This post is not sponsored in any way. All opinions and images are the property of This is me, Merisa Lee! unless otherwise cited.
With the Downton Abbey movie just being released last month, it’s making me wonder what the heck is going to happen in this film.
Will Matthew make a dramatic comeback during the family dinner? Are the servants finally going to gang up and storm the upstairs to take over the estate? Is Lady Grantham and the Dwarves going to continue their journey to the Lonely Mountain to battle the fearsome dragon Smaug?
Yeah, none of that is going to happen. But fingies crossed on the Smaug thing...!
Due to this theatrical miracle that's been released, it made me want to share with you my own experience at the grounds of Highclere Castle; A.K.A - Downton Abbey.
P.S.: I may or may not have taken a piece of carpet from the house. And a rock. Shhhh.
If you’re like me (an unofficial member of the Crawley family) you can only imagine my excitement as I was driving up to the castle and seeing “Downton” with my actual eyeballs. The first steps in the parking lot overlooking the estate brought a calm feeling of familiarity due to the countless hours I’d already spent here - miles away, in front of my tv screen.
Let’s get one thing straight; the "Downton" theme song is going to be playing in your head the ENTIRE time you’re there. And no - you can’t shut it off. Just let it happen.
As I approached the main entrance (disappointed that I wasn't greeted by Mr. Carson and presented into the library to Lord Grantham so we could discuss finances and other important matters) I was quickly overcome by how beautiful this home really was. Unfortunately, as no interior photos are allowed, I wasn't able to capture any pics of the inside. But I can promise you this - it looks exactly the same as the show. Well, the actors weren't there .. but still. Exact same.
I had the privilege of touring the library, the great hall, the bedrooms of Lady Grantham, Sybil, Edith and Mary, the salon, the dining room, and of course the famous staircase where there seems to be tons of dramatic scenes for some reason. It was all just magnificent.
If you think you've seen the most trimmed hedges in the world - well, you haven't until you've come to Highclere Castle. They've got the most hedged-hedges of all England (I don't think Buckingham Palace's hedges are as hedgy). I'm gonna stop saying "hedge" now.
In all seriousness, the grounds of the property are extremely well-kept and just as breathtaking as the castle itself. The greenery seems to expand for miles and miles - and watching the sheep grazing in the outer fields makes you feel absolutely delightful.
They've also got the loveliest of gardens to be explored.
Beyond the "Downton Abbey" label this castle has embraced, Highclere is as rich in history as it is popularity. In it's cellar, the castle features an Egyptian exhibition with artifacts found in the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1921. The home was also used as a convalescent hospital during World War 1, just like in the second season of the series.
Being able to finally visit such an exquisite property that I've known for years was truly an honour. The star-struck feeling it left with me still remains to this day - probably because I bought a Downton Abbey fridge magnet that I'm forced to look at every time I have my late night snacks.
If you're interested in finding out more details on Highclere Castle and planning your visit to the estate, you can get more information on their website.
If you're seeing this post AFTER you've seen the movie - tell me, what was your favorite part!? Leave a comment below!
Until next time,
I FINALLY saw the movie. Did I laugh? Yes. Did I cry? Yes. Did a random lady totally embarrass herself by trying to leave through the parking lot exit mid-movie in the front of the theatre, but then quickly realized the door was locked and thus had to walk back across the screen in total shame? You betcha.