Friday, October 18, 2013

Downton Abbey

A few months ago, I became obsessed with Downton Abbey. I started watching it one day and was instantly hooked. It's an amazing show filled with talented actors, interesting and unexpected plots, and a gorgeous castle. When I went to London last month, I was lucky enough to get a tour of Downton Abbey (officially known as Highclere Castle) on the last day of tours there this year!

All above ground scenes like the library, parlor, entryway, bedrooms, etc., are filmed here. (Scenes with the kitchen and house staff are filmed off site.) The amazing thing is that this castle is still someone's home. Lord and Lady Carnarvon and their boys live here part of the year and live in it exactly as we see it on tv. The only difference is that when the tv cameras are gone, the framed family photos come out. There are hundreds of framed photos throughout the house, literally on every surface. So interesting to see a couch that Lady Mary has sat on hundreds of times right next to family photos of the Carnarvon boys at the beach!

Photos of the inside weren't permitted but I took took a bunch of the exterior and the grounds

A short walk from the castle is a lovely garden and beyond that, through a gate in the garden wall, is what they call the Secret Garden. I recognized a bunch of flowers there from the landscaping outside my house. Kind of a neat detail, too, since a photo of an English garden was the inspiration for the look of my front yard!

What a treat it was to walk through the castle, have some tea and a scone there, and then stroll the gardens. Now I just need to sit back and wait patiently for the next season of Downton Abbey to start. January can't come soon enough!


photos by The Pink Chalkboard

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