Are you a fan of Downton Abbey, the beloved British period drama that captivated audiences around the world? If so, a journey through the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds is a must for any true enthusiast. One of the most iconic filming locations for the series is the village of Bampton, where many scenes from the fictional village of Downton were shot. Join us on a delightful journey through the heart of the Cotswolds as we explore Bampton and other enchanting locations that served as the backdrop for this cultural phenomenon.
Bampton: The real-life Downton Abbey
Nestled in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, Bampton provides an authentic glimpse into the quintessential English village life that captured the hearts of Downton Abbey viewers. Known in the series as Downton Village, Bampton’s historic architecture and charming streets transport visitors back in time. As you stroll through the village, you’ll recognise familiar landmarks, such as St. Mary’s Church, which featured prominently in various episodes.
The village square, with its distinctive 19th-century architecture, served as the setting for lively scenes, including the Downton Fair. Your guided tour will weave through the narrow lanes, offering a chance to admire the well-preserved buildings and gain insight into the filming process. Imagine yourself in the world of Lady Mary and the Crawley family as you explore the very streets they once walked.
Cotswold Gems: More Downton delights
While Bampton takes centre stage, the Cotswolds offers a tapestry of charming villages that played host to various Downton Abbey scenes. Your guided tour might include stops at:
Highclere Castle: While not technically in the Cotswolds, no Downton Abbey tour is complete without a visit to Highclere Castle, the grand estate that served as the iconic backdrop for the series. Marvel at the stunning architecture and lush gardens that portrayed the fictional Downton Abbey itself.
Castle Combe: Often referred to as the ‘prettiest village in England,’ Castle Combe’s timeless beauty made it an ideal location for Downton Abbey’s village scenes. The Market Cross and St. Andrew’s Church are just a couple of the charming spots to explore. Please be advised, however, despite it’s name, there is no castle in Castle Combe.
Lacock: This medieval village boasts cobbled streets and historic architecture, making it a fitting location for various period dramas, including scenes from Downton Abbey. Stroll through Church Street and you may find yourself taken back to 1920s livestock show and market. Incidentally, the cloisters of Lacock Abbey were also immortalised by Harry Potter and his fellow wizarding students…
Kingston Bagpuize House: Built by Thomas Latton in the Queen Anne style, Kingston Bagpuize House is a superior 17th century home and is lived in to this day. Visitors often comment that it is clearly a much loved home, making it the perfect backdrop for Downton Abbey’s Lord Merton’s home, featuring the grand Entrance Hall and Drawing Room.
Why choose a guided tour?
Embarking on a guided tour ensures you don’t miss any hidden gems and provides a deeper understanding of the history and significance of each location. Our expert guides will regale you with behind-the-scenes anecdotes, offering a unique perspective on the making of Downton Abbey and the historical context that inspired the series.
As you travel through the Cotswolds, reliving the magic of Downton Abbey, let the captivating scenery and rich history enchant you. Immerse yourself in the world of aristocracy and intrigue as you explore the very places where this beloved series came to life. With a private guided tour, your journey through Bampton and the Cotswolds will be a delightful and unforgettable experience for any Downton Abbey fan.