Welcome back to Highclere 

We are delighted to be welcoming our pre booked guests for our summer public opening.    The tea rooms and cafes offer a selection of hot food, salads, sandwiches, paninis, ice creams, coffees and of course cakes and scones throughout the day. Meanwhile Luis’ Cocktail Bar will be ready to mix you a fabulous Highclere Castle Gin cocktail or pour you a glass of champagne. The Highclere chefs are delighted to prepare the special picnic afternoon tea boxes which again must be pre-booked

If you have booked tickets and would like to reserve a manual wheelchair, please do email [email protected]. Pushchairs for babies and toddlers are most useful for the gardens and may be left at the entrance hall whilst you tour the Castle at which point, we would ask you to carry or hold fast to small childrens' hands!  Again this year, neither dogs nor picnics are permitted in the gardens (guide dogs excepted). For any futher useful information please click here

Celebrate with us in September: we have a special weekend on September 11th and 12th “The Magic of the Movies”, with wonderful Castle tours, a costume exhibition, jazz band and  vintage cars. Channel your inner Downton, dress as your favourite Downton character and we will be giving prizes. There is also the chance to take part in a Highclere script and scene written by Lady Carnarvon.

Apart from guided tours throughout the autumn, Highclere Castle Festival will take place on October 9th and 10th. 

We very much hope you enjoyed “Christmas at Highclere” on Channel 4, and felt that some team Highclere contributed some memorable lines rather in the vogue of Downton Abbey. We will welcome Christmas tours and teas from late November until December 20th. we hvae posted our Wintertime tours already for those who wish tobook ahead. 

We hope you will find many different tours to tempt you, and we very much look forward to seeing you. Tickets for all of the above can be found on our ticketing website and, again, we ask that you book in advance of your visit.

With all Best Wishes,

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon

ABOUT THE CASTLE

The first written records of the estate date back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester. Bishop William of Wykeham built a beautiful medieval palace and gardens in the park. Later on, the palace was rebuilt as Highclere Place House in 1679 when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sawyer, the direct ancestor of the current Earl of Carnarvon.  In 1842, Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament, transformed Highclere House into the present day Highclere Castle.

During the First World War, Highclere Castle was converted into a hospital for wounded soldiers run by the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Throughout the Second World War, Highclere Castle was home to  children evacuated from London.

There are between 250 and 300 rooms in the Castle and during your tour you will explore the main state rooms so familiar from "Downton Abbey". You will see some of the bedrooms after which you will follow the stairs down to the cellars and old staff quarters where you will find the Egyptian Exhibition, celebrating the 5th Earl of Carnarvon's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun.