tour

Highclere Castle. Photo by Richard Munckton on Flickr
A 9 day trip to England & Scotland 
5
5 out of 5 stars
7 reviews

As we bid farewell to the final season of Downton Abbey, this custom tailored tour allows you to relive your favorite series firsthand by visiting film locations across London and throughout the English countryside. Immerse yourself in the early 20th-century era of glamorous parties, gilded dinners, opulent castles, and charming villages set in the distinct world of Downton Abbey. You will experience the lavish lifestyle of the British aristocracy by exploring the allure of historic estates. Discover the minute details that created the perfect drama atmosphere. Stroll along the grounds of Downton at Highclere Castle and enjoy an elegant afternoon tea at The Ritz London.

Exploring Further

This itinerary includes an immersive tour of the Inveraray Castle in Scotland. Did you know that the Inveraray Castle has been the seat of the Duke of Argyll since the 1700’s? The estate covers over 50,000 acres of some of Scotland’s finest scenic landscapes. To explore more of Scotland, visit the Scotland tours page on Zicasso.

Note: DOWNTON ABBEY is a trademark of Carnival Film & Television Limited and/or its affiliates. Neither the "Tribute to Downton Abbey Tour" nor this website is in any way affiliated with, related to or authorized by Carnival, nor any officially licensed or authorized DOWNTON ABBEY tours or other goods or services. 

Customize This Trip For Me
Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Highclere Castle. Photo by Haley Blackmore on Flickr
Highclere Castle. Photo by Richard Munckton on Flickr
Wycombe Park. Photo by John Griffiths on Flickr
St. Pancras Railway Station. Photo by The Wolf on Flickr
The Ritz, London
Highclere Castle. Photo by JBUK_Planet on Flickr
The Ritz, London
St. Ermin’s Hotel, London
St. Ermin’s Hotel, London
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

London: Highlights of the city plus filming locations of Seasons Four, Five, and Six, including West Wycombe Park (Aunt Rosamund’s London home), Lancaster House (Buckingham Palace in the Season Four Christmas Special), Basildon Park (the Grantham House), and The Ritz London

England: Highclere Castle (The actual Downton Abbey), Oxfordshire, Greys Court (Downton Place), Bampton (Downton Village), St. Mary’s Church (Where Mary and Matthew wed), Goodwood Circuit (Brooklands Racing Scene), Horsted Keynes Station (Downton Railway Station), Northumberland, Alnwick Castle (Brancaster Castle)

Scotland: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inveraray Castle (Duneagle Castle, Home of Lord and Lady Flincher) 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.  However, EARLY BOOKINGS are highly encouraged because visits to Highclere Castle are limited and have to be booked well in advance.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: A Downton Welcome in London

London combines its past and present culture along cobblestone streets and Victorian architecture. Fires roar in historic pubs where Charles Dickens once dined. The regal ambiance of Westminster Abbey radiates from the Gothic façade. Upon your arrival at the airport, your private transfer will greet you at baggage claim, ready to assist you with your luggage. The city has a vibrant ambiance drifting along the historic corridors of the Tower of London. London’s oldest restaurant, Rules, is located in Covent Garden and maintains its 18th-century style when it begun by selling oysters; it’s also where Edith Crawley meets Michael Gregson for lunch.

You are staying at the luxurious St. Ermin’s Hotel, located in the heart of London and within walking distance to the city’s captivating landmarks. The Victorian-era hotel embodies the grandeur of London familiar to the characters of Downton Abbey. Verdant trees shade the square and provide a touch of the countryside, taking you away from the bustling center of London. You have time to freshen up and relax before your driver escorts you to the Ritz London for afternoon tea. The hotel has stood in Piccadilly since the early 1900s.

The hotel overlooks the lavish boutiques around St. James and the emerald hues of Green Park. Once inside, you feel as though you have explored the lobby before. Edith Crawley dines with Aunt Rosamund Painswick in the spectacular dining room. Elegant chandeliers dangle from the ceiling. Beautiful pastries decorate the tiers of the cake stand. The herbaceous aroma of steeping tea emanates from the teapot. It is easy to imagine Edith and her aunt enjoying a fine meal at the Ritz during Season Six.   

What’s Included: private transfer from the airport to your hotel, accommodation at the St. Ermin’s Hotel in central London, afternoon tea at Ritz London

Day 2: Introduction to Downton and Palatial Allure

The aroma of freshly brewed tea filters out of teahouses and coffee shops in the morning. London returns to vivacious life along the historic streets and the distinctive neighborhoods captured in Downton Abbey. After breakfast, your guide greets you at the hotel, ready to take you on a full day tour of the Downton Abbey filming locations situated across the city. Your exploration of London takes you to Belgrave Square, one of the most exclusive addresses in the city. The stunning square was constructed in the 19th century and maintains its grand aristocratic air. In the first season, Lady Edith sends a letter to 43 Belgrave Square, which is home to the Turkish Embassy. When searching the façade of the townhomes, you recognize the area as home to Lady Rosamond’s London residence.

