Fodor's Expert Review Highclere Castle

Winchester Castle/Palace/Chateau Fodor's Choice

Set in 1,000 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown, this is the historic home of the actual earls of Carnarvon—as opposed to the imaginary earls of Grantham that are portrayed living within it in the television drama Downton Abbey. Victorian Gothic rather than actual Gothic, this huge country house was designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the similar Houses of Parliament. Commissioned by the third earl in 1838 to transform a simpler Georgian mansion, Barry used golden Bath stone to create this fantasy castle bristling with turrets. Like its fictional counterpart, it served as a hospital during World War I. Highlights of the State Rooms include Van Dyke's equestrian portrait of Charles I in the Dining Room and the imposing library (Lord Grantham's retreat). There's also an exhibit of Egyptian antiquities collected by the fifth earl, known for his pivotal role in the 1920s excavation of ancient Egyptian tombs, notably Tutankhamun's. Find pleasant views of the house... READ MORE

Set in 1,000 acres of parkland designed by Capability Brown, this is the historic home of the actual earls of Carnarvon—as opposed to the imaginary earls of Grantham that are portrayed living within it in the television drama Downton Abbey. Victorian Gothic rather than actual Gothic, this huge country house was designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the similar Houses of Parliament. Commissioned by the third earl in 1838 to transform a simpler Georgian mansion, Barry used golden Bath stone to create this fantasy castle bristling with turrets. Like its fictional counterpart, it served as a hospital during World War I. Highlights of the State Rooms include Van Dyke's equestrian portrait of Charles I in the Dining Room and the imposing library (Lord Grantham's retreat). There's also an exhibit of Egyptian antiquities collected by the fifth earl, known for his pivotal role in the 1920s excavation of ancient Egyptian tombs, notably Tutankhamun's. Find pleasant views of the house and countryside by walking the gardens and grounds. You can stay overnight on the estate in the "London Lodge" from April through September. The house is 25 miles north of Winchester and 5 miles south of Newbury; there's train service from London and Winchester to Newbury, and taxis can take you the 5 miles to Highclere.

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Castle/Palace/Chateau Romantic Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Highclere Park
Newbury, West Berkshire  RG20 9RN, England

01635-253204

www.highclerecastle.co.uk

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: £20 castle, exhibition, and gardens; £13 castle and gardens or exhibition; £5 gardens only, Castle tour at 10:30 am and 1 pm only. Tickets can only be prebooked through website., £23 castle, exhibition, and gardens; £16 castle or exhibition plus gardens; £7 gardens only, Closed Jan.–Easter (except for select dates) and other select days throughout the year; check website for more information

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