Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle) day tours from London 2024

4 guided day tours to Highclere Castle & Downton film locations from London in 2024

Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)tours from London
Learn a whole lot more about Downton Abbey on one of these tours

About Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

Visiting Highclere Castle is like walking into history. It is a magnificent example of an English Castle but is now most famous as Downton Abbey in the popular TV series and recent hugely popular film of the same name.

A Highclere Castle tour is now a very popular and fascinating experience for fans of history and of the Downton Abbey TV series and film.

Highclere Castle can be combined easily in a day trip with the beautiful area of the Cotswolds or Oxford, and the tour Oxford, Bampton & Highclere Castle does just this. A fantastic day out, in addition to entrance to Highclere Castle you have time to explore beautiful Bampton in the Cotswolds, ('Downton Village') and charming Oxford.

An alternative tour to the ones visiting Highclere Castle is Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village and the Cotswolds which visits 'Downton Abbey Village' (Bampton) and in addition a stop at the gorgeous Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds and the much loved Blenheim Palace.

For a more intimate experience Downton Abbey Filming locations, Cotswolds and Highclere Castle Small Group offers you the chance to visit top filming locations throughout the Cotswolds and Hampshire departing from both London and Oxford, with no more than 17 other people.

Finally, International Friends have also brought back their highly popular Highclere Castle Express Tour. A convenient and affordable way to visit Highclere (Downton Abbey) from London, the Highclere Express tour is a direct transfer from London with around 3 hours exploring the magnificent castle & its grounds, and return to London Victoria by 3pm.

Highclere Castle opening, tours and tickets 2024

Highclere Castle/Downton Abbey in sunshine
The majestic Highclere Castle

Downton Abbey opening dates in 2024

Despite its popularity Highclere Castle has a limited visitor season. Some of the 2024 dates are live on this page but others are not released yet (see our table Downton Abbey/Highclere Castle tour dates 2024 for the available dates.).

Highclere Castle day tours from London are few and far between, normally opening dates are restricted between July and early September and national holidays at Easter and in May.

If you want to visit Highclere on a day tour from London it is not a matter of picking and choosing your tour, it's just grab the tour when available for your dates before it sells out!

If you are planning for 2024, then based on this year and previous years they are likely to be a spring opening around Easter, the two national holidays in May, and most days (except Fridays and Saturdays) from the second week of July through to early September. In addition, there are occasional special event days throughout the year. We update our page as and when dates are released and highlight these special events once we have details. We include the tour that does not visit Highclere for those visitors that are in the UK when Highclere is not open but want the best 'Downton' experience available.

It is not possible to view Highclere Castle when closed, even for a drop by photo opportunity. Highclere Castle is far from public roads out of view. There are local public footpaths where you can glimpse Highclere Castle from far off.

Highclere Castle by public transport

There is no public transport available to Highclere Castle. A bus service from Newbury runs 3 or 4 times a day except Sundays to the small village of Burghclere about a 30 minute walk from Highclere Castle, but timings are not good for a visit.

From London you can take trains to Newbury from Paddington Station from where it is about a 20 minute taxi ride to Highclere.

Tour 1: Oxford, Bampton and Highclere Castle Tour

Downton Abbey tour with Oxford and Bampton from London - Premium Tours


Downton Abbey Tour from London with Oxford and Bampton

Tour of 'Downton Abbey' (Highclere Castle) with Oxford and Bampton

Adult from £178pp

• Visit to Highclere Castle • Copy of Lady Carnarvon's book • Visit to 'Downton Village' (Bampton) • Walking tour of Oxford

Highclere Castle/Downton Abbey Premium Tours
Inside Highclere
Oxford Premium Tours
Enjoy a walking tour with your knowledgeable guide
Highclere Premium Tours
Dramatic staircase in Downton Abbey
Highclere Premium Tours
The grandeur of Highclere

Oxford, Bampton & Highclere Castle Tour

Tour highlights

  • Visit Highclere Castle and grounds made famous by the Downton Abbey TV series

  • Visit Bampton Village used for outdoor scenes from the TV series Downton Abbey

  • Walking tour of Oxford, home to one of the world's greatest Universities, visit the historic colleges

  • Copy of Lady Carnarvon's autobiography.

