Since it premiered in 2010, Downton Abbey has been transporting fans to the glory days of upper-class Britain. All the glitz and glamor of the British aristocracy is on full display, but so are the far more relatable lives of their servants.
Thanks to the remarkable filming locations across Britain, Downton Abbey's sets have remained believable and escapist. Downton Abbey is returning in a big way this month, making its big-screen debut across US cinemas on September 20. In honor of its return, here are some real-life Downton Abbey locations you can include on your itinerary for any trip to the UK.
10 The Albert Memorial, London
In the 2013 Christmas special, the Crawleys spent a good deal of time in London for Lady Rose's presentation to the court. One real spot that featured heavily in the scene was the Prince Albert Memorial in Hyde Park. This grand monument stands tall near the Royal Albert Music Hall and has a gateway to Kensington Gardens.
Queen Victoria commissioned the monument in honor of her late husband's death in 1861. Since then, visitors have marveled at the ornate structure. Fans of the series can re-enact a picnic right outside the monument if they so pleased, in the green grass of the Albert Lawns.
9 Trench Farm, Suffolk
One of the more impactful aspects of the show was its representation of life in Britain during WWI, as well as trench life on the front lines. While set on the western front, these trenches were filmed in Eastern England.
The sequences were filmed on a farm located in Suffolk containing multiple replica WWI trenches. Trench Farm is available for filming for multiple series but is arguably best known for its contribution to Downton Abbey. Visitors can contact the farm directly to view the replicas.
8 Cogges Manor Farm, Oxfordshire
Located in the beautiful Cotswolds hills, Cogges Manor Farm is a sight to behold. Capturing the old cookie-cutter style of Cotwolds country farms, the grounds stood in as the filming location for multiple seasons of Downton.
Cogges Manor Farm played the Yew Tree Farm. This is the farm where Lady Edith's child Marygold was first brought, and eventually where she left. The farm is now open for tours, cooking demonstrations, animal visits, and any number of other events.
7 Lacock Village, Wiltshire
Speaking of the Cotswolds, this gorgeous chocolate box village is renowned for hosting multiple filming projects, including Downton Abbey. Lacock Village has changed minimally from its time as a wool haven, with nearly no modern buildings in sight.
Because of this, it has hosted the likes of Downton, Harry Potter, and more. When it comes to its role in Downton, this was the sight of the fair where Lady Mary presented her award-winning pigs, and where young Marigold was taken. Explore the streets, churches, and buildings of this National Trust site, and feel transported in a way few English villages are capable.
6 Inveraray Castle, Argyll
One of the most fantastic landscapes Great Britain has to offer is the Scottish Highlands. Majestic hills and landscapes alone are magnificent, but are supplemented by grand households makes the region a must-see. One of the best was featured on Downton Abbey itself.
Inveraray Castle, a gorgeous 15th century home, has been nestled along on the edge of picturesque Loch Fyne. In Downton, it took on the mantle of the fictitious Duneagle, home to Lady Rose's parents Shrimpie and Lady Flintshire. The castle is open to visitors April through October and is an excellent stop for both fans of the show, and anyone looking to appreciate some Highland beauty.
5 Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
One of the most beloved castles in Britain, Alnwick is equally important in Downton. Alnwick was used as the location for Brancaster Castle in the final two Christmas Specials of the series. It was here where the Crawleys spent one Christmas with Lady Rose' in-laws, while later ownership passed to Lady Edith's Mother-in-Law.
Alnwick is also renowned for being one of the prominent filming locations for Hogwarts Castle in the first two Harry Potter films. This castle is one of the most gorgeously kept fortresses in the UK, serving as a wonderful attraction for visitors. Its 700-year history remains impactful for the history of Northumberland.
4 Horsted Keynes Station, Sussex
This has to be one of the most used sets of the entire series. As it was the quickest form of travel in those days (and arguably still today), Downton Abbey needed an authentic train station for filming. Luckily, Horsted Keynes Station was just the ticket!
Built in 1882 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway, Horsted Keynes has been restored by the Bluebell Railway to its 1920s heyday. Fans will recognize the station as the only one in the whole of the series. It is open for visitors to view the Carriage and Wagon Workshop, as well as hope on a genuine steam locomotive from the era.
3 Bampton, Oxfordshire
Just as part of Downton Abbey as the home itself is Downton Village. This sleepy little hamlet is the location of many incidents throughout the series, including many weddings at the local church. While the series says it and the home are located in Yorkshire, the actual filming locations are much farther south.
Bampton in Oxfordshire was the primary village used for filming on the series. The local St. Mary's Church was used for St. Michael and All Angels Church in the series, the old Grammar School was the backdrop for the town hospital, and the old Bampton rectory served for the exterior shots of Isobel's home.
2 Byfleet Manor, Surrey
While most of the Crawleys reside in Downton, one lives in her own little domain away from the rest. Fan-favorite Violet Crawley, portrayed by the iconic Maggie Smith, lives in her own home in Downton Village. With its memorable sitting room where Dame Maggie showed off her signature wit, this home is not only available to see but to stay in!
Byfleet Manor in Surrey was used as the home of the Dowager Countess. This Manor traces its history back to the year 700 when it was first mentioned. Now, it remains a visitor attraction, a tea room, and a partial guest house. How would you like to stay under the same roof as Violet Crawley?
1 Highclere Castle, Berkshire
This is the big one! The single most popular filming location for fans to visit, and the most essential, is none other than Downton Abbey itself: Highclere Castle. This stately home is just as much a character as Mr. Carson or Lady Mary. The land ownership can be traced all the way back to 749 and remains in the care of the lord and lady of Carnoven.
Highclere has become an icon of British TV, and one of the most beloved homes in the country. The Castle is open occasionally throughout the winter and Spring but opens for regular tours during the Summer months. If you're going to visit any of the filming locations, this is the one.