5. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour
Set off on a scenic day trip from London and see some of the highlights of the Cotswolds. Visit filming locations from the show Downton Abbey, discover Highclere Castle, and admire the picturesque countryside in the region on this guided tour. Head to the Cotswolds countryside and visit some of the filming sites of Downton Abbey. Your first stop is Cogges Manor Farm located on the banks of the River Windrush. Learn of the farm’s role in Downton Abbey as Yew Tree Farm where Lady Edith's daughter Marigold was raised by the Drewe family. Visit the kitchens and Mr. Drewe’s living room, see the farmyard where many scenes were filmed, and watch a unique and special video about the farm's role in the popular television series. After a coffee break, continue on to the delightful village of Shilton, famous for its shallow ford and used in series two to double as the village of Swinbrook. It was here that Lady Sybil and Tom Branson spent the night on their aborted elopement. Head to Bampton to see St Mary's Church, the scene of so many weddings and a funeral or two. During your guided walk, take in sites of interest including the cottage hospital, Mrs. Crawley's house, the village green, the post office, Mrs. Patmore’s bed and breakfast, and The Grantham Arms pub. Next, make your way southwards from the Cotswolds to the chalk down land of Hampshire, home to magnificent Highclere Castle, known to many as Lord Grantham's family seat, Downton Abbey itself. Discover familiar locations both inside the castle and out. See where O’Brien tripped up Bates, where Kemal Pamuk’s body was moved, and the dining room where delicious dialogue was served up with decadent food. Visit Robert Crawley’s library and the various bedrooms, and walk down the grand staircase. Enjoy lunch in one of the many restaurants here, before heading into the beautiful grounds. In the basement, there is a special Egyptology exhibition, thanks to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and his excavations in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Spend around three hours in Highclere Castle and its grounds before returning back to London.