The Crawley women stayed at 35 Belgrave Square during their visits to the big city, which acted as a perfect base to discover their affluent nightlife outings and also home to scandalous, secret rendezvous. The day incorporates the beauty of the city with the particular culture of Downton Abbey, including Lincoln Inn Fields, the largest public square in London. The field was designed in the 17th century and contains tennis and netball courts in the grassy center of the square. When visiting London, the Crawley women would enjoy an evening stroll along the manicured footpaths of the park. You take your time walking in the footsteps of Lady Rose and Lady Edith.

The Lancaster House is located in the St. James’s District of London. The interior was used as a stand-in for Buckingham Palace during the Christmas Special of Season Four. The home was erected in the 1820s under the patronage of the Duke of York and Albany. The completed home is three stories tall. The central hall opens to a sensational view of the main staircase. Natural light spills in through the windows, framing the vaulted ceiling. Columns support the ceiling along the far end of the stairs. Cora presents Lady Rose to the King and Queen inside these walls. The splendor radiates around you as you walk along the crimson carpet and gilded rooms.

What’s Included: breakfast at the hotel, full-day tour of Downton Abbey filming locations; accommodation at the St. Ermin’s Hotel in central London

Day 3: Historic London

Boats gently glide on the River Thames. The London Tower Bridge raises its roadway to allow larger ships to pass through. At breakfast, you have come to enjoy the floral aroma drifting from your morning cup of tea. The day is yours to enjoy London as you please, taking the time to discover the wealth of landmarks and layers of history dotted around the city. Many elements of the city remain from the era of Downton Abbey, which provides insight into the ways London has changed over the years, along with the various ways it has maintained its traditions.

The Tower of London is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The White Tower was constructed in the 11th century under the patronage of William the Conqueror. The white stone of the castle’s facade glints in the sunlight. The southern battlements rise to a height of 90 feet. The outer walls separate the castle grounds from the banks of the Thames. The Crown Jewels are displayed in the Jewel House, which is part of the vault housing once used as the barracks. A sentry stands on guard at the Jewel House in full uniform. His bearskin hat is nearly 18 inches tall.

His polished red coat stands out against the whitewashed stone. The opulence of the Crown Jewels and the historic ambiance, along with the air of tradition involved in the movement of the guards, is consistent with the image of Downton Abbey’s portrayal of London’s contemporary history. At lunch, you venture to the Criterion, a restaurant established in the 1870s in Piccadilly Circus. Neo-Byzantine style décor promotes a gilded lifestyle. Semi-elliptical arches decorate the doorways adorning octagonal columns. Sensational semi-precious stones glow along the mosaic floors. It is in this restaurant where Edith Crawly and Michael Gregson share their first kiss.

What’s Included: breakfast at your hotel, lunch at the Criterion Restaurant, accommodation at the St. Ermin’s Hotel in central London

Day 4: Intersection of Downton Life and Thrilling Competition

Today you continue your immersion into the lives and lifestyles of the characters in Downton Abbey. After breakfast, your driver meets you at the hotel and escorts you on a scenic drive south to Horsted Keynes Station. The verdant southern English hills roll alongside the roadway. Sheep graze on the grass. Charming stone churches speckle the horizon. The railway station is the iconic intersection of Downton livelihood. The actual station was opened in the 1880s and was decommissioned in the 1960s.

The vintage refurbishment of the train station takes you back in time and into the depths of the Downton. Servicemen came and went along these platforms. Women and men boarded lavish carriages and waved farewell to their families. Lady Mary saw Matthew off to war along these platforms. Mr. Bates traveled to Downton along these tracks. Walking along the platforms and through the station has you following in the fond arrivals and tearful farewells of the characters you know and love. You continue westbound to the Goodwood Estates, where you find the Goodwood Racing Circuit.

The racetrack, known as Brooklands Race Track, was featured in the seventh episode of the sixth season, during the year 1925. The nearly three miles of the racetrack is featured when Henry Talbot and Charles Rogers face off. Now is your chance to indulge in the unique opportunity of circling the track in a classic 20th-century car. Face off against motor enthusiasts and feel the wind through your hair. You might even see Bertie Pelham and Laura Edmunds in the stands cheering you on. Your luxurious hotel is located on the Goodwood estate and incorporates antique charms with contemporary comfort.

