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How To Visit Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) From London Independently By Public Transport

Author: Bob Handford

Location Of Highclere Castle, Ticketing and Opening Times

Highclere Castle is situated about 45 miles (72 kms) west of Central London. The nearest large town of any consequence is called Newbury.

Newbury has a good direct hourly train service from London\’s Paddington Station .

Highclere Castle is around 5 miles (8kms) south of Newbury. There is a very limited local bus service (around 4 or 5 buses a day) between Newbury and the village of Highclere. In practise most people will want to take a taxi from Newbury Station taxi rank.

Highclere Castle is only open for between 60 and 70 days each year. Two weeks over Easter, for each of the May Bank holidays, and for two months (Sunday to Thursday) over the summer months, June to September.
When you purchase your ticket you will need to select an A.M. or P.M admission time. The Castle will open its doors at 10:30am , afternoon admission to the Castle will begins at 1:00pm.

To ensure you get a ticket go to the official on-line web site (link below) as soon as you can to avoid dissapointment.

Public Transport Between London and Highclear With Indicative Times and Fares

London to Newbury by Train – Adult Day Return 23.40 GBP
The transport of choice between London and Newbury is train. Broadly hourly direct trains take around 50 minutes from London\’s Paddington Station.
An off-peak day return in 2014 is 23.40 GBP. If you travel before 9 a.m. Monday to Friday the fare goes up to 52.00 GBP.
You do not need to reserve tickets in advance, there are no seat reservations.
(Links to rail timetables and fares below)

Newbury to Highclere Castle by Local Taxi  – Around 15 GBP each way
Outside Newbury Station there is a taxi rank. Taxi cabs are regulated by the local authority and the current rate at the time of writing is 15 GBP for the 10-15 minute journey to Highclere Castle.

There is a local bus service, Stagecoach service 7 to Highclere Village Monday to Friday only. I would not recommend it, the bus station is a walk from the train station and the castle is some way from Highclere Village. Buses only run 5 times a day. The only current schedules suitable from Newbury leave at 09:45 amd 11:45

Links To Highclere And Train Service Timetables

Highclere Castle – Official Web Site and Ticketing


UK Train Timetables and Fares – Including London Paddington to Newbury


Tours to Highclere From London Plus Downton Abbey Themed Tours In The Area

Highclere tickets available to tour operators are very rare and may well be the reason why you are looking at this page to see if you can visit independently.

There are some tours in 2014, but you will be very lucky for the available dates to match your stay in London.

If you are an ardent Downton Abbey fan you may well enjoy the tours linked below that will take you to all the other film locations in the area that have featured in the TV series.

Downton Abbey Filming locations £83 or £119


2 Day Downton, Windsor, Oxford, Stonehenge, Bath Tour£239 (includes overnight hotel)


Questions About Visiting Highclere Castle

If you have any questions about the subject matter or have additional information then feel free to use the facility below. For questions I\’ll normally get back to you within 24 hours.

From Newbury it is quite easy to get to Windsor Castle or Oxford by train if you really want a busy day.
If you want a driver and/or guide I can deal with that too.

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  • BellevueMike

    My wife and I will be near there April 10 – 16 in 2017. What is the best strategy for getting individual (non-tour) tix to see the castle? Does one just keep hitting a certain website each day looking for individual ticket sales?

    • Bob

      You buy direct from the Highclere official web-site.

      However, in the past that have not released tickets for the public until quite late, a good 6 months or so after the tour operators receive their ticket allocations

  • scoutmom

    Hello, We have tickets to Highclere in August for a morning admission. After we tour, and do tea in the coach house (reservations done for that too), we need to get back in to town for a show. Can you tell me if any of the taxi services from Newbury would do a drive back all the way into London? Is the train faster due to traffic? Or, considering our travel needs, would it just be best to hire a driver for the day so that we have the most flexibility? Thank you for your kind advice!

    • Bob

      I’m sure if you google Newbury Station Taxi’ they will give you price. And I’m sure if you contacted Highclere they would suggest somebody
      However if you are travelling into London late afternoon/early evening it might be quicker just to take the train

      • scoutmom

        Thank you Bob! Yes, I was wondering if there might be traffic heading back into London around 4pm on a Tuesday. Our show is at the Old Globe at 7:30. We probably have time to ride the train back in and take an uber to the Old Globe. Thank you!

  • Crystal Watkins

    Hello Bob how hard is it to get tickets to Highclere Castle if the tickets online are sold out? I hear you can do walk up tickets and they hold a handful for each day. Is that true?

    • Bob

      Tickets were sold out to Highclere for 2016 some time ago.
      It is only a handful of tickets at the gate each day and you would have a very small chance of getting one.
      By all means try, but don’t go in expectation

  • thejerseydevile

    Hello Bob! I just have a quick question about taxi service from Newbury; I assume it’s easy to grab a taxi from the rack, however, what about getting back from the castle to Newbury station? Do you need to call ahead and book a cabbie or is there a way to call for one from your mobile??? :’) We’re first-time UK visitors, but long-time New Yorkers, and are well aware that our expectations of public transit are a bit skewed when compared to elsewhere.

    • Bob

      You do not need to book ahead.
      You can ask the cabbie you use at Newbury to come at a certain time to collect you or you can just ask for a phone number if you want to stay flexible – so best bring a mobile.

      I would think the people at Highclere would call a local cab if need be,

      • thejerseydevile

        Thank you!

  • Anne Leary Skenzich

    To the administrators/owners/agents of Highclere Castle:

    I am making my final trip in February, as the ravages of disease will likely make it impossible to travel later or again. With background in meteorology, the weather should be fair (thank you, El Niño!). As such, this being a private residence and privately owned grounds, is it possible to do a brief driving tour of the grounds on the public road with brief approach via drive in order to see the Castle from approximately 200 meters distance?

    I will not bother a soul, nor interfere with any activity – nor pose any liability danger to the property owners (I am entirely self-sufficient because of rather than despite the disease (fiercely, stubbornly independent)).

    I can be reached via my private email at silyrabbt@aol.com, and will answer any questions or concerns.

    Thank you for your time and attention, and thank you for allowing Downton to enter your beautiful home – you could not have known the burden you would have to bear, but you’ve done it with such graciousness and care for the history of which you are stewards that you’ve opened up the minds (and hearts) of Americans! (Not an easy thing to do!)

    Thank you, again. My wishes to you and your staff for a very safe and Happy Christmas and wonderful New Year.

    Anne Leary Skenzich

  • Molly Crawley

    I saw on another website that there is the Highclere Park Public Walk that is open throughout the year. Would I be able to have access to this walk way the first week of January 2016?

  • EAA1968

    I am visiting London in May and was planning to take the Highclere Castle tour., The tickets are however sold out. Do I still need a ticket to just explore the grounds without entering the castle or its garden? I just want to take pictures of the castle from the outside. Thanks.

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