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We can visit several of the locations used for filming Downton Abbey from Hope Cottage.

Hope Cottage Tours visits Downton

Highclere Castle is about a 40 minute drive away – Most of the filming of Downton Abbey happens at Highclere Castle.  Although difficult to book tickets it’s still possible to get in by arriving just before opening times.   We went this summer with some guests from Chicago and it was fascinating to look round the house and recognize and visit all the rooms we know so well from the television series.  The volunteers in the rooms were very interesting too as they had lots of insider stories of the going on during filming.    

Highclere Castle

Basildon Park is only 15 minutes drive from Hope Cottage and was featured in the 2013 Christmas special.  The interiors of Basildon Park were used as the Crawley family’s London residence Grantham House, and the elegant Georgian mansion was at the heart of the unfolding story as the family prepared for Rose’s coming out ball in the capital.  Basildon park played host to all of the much loved regular characters from the show as well as Shirley MacLaine who reprises her role as Martha Levinson and Paul Giamatti who joins the cast as Cora’s playboy brother Harold.  Visitors to Basildon can go on guided house tours which give details about the filming and in every room there are photos and information about which scenes were filmed there.

Basildon Park

Bampton Village, is about half an hour away from us,  Many of the village scenes and dramas have been played out in the streets of Bampton.  Here you can also find several building used as pubs, shops and the post office in Downton.   Churchgate House was used for exterior shots of the Crawley family home.  St. Mary’s Church next door to this house has hosted a number of dramatic ‘Downton’ events including weddings, funerals and even a jilting at the alter.  Downton Cottage Hospital is actually the old Grammar School and it now houses the Bampton Library and a small museum with Downton memorabilia.

Bampton Village

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About half an hour’s drive will take us to the lovely village of Swinbrook and the Swan Inn which was until recently owned by Debo, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire – the last surviving Mitford Sister.  This is where Lady Sybil and Branson stayed when planning their elopement, a controversial storyline in series 2.  Swinbrook is a gorgeous Cotswold village on the banks of the River Windrush

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