Christmas at Highclere

Christmas time at Highclere is always an exciting time, and this year is no different. An extraordinary team effort from the Highclere staff has left the Castle decorated beautifully in this year's frosty theme and we hope that visitors will enjoy what we have created. 

We very much hope you enjoyed “Christmas at Highclere” on Channel 4 which we are excited to see being repeated on Channel 4 at 16:30 on Saturday 4th December. The Highclere team certainly contributed some memorable lines rather in the vogue of Downton Abbey! We welcome Christmas events until December 21st and we end with a wonderful performance of a Christmas Carol by Gerald Dickens. We have posted our Wintertime and Springtime tours as well as the general admission tickets for Easter and summer. Our Valentines Castle Tours and Afternoon Teas have also recently been released.  

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 further useful information please click here

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 and Christmas cheer,

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 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.