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Discover over 70 unique Downton Abbey filming locations across the UK, for free, thanks to this fabulous guest post from the Wayfair team, it’s making me want to get out the tea and mince pies and snuggle down for some great telly, or wrap up and get outdoors for some interiors inspiration. Also, why not read about the day I met Lord and Lady Carnarvon at Highclere Castle, read the Q&A with Lord and Lady C or take a tour of the stunning interiors?
Click on the icons below for more information on each location, for an overview of all of the film locations click on the pull-out tab to the left of the title:
(Feel free to embed this map onto your own site, just please credit Wayfair.co.uk with the creation. To embed, just click on the Google share icon on the map and opt for ‘Embed on my site’. This will generate an embed code, which you can copy and paste in to your post.)
This Christmas Day the curtain will fall on Downton Abbey. For one last time, the sun will pour through the windows and light up the magnificent house, and all will be united (upstairs, downstairs and us sat at home in front of the telly with a mound of mince pies) in their loyalty to, and love for, this great British institution.
Over six series we’ve been overwhelmed by the beauty of the settings and style of Downton; each filming location has been diligently transformed into a sumptuous setting that is polished to a shine even Carson would be pleased with.
In honour of this and to tip our hat to Downton and all its loyal fans, we’ve scoured the country to find the real-life locations that make up the wonderful world of Downton and have created a map with an extensive list of over 70 Downton Abbey filming locations marked on it, with information about what scene the location was used for and how you can check it out for yourself.
Lords, ladies, and gentlemen; without further ado, we very much delight in presenting you the ultimate guide to Downton Abbey filming locations!
Our Top Ten Downton Abbey Filming Locations
With over 70 locations up and down the country, it’s obvious how much work has gone into Downton Abbey to make it such a beautiful and authentic programme. Here are our top ten places that have impressed us over the years and have become iconic Downton Abbey locations.
Image: Flickr, Zen Whisk
Situated in the heart of the rolling Hampshire countryside, this ‘Jacobethan’ style house and park is home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived there since 1679. The awe-inspiring Highclere Castle represents everything that makes Downton Abbey so great.
Exterior shots of the house and most of the interior upstairs activity are filmed here. We’ve fallen in love with this house just as much as its residents and it’s within these walls that we’ve gotten to know our favourite characters and where the most tantalising of storylines have unfolded. This has to be number one on any Downton Abbey fan’s list.
Tip: ‘Downstairs’ is filmed separately at Ealing Studios so all of those shots of Thomas taking food up to the family are filmed with days inbetween them, but put together seamlessly. If you’re an admirer of Mrs Patmore’s cooking then you can bring a Downton-style kitchen into your own home with these rustic kitchen ideas!
2. Bampton, Oxfordshire
Image: Geograph, Oswald Bertraum
Bampton village, Oxfordshire, doubles as the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton throughout the series. Bampton is a great place to take a stroll as there are a number of different filming locations to be found, the most iconic being St Mary’s Church.
Known as St Michael and All Angels Church in Downton, this is where we’ve seen many a key moment, including Lavinia’s burial in series two, Mary and Matthew’s wedding in series three and Lady Edith’s dramatic jilting at the altar.
3. West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire
Image: Flickr giborn_134
The grand estate of West Wycombe Park is situated in the green Buckinghamshire countryside. The interior of this Palladian house serves as the interior of Aunt Rosamund’s London home at 35 Belgrave Square, though much attention is paid to ensure that the beautiful green fields of Buckinghamshire are hidden from view!
It’s in Rosamund’s home that many of the most scandalous and enthralling Downton Abbey story-lines have unravelled and been confessed, including Edith’s illegitimate child and Mary’s secret love affairs.
4. Cogges Manor Farm, Oxfordshire
Image: Geograph, Rabbi WP Thinrod
Once a working farm, Cogges Manor Farm is now a heritage centre and star of Downton Abbey, where it’s better known as Yew Tree Farm. The farm has appeared regularly throughout the past three series, first under the tenancy of Mr Drewe and later the new farm of Mr Mason.
It’s here that Edith regularly visited in series five to secretly see her illegitimate daughter Marigold. If you fancy bringing the English country cottage look into your own home with floral prints and rustic woodwork then check out our English countryside retreat feature.
5. Inveraray Castle, Argyll and Bute
Image: Flickr, Ian Dick
Downton’s brought us up north to take in some Scottish air on quite a few occasions. This impressive castle found on the west coast is the home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell. The castle doubled as Duneagle Castle, the home of the Grantham’s cousins, Lord and Lady Flincher, parents to Lady Rose, in the nail-biting series three 2012 Christmas special.
The family travelled up to Duneagle Castle on their annual jolly holiday, but little did they know the events that would later transpire and leave us sobbing over our mince pies on that fateful Christmas Day.
6. Lancaster House, London
Image: Flickr, James Stringer
Lancaster House is a mansion that was once part of the St James’s Palace complex. It’s one of London’s hidden treasures that has made its way into Downton life. The interior of the magnificent and glamorous house was used to portray Buckingham Palace in the 2013 Christmas Special, where Lady Rose gave her debutante presentation.
You can gawp at the outside of Lancaster House anytime you like or you might even be lucky enough to be able to attend an event there and admire the dazzling interior.
7. Horsted Keynes Station
Image: Flickr, Ed Webster
Part of the Bluebell Railway, Horsted Keynes Station in Sussex is a preserved railway station that appears often as Downton Railway Station. For those that love the idea of travelling on a steam train and experiencing British life from days gone by then this is the place for you.
Many an important crossing of Downton lives and stories has happened here; Mary seeing Matthew off to war, Richard Carlisle’s proposal to Mary, a very pregnant Mary urgently needing to go to hospital, and Mr Carson reconciling with Charles Grigg before he goes off to Ireland.
8. Basildon Park, Berkshire
Image: Flickr, Jim Bowen
Basildon Park is a location that the cast themselves complemented as an absolutely beautiful building. Doubling as the interior for Grantham House, the family’s London residence, this was the grand setting for the preparation for Lady Rose’s coming out ball in series four and for Rose and Atticus’s wedding.
We’ve been avid followers of Downton’s fashion and interiors and it was in the post WWI episodes that we saw art deco glamorously emerge in the show’s dresses and interior design. If you fancy a bit of Downton 1920s class in your own home then have a nosy at our art deco feature for some great ideas.
9. Downton Abbey London locations
Image: Flickr, Peter Roberts
With many ventures taken to London town in Downton Abbey, there are more than a few London locations—you could make a day of it! Some highlights are the Prince Albert Memorial, London Charterhouse, the Chepstow Villas (Edith’s flat), Lincoln’s Inn (pops up a few times!), The Savile Club (aka the Lotus Club in series four), Rules restaurant, St James’s Park and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens even witnessed a dumping when Lady Mary told Lord Gillingham that she just wasn’t that into him.
10. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Posing as Brancaster Castle in the series five Christmas special, Alnwick Castle was transformed to become the holiday base for Lord Sinderby’s shooting party, where Sinderby’s butler, Stowel, caused quite a stir. The Granthams were invited along with Henry Talbot, Charlie Rogers and Bertie Pelham.
The state rooms inside were used extensively as well as the grounds themselves and there’s now a brand new Downton Abbey exhibition there which features photography, costumes and props from the episode (rumour has it we’ll be seeing this location again in this year’s grand finale).
Tip: If you’re itching to see some Downton Abbey filming locations you can visit a few of them from the comfort of your own home!
A lot of them appear on Google Street View, namely Alnwick Castle, Royal Holloway, Two Temple Place, the National Gallery, London Charterhouse and Wildy & Sons, while the Akenham trenches can be observed on the Earth view of Google Maps. Although Presidents Hall is no longer open to public, you can explore it in detail online and Goldsmith’s Hall even has a 360° virtual tour so that you can marvel at the marble.