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Christmas at Highclere Castle: Can I visit where they filmed Downton?

A Channel 4 documentary takes us behind the scenes of the posh house

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Highclere Castle is one of the country’s grandest buildings, and famous for being the location of Downton Abbey. But can I visit Highclere Castle?

Christmas at Highclere Castle airs on Wednesday (December 16 2020) and takes us behind the scenes of the posh estate.

Here’s everything you need to know about the C4 documentary and whether the castle is open to the public.

Highclere Castle – the home of Downton Abbey – is now available for a once-in-a-lifetime stay (Credit: Airbnb/Cover Images)

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Christmas at Highclere Castle on C4

The first of a two-parter gains behind-the-scenes access to Highclere Castle as they prepare for Christmas.

Downton Abbey fans know that the building was used as the setting of the hit ITV series and subsequent film.

We meet the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, and discover what life is like at the real Downton.

Viewers will also meet the staff at the castle, who help run the enormous operation.

Christmas at Warwick Castle airs on Tuesday December 22 9pm.

Becky Cadman, commissioning editor at Channel 4 said: “Highclere Castle and Warwick Castle are a pair of stunning locations where Christmas celebrations are truly spectacular.

“Our exclusive access to these historic sites will offer a fascinating insight into both the traditions and more modern approaches of each, as well as revealing how they’ve adapted for a very different Christmas this year.”

Where is Highclere Castle?

The Grade I listed country house, which was built in 1679, is located in Highclere, near Newbury.

The 5,000-acre estate is in Hampshire, England, about five miles south of Newbury, Berkshire and nine and a half miles north of Andover, Hampshire.

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon at Highclere Castle in Hampshire (Credit: C4)

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Can I visit Highclere Castle?

Recent Government announcements forced Highclere Castle to close.

However, the castle opened its doors once again on Thursday December 3 2020 for their Christmas events.

The castle also offers an evening tour of the building, including a glass of Champagne, traditional mince pies and a Christmas gift box.

Tickets start at £145, and dress code is cocktail dress or suit.

Sadly, the Christmas tours and afternoon teas are already sold out.

Winter tours run from January 2021 to February 2021, with a romantic Valentine’s Castle Tour and Afternoon Tea (£125) available on February December 13 and 14 2021.

You can also book a stay at Highclere Estate Lodges, which are available to hire for stays during selected dates in 2021.

Christmas at Highclere Castle airs on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday December 16 2020.

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