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The beautiful university city of Oxford, the surrounding rolling countryside and picturesque towns and villages have been used as filming locations for some of Britain’s most iconic TV series. On this captivating 8-day tour we enjoy an exclusive visit to Highclere Castle, the home of Downton Abbey, giving us the perfect opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our favorite characters and discover recognisable rooms throughout the castle. We also visit some of the charming locations that have played a key role in both Inspector Morse and Midsomer Murders, and discover the historic town of Windsor.
5 July 2020
Exclusive visit to Highclere Castle, the home of Downton Abbey
Highclere Castle is world-famous as the filming location of the much-loved Downton Abbey television series and film. On our exclusive visit we can view many of the rooms and vistas that will be familiar to viewers of the series including the Drawing Room and Dining Room which form the backdrop to the dryly withering put-downs delivered by Maggie Smith, as the Dowager Countess to some poor unfortunate relation.
We depart the US on July 5, arriving at London Heathrow the following morning. We are met by our tour manager and head to the town of Windsor to enjoy free time at leisure. Situated on the River Thames, this ancient royal town has a rich heritage dating back over 1,000 years with many beautiful buildings and cobbled streets. There’s also the option to visit Windsor Castle ($35pp).
Today we travel into central London for a guided tour by coach, taking in many of the famous and iconic sights including Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and more. Afterwards you have free time at leisure to explore further.
On this full day guided tour we follow the trail of TV’s Midsomer Murders, passing through some of the prettiest villages in England that make up the area of Midsomer. These include Wallingford (the original Causton), Dorchester-on-Thames (one of the most used Midsomer locations where there will be time to visit the abbey and for optional morning coffee), Watlington and Thame (where we will walk around some of the many filming locations). Next we pass through more Midsomer villages such as Long Crendon, Haddenham, Chinnor and Marlow before arriving at Henley-on-Thames where there will be another short walk (Midsomer and Inspector Morse locations) before free time for lunch (not included).
After lunch, we follow one of the most beautiful sections of the Thames as we make for Beaconsfield, home to the Midsomer police station (as well Downton Abbey and James Bond locations). The final stop is at Littlewick Green where it is not advised to play in the local cricket team!
This morning we head to Oxford, known as the city of Dreaming Spires. Famous for its university colleges and magnificent architecture, the city’s charming scenery has been caught on camera numerous times, including the popular Inspector Morse TV series. We enjoy a guided walking tour to see Oxford’s highlights and Inspector Morse filming locations before having time to explore the city at our own pace.
Today we enjoy a wonderful day out exploring Downton Abbey filming locations in the charming pastoral landscapes of the Cotswolds. We first visit the quintessential village of Bampton, which doubles onscreen as the fictional Downton settlement on the outskirts of the Crawley family’s estate. Here we can see the nearly 1,000-year-old St Mary’s Church (where Lady Edith almost got hitched to Sir Anthony during season three) and the old Grammar School building (where the show’s hospital scenes with Dr Clarkson were filmed) before wandering Bampton’s streets, lined with sandstone cottages draped in ivy which are reminiscent of the show’s fictional Downton village homes. We continue to the beautiful village of Swinbrook where we find the Swan Inn. This idyllic Cotswold pub is where Lady Sybil and Branson stayed whilst planning their elopement, a major storyline in series two. Next is Shilton, home to The Old Forge which was transformed into The Red Lion public house where Mr Bates went to work after he left Downton Abbey in series two. We round off our tour with visits to the small medieval town of Burford, often referred to as the gateway to the Cotswolds, and the quaint village of Bibury, home to Arlington Row – one of England’s most photographed places.
This morning we enjoy an exclusive visit to the world-famous Highclere Castle, residence of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and filming location for the much loved Downton Abbey television series and film. Featuring elements from the making of the film, this is the perfect chance to take a behind-the-scenes look at the worldwide phenomenon and to walk in the footsteps of your favorite characters.
We check out of the hotel and transfer to London Heathrow airport for your return flight home.
Please note: the excursion order may change.
The price includes economy flights with one piece of hold baggage per person from a number of selected airports. The final price will depend on your chosen airport, airline and flight time. Please call us to find out more.
We’ll stay at a well-appointed 3 or 4-star hotel such as the Marriott Windsor, Holiday Inn Maidenhead or Holiday Inn Reading.