Downton Abbey where was it filmed? Filming locations for the period hit

Downton Abbey filming location Highclere Castle
(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Where was Downton Abbey filmed in the UK?

Downton Abbey was filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England, which doubled as the Downton Abbey house.

The show’s iconic opening credits featured Highclere Castle in the earliest frames and the house of course played a central part in the ITV period drama.

TV tonight Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey is being reshown on ITV

The Highclere estate dates all the way back to the eighth century, while the actual castle is Victorian and was designed by the architect Charles Barry. And, just like in Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle was used as a hospital during World War One. Downton Abbey is being repeated on ITV - see our TV Guide (opens in new tab) for full listings.

Can you visit Highclere Castle?

Yes, you can visit Highclere. The official website (opens in new tab) for the castle confirms that it has opened for its Summer season, which runs through until the 16th September 2020. There are also other events on. The Castle closes on Fridays and Saturdays of each week at this time.

How much does it cost to visit Highclere Castle?

Adult price is £24 for Castle, Exhibition and Gardens. There are concessions for certain tickets.

Does Downton Abbey actually exist?

Well, Downton itself is of course fictional but Highclere Castle is very real!

Did Peter Andre and Jordan get married at Highclere?

Peter Andre and Jordan got married at Highclere Castle in 2005. We don't think Lord Grantham attended!

What town is Downton Abbey filmed in?

Downton is meant to be in Yorkshire but the village of Bampton, Oxfordshire actually doubles for Downton village. For example the Crawley House exterior was shot in Bampton.

Which castle was used as Brancaster in Downton Abbey?

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England which doubles for Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey

Alwnick Castle was used in both Downton Abbey and Harry Potter (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images) (Image credit: De Agostini via Getty Images)

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland doubled for Brancaster Castle, which featured in the 2014 Christmas special and the final ever Downton Abbey TV episode which went out on Christmas Day 2015. Hugh Bonneville, who played Lord Grantham, once told TV Times about filming at Alnwick (opens in new tab).

He said: “It was the highlight of our year. Because we spend most of our time at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios, to go somewhere as exotic as Northumberland is great! Highclere is stunning, but Alnwick makes it look like a portakabin! It is splendid.”

Was Harry Potter filmed at Alnwick Castle?

Harry Potter was filmed at Alnwick Castle. It was used for scenes in both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. So, Harry Potter and Downton Abbey have a clear link!

Can you visit Alnwick Castle?

Yes, it is open this year for visiting until 25th October 2020.

Downton Abbey's final season is being repeated on ITV from Sunday 19th July.

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!