The Downton Abbey film is out, why not visit the place that inspired the series?

5 September 2019

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Many people in the UK are very excited at the prospect of the new Downton Abbey film, which is released in cinemas on 13th September 2019.

Many  favourite characters will be returning – Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess and Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Downton, as well as lots of others, plus several new arrivals, to freshen things up.

The impressively-voiced Jim Carter (Mr Carson) is thankfully returning to reprise his role, and is joined by Imelda Staunton (they are partners in real-life!) and she is taking on the above-stairs role of Lady Bagshaw.

Some fan-favourites, such as Lily James (who played Lady Rose), wont be appearing in the film (her character Rose moved to New York in the final TV series), but the mix of familiar faces and interesting newcomers, promises to reignite the public’s passion for the Downton dynasty.

The eagerly-awaited silver-screen version is set in the year 1927 (a year on from the series finale) as the Great Depression looms on the horizon, and everyone is tightening their financial belts.

You can watch the official movie trailer, and read lots more about the epic film version here.

If the film reignites your love for Downton Abbey and you fancy a day out to really soak up the atmosphere and learn more about this fascinating period in history, a trip to Highclere Castle may be hard to resist.

Highclere Castle is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and has become a tourist attraction in its own right. The Castle is close to Newbury in Berkshire, check their website for details of opening days and times.  Apart from being the location where lots of filming for the series happens (as well as the film), Julian Fellowes was inspired to create the drama through his longstanding friendship with the Carnarvon family, who have lived at Highclere since 1679.

There is much to admire and enjoy in this beautiful Victorian Castle set amidst 1, 000 acres of rolling parkland, but its ace card is no doubt the Downton connection, as a visit allows you to walk in the well-trodden footsteps of the much-loved cast, and to see for yourself the imposing exterior and sumptuous interiors that evoke a bygone age of refinement.

You can explore the contrasting domains of the privileged gentry and the hard-working servants, as you have access to several of the bedrooms and state rooms as used by  the family members, as well as a chance to explore the more austerely decorated downstairs areas.  100 years ago, 60 members of staff lived in or around the castle, including a House Steward, butlers, footmen, housekeepers, maids, kitchen staff and steward room boys. You can take a more in-depth look at the close links between Highclere Castle and Downton Abbey here.

What better day out to celebrate the series being brought vividly back to life on the big screen?

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