What’s Included: breakfast at hotel, tour of “Downton Railway Station,” visit Goodwood Racing Circuit and Goodwood Estate, accommodation at Goodwood Hotel

Day 5: Star of the Show

The estate grounds glow a stunning emerald in the morning light. You can hear the horses trotting along the grounds. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you north, where you find the star of Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle. The memorable site of the Jacobethan architecture of the castle is breathtaking. The fact that you are within reach of the famous image of the series is thrilling. The grounds cover 5,000 acres of the Hampshire countryside and remain the county seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. The family of the Earl has inhabited the estate since the 17th century. The aristocratic grounds take you endless miles away from the urban lifestyle of London and the rural grounds of Goodwood.

Much of Downton Abbey’s success is predicated on the realistic portrayal of British nobility, along with the lifestyle and interactions of their staff. The castle enhances the show’s realism. Your driver takes you along the mile long drive lined with precisely 56 cedar trees. Pastures around the castle turn to pristine woodlands. Elegant gardens change into patchwork farms. The castle attracts fans of Downton Abbey from around the world during its visiting season, with each person eager to witness the opulence associated with the series. You can even see the 20-person full-time staff maintaining the grounds, which includes a butler. Your exclusive tour takes you inside the sensational aristocratic home. Your guide is an expert on the history of British aristocracy.

Every room has a storied past, and practically every piece of furniture contains a fabulous story. The Great Hall has an impressive vaulted ceiling and an expansive floor. A Baroque painting decorates the Music Room along with the tapestries adorning the walls. Over 5,500 books fill the vast library, the earliest of which was published in the 16th century. In the Drawing Room, you can almost hear the dour comments of Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, as she sips her tea. The tour also takes you out of the world of Downton and into the fabulous Egyptian Exhibit, filled with artifacts collected by the George Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. In 1923, the Earl discovered the famous Tomb of Tutankhamun. A new exhibit located in the cellars of the castle celebrates the elaborate excursions and achievements of the Earl.

After your exploration of Highclere Castle, your driver leads you to the village of Bampton, which doubles as the village of Downton. Remnants of ancient cultures from the Iron Age to Roman settlements have been discovered on the borders of the hamlet. Certain sites look familiar, taking you back into memories of Downton. The parish church, known as St. Mary’s Church, was constructed in the 12th century. The spire decorates the elegant skyline, standing 170 feet tall. It is the site where Matthew Crawly and Lady Mary are married in Season Three. Church bells ring on the hour and fill the township with charming music. Ivy drapes across the stone cottage facades. The floral aroma of tea lingers in the teahouses along with the sweet scent of marmalade. Small sightseeing boats drift down the River Thames underneath the Tadpole Bridge. In the evening, you arrive at your accommodation at the Swan Inn, where Lady Sybil and Tom Branson stayed when running off to elope.

What’s Included: breakfast at your hotel, full day tour of Highclere Castle and Bampton Village filming locations, accommodation at the Swan Inn

Day 6: Manners and Manors

Today you leave the charms of Oxfordshire behind. The blossomed gardens radiate with blue, yellow, and pink flowers. The petals wave in the breeze as you pass. You make your way to Basildon Park in Berkshire. The country house was erected in the 18th century with a style reminiscent of historic Venetian design. The historical house has also served as a barracks and even a tank training ground. Its interior also doubles as the Grantham’s London residence. Parkland surrounds the elegant mansion. An antique atmosphere emanates from the façade.

Although the interior doesn’t have the same flair as during Lady Rose’s debutante ball, the charismatic allure remains. Silk flowers adorn the Octagon Room. Red felt walls rise to meet the gold ceiling. The gilded doorframe opens to the main hall and sets the tone of the manor’s historic dignity. You reach Greys Court, located in Henley-on-Thames, a marvelous country manor recognizable as Downton Place. Cora suggests the name after learning they may have to sell Downton Abbey. Luckily, the Crawleys never do end up selling their magnificent castle estate.

The grounds of Greys Court are splendid, embodying aristocratic grandeur and historic opulence. The house was erected in the 17th century in the traditional Tudor style. Walls encircle luxurious gardens filled with roses and wisteria. A medieval fortified tower was erected in the 14th century and act as a reminder of the previous castle that once protected the grounds. The hills of the Chilterns frame the horizon. You recall when the Crawleys enjoyed a picnic on the tranquil grass. The styles of the home’s interior reflect the variety of families that have resided on the grounds, from the Tudors to the present day. You can even follow the timeline during the era of Downton Abbey, linking the timeframe of the manor’s history to the timeline of the show, ranging from 1912 to 1925.

What’s Included: breakfast at your hotel, private tour of “Grantham’s London Home” and “Downton Place,” private transfer from Oxfordshire to London, accommodation at St. Ermin’s Hotel in central London

Day 7: English Graces

In the morning, locals stroll along the pathways of Kensington Gardens. Historic pubs open their doors to the bustling streets of the city. At breakfast, you find the comforting aroma of freshly brewed tea. After breakfast, your private transfer takes you to Kings Cross Station for your scenic train ride to the northern city of Newcastle. The rails run through the central eastern landscape. The cities open into verdant rolling hills. Stone churches rise over charming wooden fences.