Tour itinerary


First stop after around 75 minutes is Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, boasts one of the world's greatest - and oldest - universities, as well as some of the finest architecture in Europe.

The colleges themselves, which make up the university, are amongst the architectural highlights, their ivy-clad stone walls protecting beautiful chapels, halls and libraries.

A walking tour of Oxford with our guide is included before some free time to grab a bite to eat. Why not try out a pub lunch at one of the many famous inns of Oxford?


Bampton (Downton Village)

Next stop is the beautiful village of Bampton in Oxfordshire Bampton; the setting for exterior village scenes in the ITV series of Downton Abbey.

Visit the church - in real life, St Mary's Church, which played host to a number of memorable weddings funerals and christenings in Downton Abbey.

See Matthew Crawley's mother's house, the hospital, (series two) and current people's homes, which are transformed into the Post Office as well as various pubs.

In the "hospital", which is the public library, there is also the Vesey room where the Bampton Archive is housed and various local exhibitions are set out. Here you can purchase some Downton mementos of your time in Bampton, such as beautiful cards, prints and mugs (done by a local artist) as well as books of the filming.

Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

To finish your day you will travel to Highclere, and discover an inspiring Highclere Castle set amidst lawns and gardens of tranquility and beauty. It has been home to the Carnarvon Family since 1679 and the present Earl and Countess still live here.

Long-standing friend of the Carnarvon family, Julian Fellowes had Highclere Castle in mind as he wrote Downton Abbey. He often commented he wanted a house which spectacularly testified to the confidence and soaring optimism of the Edwardian period.

Visitors follow a route through the castle though rooms with guides in each State room happy to share anecdotes and information.

As well as the castle, you will have time to explore the extensive grounds, designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown who also designed the grounds of Blenheim Palace. Tea and cake can be taken at one of the tea rooms once you have finished.

A copy of Lady Carnarvon's autobiography will also be given to every customer on the tour. It makes for fascinating reading and is a unique souvenir to remember the day!


Prices and tour reservations

Prices are displayed on the banner link above. Major credit and debit cards are accepted. You will be emailed a confirmation with a booking reference after reservation. The booking reference and the name of the person ordering is all that you need to quote when joining the tour, there are no paper tickets.

Tour 2: Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

blenheim palace


Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace, Cotswolds and Downton Abbey film locations guided day tour from London

• Adult without Blenheim Palace entry from £72 • Adult with Blenheim Palace entry from £100

• Optional entry to Blenheim Palace & Gardens • Walking tour of Bampton • Discover two traditional villages • See filming locations of 'Downton Abbey' • Professional guide • Luxury air-conditioned coach with free Wi-Fi

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & the Cotswolds

Note: This tour does not visit Highclere Castle but looks at the surrounding villages which were featured in the show plus Blenheim Palace.

This tour covers the resplendent English county of Oxfordshire, an area renowned for its rolling green hills, spectacular stately homes and quintessentially English market towns.

Enjoy the quaint village of Bampton, made famous by the Downton Abbey series, stop at Bourton-on-the-Water ('Venice of the Cotswolds') and enjoy an afternoon tea in a riverside cafe' if you like.

Finally finish at the beautiful Blenheim Palace, where Sir Winston Churchill was born and raised. (Entrance included if paying the higher ticket price - shown below.) Peruse around the stunning State Rooms, brimming with priceless works of art and magnificent tapestries. Enjoy the magnificent gardens set in over 754 hectares of land, with an exquisite water garden.

  • Entrance to Blenheim Palace (with ticket including entrances, shown below)

  • Visit charming Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water

  • Visit the village of Bampton; a film setting for the popular Downton Abbey TV series.

  • Luxury air conditioned purpose built touring bus

  • Professional, expert standard, friendly tour guide

Tour 3: Downton Abbey filming locations and visit to Highclere Castle (Small Group)

Highclere/Downton Abbey tour from London


Downton Abbey Tour from London with Yew Tree Farm and Bampton

Downton Abbey filming locations and visit to Highclere Castle (Small Group) - International Friends

Adult from £199pp

• Visit to Highclere Castle • Visit to Yew Tree Farm • Visit to 'Downton Village' (Bampton) • Max 18 people • Explore hidden filming sites that the big coaches cannot get to in the stunning Cotswolds


Small group Downton Abbey film locations & Highclere Castle

Tour highlights

  • Visit to Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) with private exclusive tour of the house

  • Visit to Downton Village (Bampton) and Downton Church with entry to the building used for Downton Cottage Hospital

  • Entry and tour of Highclere Castle and Gardens

  • Services of a friendly Downton Abbey specialist guide throughout the day on a luxury touring coach.

