Fans of Downton Abbey will be pleased to hear the good news that there is another series of the acclaimed drama starting on 20 September. The bad news is that it will be the last in the chronicle, created by Julian Fellowes, of the Crawley family, their lives and those of their servants in the period leading up to World War I.
Whilst watching this drama on television, do you wish you were taking afternoon tea with the Crawleys in Downton Abbey? If you are planning a holiday around this time why not rent a caravan in Berkshire so that you can visit the “Downton” places, some of which are listed below:
Downton was filmed on location at Highclere Castle, home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. In Berkshire, South East England, and set in 1000 acres of stunning parkland, this Victorian castle plays the role of Downton Abbey. Julian Fellowes is a family friend of the Earl and Countess and it is said that he had Highclere in mind when he wrote the series.
Experience life first hand at the castle, stroll the gardens, take tea in the café and marvel at the interiors, many of which have been used in filming various scenes. As it is such a popular place to visit, it is advisable to pre-book your entrance tickets.
In the Cotswolds you will come across the beautiful village of Bampton, where many scenes of Crawley House and Downton village are filmed, supposedly somewhere between Thirsk and Ripon.
Churchgate House is used as the setting for the exterior of Isobel Crawley’s house. The old Grammar School building served as Downton Hospital and St Mary’s Church has seen a number of events in Downton – funerals, christenings, even a jilting at the altar.
Bate’s Prison Cell
Season three of the drama saw Bates locked up in York Prison for possible murder charges. In filming the prison was actually Lincoln Castle, Lincolnshire, home of the Lincoln Magna Carta dating back to 1215.
The Carnarvon Arms
A Grade II listed former coach house, a short distance from Highclere Castle, was the perfect base for the cast to stay during filming. Visit the newly reformed restaurant opened by Marco Pierre White and maybe catch a glimpse of one of your Downton heroes at the bar.
Downton Abbey Tours
There are many tours of Downton now on offer from short, chauffeur driven tours to a cruise along the waterways ending at Highclere castle; or even a three day experience where you can listen to anecdotes about the filming, production and cast as well as visiting all of the main locations.
Black Diamonds – a new costume drama
Based on the book by Catherine Bailey, Black Diamonds is the likely focus of a new costume drama produced by the BBC and is the story of a wealthy coal mining empire. It is rumoured to be based at Wentworth Woodhouse, a building with a huge façade, based at Wentworth village near Rotherham in South Yorkshire. Rent a caravan nearby and be one of the first to be on location with the film cast and crew.
Search on Rent my Caravan to rent a caravan in Berkshire or any of the other locations where the filming of Downton took place. You’ll be able to positively wallow in the nostalgia.
Photo by Mike Searle [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons