If you’re looking to go sightseeing while at The Bunk then Highclere Castle is the place to start. Just ten miles away the castle is the location for the global TV phenomena Downton Abbey.
The Jacobean castle sits in a fabulous park created by the most celebrated British landscape designer Capability Brown.
Home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon the recent history of Highclere has been littered with problems. Six years ago it was estimated that repairs costing £12 million were needed with over £2 million urgently required for the castle. However the success of Downton Abbey has seen a huge rise in paying visitors with the money reinvested on repairs. Consequently a visit to Highclere is not only a great day out but also helps save this iconic building.
It is important to bear in mind that Highclere is only open for roughly 70 days a year, predominantly during the key bank holidays and summer. Is vital to plan ahead and ensure the castle is open, and if an event is ticketed, to ensure you’ve got yours booked.
Key things to see are obviously the Castle but also make sure you see the Egyptian Exhibition with various relics on show from the trips undertaken by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon to Egypt, including uncovering Tutankhamun’s tomb with Howard Carter. In addition make sure you explore the gardens and parklands, beyond the woods lies some wonderful follies and two beautiful lakes.
ITV drama Downton Abbey needs no introduction and Highclere will be instantly recognisable to regular viewers. However all those in West Berkshire and those associated with Highclere will always be grateful for the benefits the programme has brought in preserving this glorious piece of our history.