March 31st, 2015
Dan and I have been loyal watchers of Downton Abbey since the first episode so when limited tickets became available to see Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed I quickly snatched up two of them. The drive west on the highway toward Newbury was fairly pedestrian but once we turned onto the castle property we were greeted with the distant sight of dozens of baby lambs running around the fenced off pastures. They were so playful and a welcome sign of spring. It reminded me of all the baby buffalo we saw at Yellowstone National Park on our Montana-Wyoming road trip last June .
The castle is currently the home of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and has been the Carnarvon family home for over 300 years. The architect of Highclere Casle also designed the Houses of Parliament in London and the styles of the two buildings carry many similarities. Aside from the amazing library (sorry, no cameras were allowed!) the inside of the castle itself was a bit underwhelming in its decor from what I had expected, however, it was neat to see the little placards placed in many of the rooms describing its specific location in the filming of the TV series. After touring the house and the impressive Egyptian exhibition in the basement, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon along with his colleague Howard Carter are credited with the discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamum, we wandered out to walk the gardens and to capture this iconic image of ‘Downton’.