Welcome back to Highclere 

The glorious weather of the last week has provided a brilliant backdrop as we had the pleasure of welcoming guests to the Castle and gardens. Picnic Afternoon Tea boxes were enjoyed by many, as they were able to take in the early summer beauty of the gardens.      

Throughout June and July, we are delighted to be able to throw open the Castle doors and welcome you inside the Castle rooms. Our midsummer guided tours will really be about living with a film crew who, as you know, are making Downton Abbey 2 for release before Christmas (they are not filming when you are here -  it is all about revolving doors...).

When summer arrives, the castle and grounds will be open for general admission, with the tea rooms beginning with coffee and croissant before offering a selction of hot food, salads, sandwiches, paninis and of course cakes and scones.  Luis’ Cocktail Bar will be  ready to mix you a fabulous Highclere Castle Gin cocktail.

We have a special weekend in September 2021: “The Magic of the Movies”, with wonderful Castle tours, as well as a chance to channel your inner Downton, so please dress as your favourite Downton character and join us! The autumn has some beautiful tours around the themes of film sets as well as our October History Festival. 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 19th

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 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.