Prices

  • £189.00 Adult/Senior
  • £179.00 Child (15 and under)
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Cotswolds, Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle – Small Group Day Tour

Visit the filming sites associated with Downton Abbey in the morning, and enjoy a full afternoon in Highclere Castle, the Grantham family home in the series.

This special small group tour includes entry to Highclere Castle.




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Tour Highlights

  • Travel by executive coach
  • Expert, friendly guides
  • Visit to Yew Tree Farm (Cogges) and Downton Village (Bampton)
  • Entry and tour of Highclere Castle and Gardens
  • Maximum group size 18 people
Cotswolds
38°
windy
79% humidity
wind: 29mph NNW
H 39 • L 33
37°
Sat
46°
Sun
46°
Mon
48°
Tue
49°
Wed
Weather from Yahoo!

Tour Schedule

Depart London and drive away from the city to the delightful Oxfordshire Cotswolds to see key filming sites of Downton Abbey.

Our first stop is a visit to Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm), home of the Downton Abbey tenant farmers. After a tea/coffee break in the delightfully refurbished rustic cow shed Café at Cogges, we take a tour and learn of the relationship between the tenant farmers and landowners, showing the sites used in filming.

The historic farmyard and 13th century manor house sits on the banks of the River Windrush and first appeared in Downton Abbey in series 4. In series 5 the farm plays a central role with the farmer’s wife raising Lady Edith’s love child. In series 6 Mr Mason moves into the farm, with the help of Daisy.

After the tour we enjoy a sightseeing drive through the Windrush valley. First stop is the Swan Inn at Swinbrook, which hosted the elopement of Lady Sybil with Branson the family chauffeur (and now son in law!). This was one of the key, and most controversial, story-lines in Downton Abbey series 2.

We then continue our drive to Shilton, a truly stunning Cotswolds village in a small basin, where large coaches cannot drive. Time for a photo to explore the old stone foot-bridge, duck pond, old pump and well, before we take the short journey to ‘Downton village’, otherwise known as Bampton, a beautiful Oxfordshire Cotswolds village. The village of Bampton has been used extensively in all series for Downton Village filming. Bampton Library was used for Downton Cottage Hospital and Doctors surgery; St.Mary’s Church became Downton Church and Church Square; Churchgate House was used for exterior shots for the Crawley family home; and we walk along the street which has been used for shops, the post office and the Grantham Arms.

In the early afternoon we make our way to the Grantham Family home, Highclere Castle. On arrival at Highclere Castle there will be time to enjoy the beautiful gardens; The Monk’s Garden, White Border, Secret Garden and Wood of Goodwill.

There will be time for lunch, or a snack in the Tearooms where you can enjoy light lunches or afternoon teas made in the Castle kitchens, before we enter Highclere Castle for an afternoon visit. Our tickets are valid to enter the Castle, Gardens and Egyptian exhibition from 13:30pm-15:30pm (Castle closes at 16:30pm), and we plan to arrive at the Castle by 13.00pm. There is plenty of time to have lunch, enjoy the grounds and enter the Castle.

The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679.  Major rebuilding work was carried out in the 18th and 19th centuries, and in 1838, the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon brought in Sir Charles Barry to transform his home into a truly stunning mansion. During the First World War the Castle was transformed into a hospital, returning to a private home in 1922.

To this day the current (8th) Earl and Countess of Carnarvon live partly in the Castle and partly nearby, but remain closely involved in the Castle’s day to day life and future.

On entry to Highclere Castle visitors follow a route through the Castle through with guides in each State room. The State rooms include the Saloon, Library, Dining room, Music room, Drawing room and Smoking room. Visitors can then go up the Red Stairs to view some of the Bedrooms and the Gallery, before walking down the Oak staircase back to the Saloon in the heart of the house.

After the tour you will have time to visit the Egyptian exhibition. The Castle was the seat of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who famously discovered the Tomb of the Egyptian Boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, in 1922. In the cellars of Highclere Castle there is now an Egyptian exhibition to celebrate the discovery.



Important Information

Departure

07.20am Great Russell Street, outside British Museum main entrance
07.30am Outside Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch
07.45am Outside Ashburn Hotel, 111 Cromwell Road, Kensington (close to Gloucester Road Tube station), London

Return to London

On the return to London your driver will drop you at Victoria Train Station in the city centre. This is one of the largest transport stations in London, with excellent connections to all parts of London and beyond.



FAQ’s

Will the tour pick-up from my hotel?

Not unless you are staying at a hotel that is a designated pick-up (you will see options for these before you pay).  This is because of Government actions to help prevent pollution, no tour operators have been allowed to make individual hotel pick-ups since 1st April 2017.

Are there toilets on the coaches?

Some coaches have toilets, some do not, but on all tours there are regular comfort stops of no longer than 2 hours apart, plus all places visited have toilets on site.

Will we have time for a full lunch stop whilst on tour?

Unless you book a tour that includes a specific lunch stop then no.  Most tours are targeted at seeing as much as possible in one day and do not have time for a full stop.  There are options to buy food and snacks at all sites visited, but these can be expensive and most people prefer to bring food and drink with them.  Supermarkets, e.g. Tesco Express offer excellent and great value, pre-prepared food that is ideal for this.  Here is a store finder link.

Will the tour return to for example London at the time stated or can it be late?

Most tours return at the expected time, but this is always subject to traffic and it is possible there could be a delay and so it is always wise to allow plenty of spare time if you are planning on booking theatre shows, trains or flights etc. after your tour.

What clothes should I wear?

It is always wise to check the weather forecast before setting out.  It is good to plan in case of rain, with perhaps a shower coat and umbrella.  There will likely be quite a bit of walking on tours and comfy shoes are a must and if any of the tour is on grass e.g. Stonehenge Inner Circle tours then waterproof shoes are sensible.  It is often colder out of London than in London particularly if windy and a jumper or fleece in summer are wise and a warm coat in winter.

If visiting London how much time will it take to see all the main sites, will we have time for more than one out of London tour if we only have a week? How long in advance should I book tours?

It is a common mistake that people think it may take six days to see London and only allow a day for out of London tours.  However there is so much to see out of London that four days to go out of London will be an amazing experience to see maybe all these locations, Dover, Canterbury, Leeds Castle, Hampton Court, Windsor, Winchester, Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Avebury, Bath, Stratford, Oxford and Warwick.

There are excellent day tours of London that see all of the main attractions in one day and then perhaps allow a further two days to see the Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Tour and other London attractions not included on the main tours and do not forget to book your show/theatre tickets well in advance too.

These are all very popular tours, most sell out well in advance and it is wise to book your tours, theatre and attractions several months in advance and you will find good planning in advance will optimise your holiday.

Is it better value to tour sites of London and out of London sites on our own, perhaps hiring a car?

No, fixed tours of both London and out of London are much better value than visiting sites individually and you will find going individually entrance costs alone will add up to more than the fixed tours, even before you factor in travel costs.

Do tours pick-up from any of the London airports?

Sorry no tours depart or return from any UK airports.  There are however excellent rapid express trains for example the Heathrow Express.

Can you help me find a discounted best value hotel? Plus theatre/shows and other attractions?

Yes we certainly can and here are some useful links.



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Why stop there?


The ever-increasing demand and availability for well-organised, safe and reliable trips means that we now go further afield, so while we love taking people on tours of England, Ireland and Scotland we are pleased to offer that little bit more with river tours of Amsterdam, coach tours of Paris and train trips to the chocolate capital of the world, Brussels!

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There are so many and we cater for everyone so it may be a case of a leisurely out of London trip to Stonehenge or you may want the buzz and excitement of a theatre tour of London – all the glitz and glamour is there. Out of London, we offer all sorts of adventures: Roman Baths, Shakespeare country, the Royal Pavilion, Brighton – you name it. Same with London – we don’t just do the round London tours – we can take you to Kew Gardens or we can take you on an expedition on the roof of the O2 Dome to the platform at the top offering spectacular views.

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