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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The Visit Revealed

Yesterday I described and gave some clues to the place that we had visited on Sunday. Several people recognised it as Highclere Castle which is the main location for the popular series ITV Downton Abbey.


It is the home of The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon although in Downton Abbey it belongs to Lord and Lady Grantham and you would indeed expect to be greeted at the door by the fictitious butler Mr Carsons.


We started our day with a walk around the gardens and this is the only place where I took photos. The walk around the grounds landscaped by Capability Brown gives you views of the house from many angles.


This includes the more domestic side of the house.


It was quite early in the season for the gardens to look their best. There are a lot of spring bulbs in meadows and cowslips emerging in the wildflower meadows.


We then moved on to the more formal and walled gardens which Lady Carnarvon is working hard to improve and increase.


We saw The Secret Garden


Then through a gate into the Walled Garden although this is looking back out through it.


The Walled Garden and Monk's Garden are separated by a terrific yew hedge. The expanse and age of which can be seen at the end.



 Monk's Garden originates from the 12th Century and is bordered by an unusual brick arched wall.


 We had lunch in the tearooms apparently cooked by the family's chef. There is no sign of "Mrs Patmore's" kitchen. Actually to be precise we had to sit outside with our lunch in order to find a table. We resisted the bottles of champagne for £35 with a special Highclere Castle label.
 Our next visit was to the Egyptian Exhibition which comprises of the collection of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922 before dying in 1923 as a result of a supposed "curse" from disturbing the tomb. He died in reality from septicaemia.
 Finally we explored the house itself. We all agreed that it was a very comfortable, light and tasteful home that we could all happily live in. Each room had photos of the Downton Abbey cast in action in that particular location. Upstairs the bedrooms were labelled as to which was used for each character. "Lady Mary's" appeared to be missing but we discovered that the label had been removed because of the queues building up to see it.
We were amused to see that the guest room used as the room of the Turkish Diplomat "Kemal Pamuk" was labelled and we were able to imagine his body being secretly carried along the corridor after fictionally dying in "Lady Mary's" bed.


  All round it was a wonderful day out. We enjoyed our insight into the home and lives of the Carnavons and our glimpse of Downton Abbey life. Should you be inspired to visit you may have a bit of a wait. All booked tickets are sold out for this year.























3 comments:

  1. amamzing the allure of Downton so that all tickets are already sold for the year. Intersting to see the plain brick of the servant area and the width of those hedges. Lovely look around thank you

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  2. What a lovely day out - I would certainly like to visit here. The closest we have here is Dundurn Castle, the Duchess of Cornwall's distant relative built. https://www.hamilton.ca/attractions/hamilton-civic-museums/dundurn-national-historic-site

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  3. I know lots of Downton fans in the US who would be so thrilled to do that tour!

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