Tour itinerary

Yew Tree Farm

Our first stop is a visit to Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm), home of the tenant farmer Mr Drewe. The historic farmyard and 13th century manor house sits on the banks of the River Windrush and first appeared in Downton Abbey in series 4.

After a tea/coffee break in the delightfully refurbished rustic cow shed cafe at Cogges, we take a tour and learn of the relationship between the tenant farmers and landowners, showing the sites used in filming.

Bampton (Downton Village)

After the tour we drive to Downton Village, real name Bampton, a beautiful village in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds. The village of Bampton has been used extensively in all series of Downton Abbey for Downton Village filming.

You will see Downton Cottage Hospital and doctor's surgery (in real life the library), St Mary’s Church (where many wedding and funeral scenes were shot), Churchgate House for exterior shots for the Crawley family home, and the street used for shops, the Post Office and the Grantham Arms.

Highclere Castle

In the early afternoon we make our way to the Grantham family home, Highclere Castle. On arrival at Highclere Castle there will be time to enjoy the beautiful gardens. There will be time for lunch, or a snack in the Tearooms before entering Highclere Castle for an afternoon visit.

Tour 4: Highclere Castle Express

highclere castle


highclere castle

Highclere Castle Shuttle Bus to the South West of England with entry to Highclere Castle

• Adult £129 • Best rate adult £116.10

• Entry to Highclere Castle • Round trip transfers from London in an executive vehicle  • Services of an experienced driver (service not guided)

Highclere Castle Express Tour

The Highclere Castle Express Tour has remained popular for good reason. If you only want to see the Castle then this might be the option for you.

You will meet from one of your three chosen departure points in London from 7.45 - 8.15am.

The journey to Highclere takes around 90 minutes.


Your Highclere Express day trip from London includes:

  • Round trip transfers from London in an executive vehicle 
  • Entry to Highclere Castle and Grounds (Downton Abbey) with guides available in the rooms
  • Services of an experienced driver (please note that this service is not guided) 
  • Flexible booking guarantee!

You'll depart Highclere by 1.30pm and be back in London Victoria by 3pm.

Please note, like all the Downton Abbey tours, there are only a few dates available over the summer (see table below). The Express Tour has fewer dates than the other tours so you will need to book quickly to avoid disappointment.




Available dates

Oxford, Bampton & Highclere

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & Cotswolds (no visit to Highclere Castle)

Highclere Castle Express

Downton Abbey filming locations and Highclere Castle (Small Group)

Jan 24 N/A 5, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29 N/A N/A
Feb 24 N/A 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 16, 18, 19, 23, 25, 26 N/A N/A
Mar 24 30, 31 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25, 29, 31 N/A 30, 31
Apr 24 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29 N/A 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
May 24 4, 5, 6, 7, 28, 29 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31 26, 29 4, 5, 6, 7, 26, 27, 28, 29
Jun 24 N/A 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30 N/A N/A
Jul 24 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31 8, 15, 22, 29 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31
Aug 24 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31 5, 12, 19, 26 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Sep 24 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30 2 3, 4
Oct 24 N/A 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30 N/A N/A
Nov 24 N/A 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 22, 24, 25, 29 N/A N/A
Dec 24 N/A 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16, 20, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 N/A N/A

Oxford, Bampton & Highclere

Blenheim Palace, Bampton ("Downton Abbey Village") & Cotswolds

Downton film locations & Highclere (Small Group)

Highclere Express

Highclere Castle day tours from London are few and far between, normally opening dates are restricted to the month of April, with a couple of dates in May then July and August and just into September.

If you want to visit Highclere on a day tour from London it is not a matter of picking and choosing your tour, it's just grab the tour when available for your dates before it sells out!



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