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“An unexpected pleasure!”
Review of Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle
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Downton Abbey and Village Tour from London by...
Ranked #3 of 41 things to do in Newbury
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, this is considered to be one of the finest Victorian homes still in existence, which houses fine furniture and works of art.
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Be clear! I'm no fan of visiting Stately homes. This was a Christmas present from my daughter. It was a cold wet day and I was expecting a dreary day out. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The house is lovely with a real homely feel. The 'Castle' is impressive enough, smaller than I expected, but when you get inside it is truly magnificent. Each room is beautifully designed and decorated, with some beautiful pieces of furniture. The difference with other stately homes is that this feels really homely. Helped by family photos dotted about the place and , because this is the real 'Downton Abbey' there are pictures in most rooms showing scenes from the filming, with the characters from the series, giving it an extra dimension. I really enjoyed it. Sadly, it was abusy time and the Teashop was something of a bun fight, with not enough tables and chairs. The food on the Teashop menu looked as though it might be OK, but no chance of getting access to it. A passing visit to the 'Coach House' was not a lot better! The place was packed, no customers at the counter, and extra space upstairs was closed for the service of Afternoon Tea! The food on the hotplate looked good and quite tempting, but again no space to sit and eat. A loss from us of about £25 I suppose. We didn't get chance to see the Gardens, so that means another visit.

Thank CdrMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"egyptian exhibition"
in 442 reviews
"downton fan"
in 119 reviews
"gift shop"
in 273 reviews
"the secret garden"
in 79 reviews
"tv series"
in 115 reviews
"howard carter"
in 64 reviews
"lord carnarvon"
in 52 reviews
"no photography"
in 45 reviews
"downton connection"
in 34 reviews
"carnarvon family"
in 46 reviews
"family home"
in 75 reviews
"lady carnarvon"
in 43 reviews
"coach house"
in 41 reviews
"family photos"
in 37 reviews
"battle proms"
in 25 reviews
"king tut's tomb"
in 26 reviews
"grounds are beautiful"
in 50 reviews

90 - 94 of 2,585 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018

I figure that most visitors would be like us and go to the Castle mainly to connect with the site of Downton Abbey.The Castle certainly puts the TV program in perspective. There are some amazing rooms to visit and it is really surprising that you can walk on the oriental carpets bearing in mind the amount of people that visit every year. We had a morning ticket on a fully booked day. The line was about 40 or so deep outside the front door at about 1045 with all rooms having a lot of visitors in a steady stream. At 1145 there were no people standing outside so I would delay any visit until about 1.5 hours before your visit window closes.

If you purely want to see exquisite interior rooms and furnishing there are other stately homes with better quality rooms (except when considering the grand hall in Highclere Castle as this is truly amazing)such as Wilton House, Longleat and Sherborne Castle.

Thank fssutton1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Went on a day out with a local garden centre and arrived at about 1110. By 1145 we'd done the house and then either had to spend another £7.50 each to see the Eygyptian Museum or hang around until 1530 for the coach to leave.
This is only a visit for those mad fans of Downton Abbey who want to see where it was filmed. There are plenty of photos around of the cast and crew having a great time working and lots of photos of the current Duke and Duchess of Carnarvon that don't mean anything to those who don't know them personally.
Once you've seen the rooms and a few rather bland bedrooms through a doorway, frankly there's little else to see.
The problem is that once you do get into the rooms there's very little information about what's there. A couple of sheets explaining one or two items and little else, I suppose that's to pursuade you to spend a tenner on a book.
As it was pouring down with rain wecouldn't see much of the grounds but when did a quick walk around they're well kept but not exceptional.
The gift shop contains a load of expensive tat and the food facilities are about on par with NT places.
As I say, unless you're a mad fan of Downton Abbey, don't bother.

1  Thank Delboy414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Unable to come close to the castle without pre booked ticket. Half way from entrance staff standing and asking for tickets. Dissapointed.

1  Thank Gosiarzata
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

The self-guided visit to the castle was fabulous and a real must for Downton fans. It was not too busy and we were able to wander at our own pace.
The Egypt exhibition was fantastic and definitely worth the additional £7.
It was a special occasion for us so we had pre-boked Afternoon Tea and this truly lived up to our expectations with unlimited tea/coffee, sandwiches, cakes, scones with cream & jam and also a glass of champagne.
However.... parking....
We have experienced days and days of rain and the parking is in a field. We just made it to the line of cars before wheels started spinning too much but most cars needed to be pushed in, and all cars needed to be pushed out.
For the amount we paid for the day out (over £220 for 4 adults) you do expect the parking organisation to be better or at least a better surface.

1  Thank Heather M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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