Highclere Castle

Exploring the History and Beauty of Highclere Castle: A Must-Visit Destination in West Berkshire and home to Downton Abbey.

Located just a short drive from Newbury, Highclere Castle is a magnificent destination that offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the elegance and grandeur of a bygone era. Set amidst stunning gardens and parkland, this historic castle is one of the most popular attractions in West Berkshire, and it's not hard to see why.

The History of Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle has a long and fascinating history that stretches back over 1,300 years. The site was originally a fortification built in the late 8th century by King Egbert of Wessex to defend against Viking invasions. Over the centuries, the site was transformed into a grand country house, and in the 19th century, it was rebuilt in the Jacobean style by the architect Sir Charles Barry.

Today, the castle is best known for its connection to the hit TV series, Downton Abbey. The castle served as the main filming location for the show, and visitors can see many of the rooms and locations used in the series, including the drawing room, library, and bedrooms.

Exploring the Castle and Grounds

A visit to Highclere Castle offers the perfect opportunity to explore the castle's stunning interiors and beautiful grounds. Visitors can take a guided tour of the castle, where they can learn about its fascinating history and see many of the rooms that were used in the filming of Downton Abbey.

The gardens and parkland surrounding the castle are equally impressive. Designed by Capability Brown, the grounds feature beautifully landscaped gardens, water features, and woodland walks. Visitors can also take a stroll through the parkland, which is home to a herd of red deer.

highclere castle gardens

Events and Exhibitions

Throughout the year, Highclere Castle hosts a range of events and exhibitions that offer visitors a chance to experience the castle in new and exciting ways. From outdoor concerts and vintage car rallies to art exhibitions and guided tours, there's always something happening at Highclere Castle.

One of the most popular events at the castle is the Christmas Fair, which takes place every year in early December. The fair features over 100 exhibitors selling a range of festive gifts, decorations, and treats. Visitors can also enjoy live music, festive food and drink, and even a visit from Father Christmas himself.

Highclere Castle is a destination that offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience the elegance and grandeur of a bygone era. From its fascinating history to its stunning interiors and beautiful grounds, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you're a fan of Downton Abbey or simply looking for a day out in West Berkshire, a visit to Highclere Castle is a must. So why not book your visit today and experience the magic of this historic castle for yourself?

After a day exploring the wonders of Highclere Castle, visitors will surely have worked up an appetite. Fortunately, The Hare and Hounds Pub, Restaurant and Hotel is located just a short drive away and is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a delicious meal. The restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes made from locally-sourced ingredients, and the Sunday Roast is particularly popular. Additionally, The Hare and Hounds is not just a restaurant, but also a hotel, making it an ideal base for those looking to explore the wider area. With comfortable rooms and a cosy pub, guests can relax and enjoy the charming surroundings of West Berkshire. So, whether you're looking for a meal after a day at Highclere Castle or a comfortable place to stay, The Hare and Hounds is the perfect choice.