At last!  Isn’t it crazy how life gets in the way of blogging?  Today I’m sharing the photos from our trip to Highclere Castle, aka Downton Abbey, and Bampton Village in the UK in August.  This day was the pièce de résistance of our trip to the UK, (at least it was for me, maybe not so much for my husband and daughter!)   We boarded a coach in Victoria Station and headed out for Oxford. After Oxford we traveled to Bampton Village.


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This is the church used for filming in Downton Abbey. This is where Edith got jilted at the alter and where Mary married Mathew. Bampton Village is a quaint little town where the streets are cobbled and the church is utterly charming.

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I’m on a bit of an angel obsession lately so I had to snap some pics of the tombstones.


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Isn’t this a fabulous door?


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As usual, I was over the top excited about the historic architecture of the church.



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Here’s the inside view of the church showing the fabulous stained glass window as seen in the show, below.



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Here’s a still from the show, the lighting is different but the details are all there!



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You can see almost all of the church in this panoramic shot. I can’t believe I missed the steeple!


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This building is used for the hospital in the show. It’s usually the Bampton Libarary when the show isn’t being filmed.


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A closer look at the doorway and my partner in crime.


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This is a still from the show so you can see that same doorway with a proper Downton Cottage hospital sign.


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Here’s me in front of the house used as Isobel Crawley’s house in the show.


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This is a still shot of the house during filming.


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This is how the house looks from the inside on the show. You can see the three paned window detail.


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From Bampton Village we drove on to Highclere Castle, through rolling hills and past beautiful, green pastures full of fluffy sheep. Seeing “Downton Abbey” through the gates in person for the first time was breathtaking. I was like a kid in a candy store, I had to see all of it at once and I didn’t even wait for my husband, Phil and my daughter, Savannah, to catch up with me. (I was terrible!)

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If you’re a fan of the show, you’re probably familiar with this angle. It’s used in the opening credits where Robert, the Earl of Grantham, is walking the yellow Labrador Retriever, Isis, up the path.


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Here’s a still of that shot to refresh your memory.


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While we were in England, the weather was wonky every day. It would go from sunny to over cast to drizzle in the blink of an eye. It got very dark while we were at Highclere Castle and even began to drizzle on us.



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This is one of the most dramatic front doors I have ever seen. Just take in all of those luscious details!


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I had never noticed this on the show but the front doors have wolves heads on them. I heart wolves!



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This is the view from the back of the house. Can you believe how big it is?  It takes a cool million dollars per year just to maintain this grande home.



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Off to the right of the house is a beautiful area of green parkland and this folly is perched up on a small rise in the landscape.


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Here’s a still from the show with Edith being Edith in the folly with the house in the background.



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We took a tour of the inside of the house but pictures aren’t allowed so I had to buy the book in the gift shop to remember the wonderful antiques and period furniture. Seeing the inside of the house was surreal and we placed ourselves in the rooms so that we could view the scene just like the cameras portray it on the show.  It was fabulous seeing the house in person after watching it on TV since the beginning. We were terrible guests and didn’t really want to know much about the history of the house, I was mostly concerned with seeing the rooms and remembering how they were portrayed in the show. The interesting thing is that the writer of the show, Julian Fellowes, is actually personally friends with the Carnavons, the owners of this beautiful estate, and he wrote the book based on the true life of the Carnavon family. For example, the dog is named Isis because the 5th Earl of Carnavon spent time excavating in Egpyt and there is a room full of his treasures that he brought back from Egypt. There is also a very interesting story about the Earl and the curse of the mummies!

Here we are leaving the house after taking a tour of the inside and enjoying a delicious but bee-filled afternoon tea and scones on the lawn in back of the house. The sky got so dark and it began to drizzle. It was all perfectly dramatic and wonderful and I just knew in my heart right then that someday I want to live in England. It’s been calling to me ever since I read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a child. Now I just have to figure out a way to make it a reality in the next 10 years!


Thank you for stopping by to visit and if you enjoyed reading about our trip and seeing our pics, please leave a little love note for me in the comments! I do have more photos to share from our adventure and I’ll be posting those in the next couple of days.


Christine Barker