Welcome Information

Hello and Welcome

In these extraordinary and challenging times, we would like to share our plans on how we are welcoming visitors and guests so as to keep both you and the Highclere Team safe and happy.  As before, we continue to request that you wear a face mask inside the Castle and follow all Public Health England guidelines.

We are delighted to welcome you to tour and explore Highclere  this autumn. We  are  open on specific days and weekends and  would ask you to pre-book. 

Your Arrival Story:

  • Drive through the Park Gates (perhaps playing the Downton Abbey music).
  • Follow the signs to the large field at the front of the Castle, where our car parkers will direct you to ensure there is plenty of room between each vehicle. (Disabled Parking is signposted)
  • Please stay with your household group and please observe the social distance as you tour.There is plenty pf space. 

The Gardens

We hope you will find the gardens beautiful and peaceful. The gates between the different areas tend to pull or push and there will be hand gel at key points. The gardens extend to 100 acres with broad paths and expansive lawns but where the paths meander closer, please give way and allow space.

The Castle

Our numbers will be lower than in the past and, in order to allow suitable distancing inside.

Once inside, you will be asked to keep any coats and bags with you and to put your phones and cameras away as we do not permit photography inside the Castle. During the tour you will find large photographic boards of behind the scenes of Downton Abbey  along with fun facts to mark out the “social distances”.

Theguided tours begin with the main State Rooms before going upstairs to the Galleried bedrooms. We have opened new bedrooms and routes to help preserve social distancing which we hope you will enjoy. Walk down the Oak Staircase and imagine yourself to be on set at Downton Abbey before finding more hand gel on the table at the bottom. Continue though the Dining Room and down to the Egyptian Exhibition. In the exhibition, again please use the fun facts to observe the space between you as well as using the hand gel on offer.  You will exit along the servants’ corridor in the basement into the courtyard. In all the tour is about 400 metres long.

Tearooms and Cafes

If you have booked special guided tours and events, delicious food is included in your ticket price. During public opening days, there will be  a variety of serving points for takeaway food, from scones and cakes, to traditional British sausages in a baguette, paninis, pasties, salads and sandwiches. (Vegetarian and non-vegetarian). We also offer a wide variety of coffees, tea and soft drinks as well as a cocktail bar for memorable Highclere Castle Gin cocktails, wines and champagne.  We have installed bespoke perspex screens and we would ask you to please pay by card if possible. Again, you will find hand gel by all these points. Please note that facemasks are compulsory inside the Castle, Gift shop and Tea Rooms unless you are medically exempt.

We kindly ask that if you bring a picnic with you, to enjoy it by your car and to be responsible to take away all litter with you.  

Gift Shop and Toilets

Access to the gift shop, plant shop and toilets will be managed by a member of our staff to conduct the observance of safe distances where there is more limited space. We have also created a pop up shop in the courtyard outside for anyone who would feel more comfortable remaining outside (weather dependent). We have increased our cleaning routines and, for example, use UV sanitiser wands over borrowed wheelchairs.

We do hope you enjoy your time with us. Please click here to go straight to the ticket page.