My Day At Downton

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It's no secret that I am obsessed with Downton Abbey. As soon as the main theme tune begins I instantly feel relaxed and transported back to 1924. When tickets for Highclere Castle's Christmas opening went sale at the beginning of October sale I was all over it. Finally the day arrived and I set out for a day at Downton Abbey. Queue theme tune.

Downton Abbey(real name Highclere Castle) is located in Newbury, surrounded by spectacular parkland. When arriving at Highclere the structure and presence of the castle is truly beautiful. By far the biggest star of the show. It's clear to see why the creators of Downton Abbey chose this location.

When booking Winter tickets for December I was worried it would be raining and grey. However to my surprise the skies were clear and blue making for a beautiful backdrop to the Castle. I'm positive that if we had got Summer tickets, it probably would have rained.

The first stop was to explore the gardens. You can't help but feel like a kid again and feel the urge to play hide and seek. Believe me this would be the best place for hide and seek. My favourite part was most definitely The Secret Garden. As a big fan of the Francis Hodgson Burnett book I couldn't help but channel my inner Mary Lennox. There's something about a garden in winter which is so beautiful.

Inside the house photographs were not permitted which is understandable. Carol singers graced the Saloon, which made the whole experience perfectly festive. The striking Christmas tree was decorated beautifully. It's clear to see why the Saloon is the heart of the house. I loved the Gothic style and rich decoration. We visited the library (my personal favourite room). Then through the Music and Drawing room. A narrow cupboard between the double doors hid the Earl of Canarvan's Egyptian Antiques collection. The Smoking room followed. We entered bedrooms which were featured in the show such as Mr.Permuk's and those belonging to the Crawley clan.

The main staircase didn't disappoint and neither did the Dining Room which houses THAT Van Dyck masterpiece. The stone staircase which originally were the way to old staff area now lead the way to the Egyptian Exhibition. The old staff billboard can still be seen in the downstairs corridor. I half expected Carson to make an appearance.

Highclere did not disappoint and I'd love to go back in the summer. Let's just hope the weather is just as beautiful. In the meantime i'll eagerly be awaiting the Christmas special.

Are you a fan of Downton Abbey?


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