Where is the castle in Downton Abbey? Filming locations including Alnwick and Highclere

19 July 2020, 19:00 | Updated: 19 July 2020, 19:01

Highclere castle and Alnwick Castle from Downton Abbey
Highclere castle and Alnwick Castle from Downton Abbey. Picture: PA Images/ITV

Where is Downton Abbey set? And how can I visit Highclere castle for afternoon tea? Here’s what we know…

If you love a lazy Sunday evening, you’ll be glad to hear Downton Abbey is back on our screens.

ITV is currently re-airing the period drama after many shows have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And if you find yourself immersed in the upstairs downstairs world Downton, why not check out the filming locations?

From Alnwick Castle to Highclere, here’s where Downton Abbey has been shot over the years…

Highclere Castle is the setting for Downton Abbey
Highclere Castle is the setting for Downton Abbey. Picture: PA Images

Where is Highclere castle?

Most Downton fans will know that Highclere castle is where the grand estate is based.

The beautiful residence is located in Hampshire, which is around two hours away from London.

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Set in 1,000 acres of park, the Victorian-built manor house is actually the home of Lord and Lady Carnarvon in real life, whose family have lived on the site since 1679.

Mark Ellis, the location manager for both the series and the film, previously told CNTraveler, ITV bosses scoured castles all over the country before settling on Highclere.

Watch the teaser trailer for the Downton Abbey film

He explained: "At the start, my team traveled all over the country looking at hundreds of different houses.

"What’s amazing is, Highclere Castle was the first house they ever went to! They then went all over England, but in the end they decided the first was pretty great. How could you not?"

Can I visit Highclere castle?

You can actually experience Downton life yourself with a visit to the castle.

Despite the coronavirus lockdown, the castle has reopened for a it’s Summer Public Opening Season running from 12th July - 16th September.

You can buy your entrance tickets in advance from the website and enjoy an Afternoon tea picnic or tour of the building.

Alnwick Castle has also been used to film Downton Abbey
Alnwick Castle has also been used to film Downton Abbey. Picture: PA Images

Where is Brancaster castle in Downton Abbey?

Through the summer of 2014, the Downton Abbey team used Alnwick Castle as Brancaster Castle to film the Christmas special.

The castle is located in Northumberland, and you can also visit the grounds and even have your wedding there.

Other Downton Abbey filming locations

In the 2012 Christmas special, Inveraray Castle was used as Duneagle Castle, the Scottish home of Lord Flintshire.

Wentworth Woodhouse in Yorkshire was also used for the scenes at Harewood House in the ballroom.

Mark Ellis told CNTraveller: "I think it’s the biggest facade of any stately home in Europe.

"We uses cranes just to get our camera equipment in, rather than coming up the staircase, because we were so nervous about damaging or putting any pressure on this incredible building."

Cogges Manor Farm in Oxfordshire was the setting for Yew Tree Farm, while Wiltshire based Lacock Village was also used.

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