Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Tube, The Train and Downton Abbey

Surprisingly enough none of my flat mates watch Downton Abbey or even know what it is. Which is crazy since it is a very popular show here in the UK. If you do not know what Downton Abbey is you are missing out on a great show! I randomly stumbled across this show with one of my best friends Lillian. We were bored and it was on netflix so we began to watch and the rest is history. Needless to say I not only got my mom hooked but she then got all her friends hooked and so on and so on. When I found out my mom was visiting I just knew we had to make the trip out to Newbury to visit Highclere Castle (the actual name of the estate, although I think they should just rename it Downton Abbey).

Our journey stated out my first taking the tube to Paddington Station. We then hopped on the train to Newbury! 

Now I should mention that tickets to get into the estate have been sold out for months and the estate closes for tours on September 12th. On the website it said if we showed up after 2pm and there were still tickets available we would be able to purchase them and walk through the house and around the grounds. So we took a chance...

And we were not disappointed! It was a Sunday so I think that helped plus it was raining off and on throughout the day but either way we were in!!!

Once inside the house you are not allowed to take any pictures (probably because the actual Early and his family live there). It was still cool to see though! We walked through a lot of rooms that are not even used on the show and the artwork, furniture and murals on the walls were gorgeous and I am sure priceless. I almost squealed when we walked through the library, the main hall and dinning room. I was so close the Lord Grantham's desk and where the Dowager Countess gives her infamous one liners. Upstairs you were able to view Lady Grantham's room, Lady Edith and Lady Sybil's rooms. Lady Mary's room is on a soundstage in London and so is the servants quarters and kitchen. One of the coolest parts was seeing the room where Mr. Pamuk died! Lastly I did squeal (not to loudly) when we walked down the grand staircase. I couldn't help it!!! 

The grounds themselves are stunning! There is a lot you do not see on the show and fun fact the Queen visits Highclere Castle at least once a year to talk to the current family of the estate about horses. Apparently the family is big into horse racing and the Queen often seeks their advice about horse care I guess. 

These ruins that Lady Edith talked her supposed 'cousin' and potential heir to the estate in season 2 I believe is actually a temple. It was built using stones from a house that burned down in London. Its purpose is to highlight the castle itself so when you are facing the house...

This is what you see!

It was perfect going with my mom! The whole time we were total fans and I am glad I went with someone who actually watches the show! Downton Abbey season 4 starts here very soon and I can't wait to watch it before it hits America! Cheers! 

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