The beauty of the English countryside passes by the window. Your private transfer greets you at the Newcastle Station. Alnwick Castle is located north of the city. It was depicted as Brancaster Castle, home of Bertie Pelham, the seventh and new Marquis of Hexham, during the fifth and sixth seasons. The castle was constructed in the 11th century. In spring and summer, flowers grow along the outer walls, creating vibrant patterns shaped by purple and yellow petals. The castle currently belongs to the Duke of Northumberland. The State Rooms are a lavish affair with a sensational collection of art and furniture.

The Dining Room stands on what was once the medieval Great Hall. Crystal glasses and glowing brass candelabras decorate the table set for 14. Costumes and props from the Downton Abbey Christmas Special are displayed and showcase the styles of the characters during the 1920s. Photographs provide insight into the lifestyle of the characters during their luxurious stay at Brancaster, with gowns and tuxedos emphasizing the noble affairs. After your exclusive tour, your private transfer escorts you to the train station for your scenic ride to Edinburgh. Indulge in the comforts of your first-class train car as it ventures along the northeastern British coast. You can look out the window for an uncompromising view of cliffs rising above the Northumbrian coast. Sip on a glass of wine or whiskey and relish the luxury.

What’s Included: breakfast at your hotel, first-class train travel to Newcastle, tour of Alnwick Castle, private transfer to Edinburgh, accommodation at the Balmoral Hotel in central Edinburgh

Day 8: Bonds of Family  

The morning light washes over the city of Edinburgh and highlights Edinburgh Castle towering over the cityscape. The Royal Mile is a road connecting the medieval castle gates to the exquisite Holyroodhouse Palace over one mile away. Cobblestone streets connect to narrow alleys and open into elaborate public squares such as the historic plaza of Grassmarket. You make your way to the famous landscape of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Lush grass drapes across the mountains and brushes the shores of the pristine Scottish lakes.

Lupines blossom in the plains and adorn the pathways to ancient woodlands. You arrive at Inveraray Castle, located on the banks of Loch Fyne. The water shines an immaculate cobalt blue. The castle has watched over the undulating Scottish scenery since the 1400s and served as the fictional location of Duneagle Castle, home of Rose MacClare, and was featured in the Christmas Special of Season Three. You can picture the Gillies Ball, when staff and servants are invited to attend, as well as dance, with the aristocracy.

In reality, the castle is home to the Duke of Argyll and encompasses 50,000 acres. Conical roofs and corner towers adorn the castle’s outer features. Your guide takes you on the first of several exceptional private Scotland tours of the iconic grounds. The Armory Hall has a collection of historical weapons embellishing the walls, including 1,300 pikes, muskets, and swords. The fireplace creates a cozy element that produces a soft glow on the shining exterior of the armor. After your exploration of the estate, your private transfer takes you to Glasgow, where you can relax in the charming Georgian city at the Grand Central Hotel.

What’s Included: breakfast at your hotel, private transfer and tour of Inveraray Castle, accommodation at The Grand Central Hotel in central Glasgow

Day 9: Aristocratic Departure

The fantastical details of your immersion into the world of Downton Abbey continue to inspire you. The comprehensive lifestyles of the period drama have created a vivid panorama of the aristocracy and those who worked for them. You have experienced an ode to the storied world of Downton, taking in the opulent manors and charming villages used to layer the television series with authenticity. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel. He helps you with your bags and escorts you to the airport for your ride home. You carry the radiant world of Downton Abbey with you back to the comforts of your home.

What’s Included: breakfast at your hotel, private transfer to the airport

Price

What's Included 

  • Transfers, and all transportation and touring per Detailed Itinerary with your own private driver guide who is an expert historian on World War I, the British Monarchy, and noble society, providing in-depth knowledge of the Downton Abbey period
  • Hotels with breakfasts
  • Lunch at the world-famous Criterion Restaurant
  • Afternoon tea at The Ritz London
  • 24/7 support

Price 

Price starts from USD $4,499.00 per person based on double occupancy, depending on final hotel choices and seasonality.

EARLY BOOKINGS are highly encouraged because visits to Highclere Castle are limited and have to be booked well in advance.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.

Note: DOWNTON ABBEY is a trademark of Carnival Film & Television Limited and/or its affiliates. Neither the "Tribute to Downton Abbey Tour" nor this website is in any way affiliated with, related to or authorized by Carnival, nor any officially licensed or authorized DOWNTON ABBEY tours or other goods or services.