My Visit to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

I had the chance to interview Lady Carnarvon, who lives at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, England, for an upcoming piece.  When I say I am obsessed with Downton Abbey, it is an understatement.  In the show, Highclere stands in for Downton Abbey.  But I was most excited to know more about the family behind the castle and it didn't disappoint. Lady Carnarvon was a dream to interview-charming and hilarious.

With Lady CarnarvonWhen I visited Highclere, it was closed to the public, so I got to wander around with not a soul in sight.  Just the breeze, warm spring air, and birds chirping.  It could have been 1912 when the Downton story began, or for that matter 1712.  What surprised me the most was how lived in and comfortable the castle was - a real family lives here and Lady C has done an amazing job of restoring the property.

Before my visit, I had lunch at the Yew Tree Inn, a small inn and restaurant right near Highclere.  It's where Downton Abbey cast members stay during filming and a favorite of the Middleton family.  Their home in Bucklebury is just 30 minutes from Highclere.

The Yew Tree Inn

The famous main doors...hello Bates! Main driveway leading to doorsCenter of Highclere's InteriorLibraryDoor to the libraryHallway leading to main doors

Where Maggie Smith talks on the telephone!