The fourth season of Downton Abbey has come to a close, and it will be a long, sad summer while we wait to see what kind of drama the Crawleys are getting into now. In the meantime, several tour operators are offering excursions to Highclere Castle, the real-life filming location for the hit series. Here are just a few worth checking out...
EuropeToo, a division of IsramWorld, is offering a four-night London itinerary that includes an exclusive day trip to Highclere Castle. Visitors will get to see the public main hall, the library, sitting room and other rooms featured in the PBS series. Guests can spend time touring the castle grounds or try some tea and cake in one of the castle's tea rooms for a true Crawley experience.
In addition to the Highclere visit, the package includes four nights' bed and breakfast accommodations at the five-star Grange Tower Bridge Hotel; a panoramic tour of London by vintage open-top bus; and visits to Stonehenge, Bath, Oxford and Bampton, the town where many exterior shots were filmed for Downton Abbey.
European Waterways, meanwhile, has added two more “Downton Abbey” cruises along the River Thames on the Magna Carta, departing August 10 and August 17. The cruises will include a tour of Highclere Castle, and depart on April 13, April 20, and May 4 this year.
The six-night cruises include all meals, wines, an open bar, numerous other daily escorted excursions, local transfers and admissions. (Good to know: Whole boat charters of the Magna Carta are also available starting at $32,500.)
Zicasso’s Downton Abbey Season 4 Tour is limited to seven days and six people maximum. Fans can visit filming locations in London, Bampton (Oxfordshire), Highclere Castle, and more as part of a week-long cultural immersion into the history, lives, and glory of that period.
Pricing begins at $3,230 per person, double, and includes accommodation at St. Ermin’s Hotel (London) and boutique Swan Inn (or corresponding Oxfordshire country inn); guided tours of London, Bampton, Highclere Castle and other filming locations; lunch at the Criterion Restaurant; afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason’s and other unique experiences. Jazz fans may opt to enjoy dinner and a live performance at the world famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, which has hosted such American luminaries as Ella Fitzgerald, Miles David and Wynton Marsalis. Those who prefer a break from the bustle of London may also opt to spend a day in the English countryside at the Palace House of Beaulieu, home to the National Motor Museum and its collection of over 250 vintage cars, including those reminiscent of the Downton period.
The tour will have nine departure dates between July 20 and August 24, with secured tickets to Highclere Castle.
For more information, visit Zicasso.com.