Information Update from Highclere Castle

November 27th, 2020

It is with enormous pleasure that we can announce that Highclere Castle will be open for our Christmas Tours and Afternoon Teas with effect from the 3rd December. The Castle will be decorated with a spectacular array of garlands, floristry and Christmas trees in a traditional Victorian theme of red and gold with our centrepiece 23 foot tree in pride of place in the Saloon. We are also delighted to offer an evening tour of the Castle to include a delicious glass of champagne, traditional fare and a Christmas gift box. Tickets are available via our website.

We have recently been given a 5 star Covid safety rating and all protocols will be in place to ensure you have a safe and relaxing time. Tours are limited in number to ensure that these are maintained. We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to Highclere Castle but please do e-mail our office on [email protected] if you have any further questions.

Further on, as a tonic to beat the January blues, we have created some special Winter Tours and thereafter will be  looking forward to our Valentines Weekend. Please look at our ticket website for our events in 2021.

With all Best Wishes,

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon


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 Saloon 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.