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Downton movie reignites fan fever

With the feature length movie of Downton Abbey hitting the screens in September, there are plenty of reasons for fans of the period drama to get excited.

beamish_museum_3_-_Copy.jpgBeamish Museum where the Downton Abbey movie was filmed © VisitBritain

Director Brian Percival’s feature length production will welcome back the stars of the hit TV series, last seen on screens in 2015. And there are ample opportunities to visit the real Downton Abbey, both before and after the movie lands in cinemas.

Set a year after the finale of the TV series, in 1927, the Downton Abbey movie will revolve around a royal visit from King George V and Queen Mary. It will once again follow the aristocratic Crawley family and their dedicated staff on the fictional Yorkshire estate. Starring old favourites including Dame Maggie Smith, Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville and Joanne Froggatt. Jim Carter will also return as Carson the butler.

The picturesque star of the movie, and of the past television series, Highclere Castle near the Hampshire/Berkshire border, doubles up as the famous setting for Downton Abbey. The home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, the 5,000-acre estate features Jacobean Revival architecture from Sir Charles Barry, which dates back to the 1820s, and landscaped grounds by renowned 18th century gardener Capability Brown, designated a Sight of Special Scientific Interest since 1991.

Highclere_Castle_2.jpgHighclere Castle

Highclere Castle opens for a limited period during the summer, and on selected other dates for special events throughout the year, giving Downton Abbey fans a chance to experience the impressive building first-hand.

Fans can prepare for the forthcoming movie release by taking in the TV show’s magical soundtrack this June. Set in the grounds of Highclere Castle, the Chamber Orchestra of London will join forces with the TV show’s composer John Lunn on piano for an exclusive open air concert. Hosted by Jim Carter, the Downton Abbey Live open air concert aims to bring the TV phenomenon to life.

Just in time for the Downton Abbey movie release, Highclere Castle is hosting Costumes, Cocktails and Castle Tours on the weekend before it hits cinemas. Visitors can tour the castle, walking in the footsteps of the stars, while taking in a spectacular collection of costumes from the 1920s era.

Once the film is released, fans of Downton Abbey will be able to set foot in many of the locations were the scenes were shot as part of exclusive special guided tours. Real Lives and Film Sets will enable visitors to explore the beauty of the State Rooms, climb the Great Oak Staircase and be immersed by the extensive Egyptian Exhibition – which details the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by the fifth Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter.

Used as a backdrop for the upcoming Downton Abbey film, the renowned Beamish Open Air Museum in County Durham explores life in North East England in the 19th and 20th centuries. The 1900s Town allows visitors to discover how families lived and worked in the build-up to the First World War, supported by thought-provoking Pit Village and Colliery experiences. A recreated tramway, a 1940s farm and an Edwardian style railway station are among the other attractions.

Janet Redler, Chief Executive of Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, said: “Downton Abbey was a TV phenomenon when it hit our screens nine years ago and the new movie is likely to reignite the excitement of fans all over the world. At Janet Redler Travel & Tourism, we are experts at creating customised tours which bring to life our clients’ dreams, so if you would like to follow in the footsteps of the aristocratic Crawley family on a tailor-made location tour, please do get in touch with us.”

If you or your group would like to enjoy a tour of England exploring the filming locations for Downton Abbey, including Highclere Castle, please contact our friendly team. We also arrange location tours for the many other TV and movie productions filmed in the UK and Ireland.

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