▷ The 5 Best Downton Abbey Tours [2022 Reviews]

Downton Abbey is always at the top of the list of things to do in the UK if you’re a fan of the TV series. However, even if you’ve never seen an episode of the show in your life, you’re sure to find it fascinating.

After all, it has a rich history that can easily rival the series. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, we highly recommend going on a proper tour.

These tours will tell you all about the history of the area, and show you the hidden gems you may not notice on your own. We know you’re eager to get started, so without further ado, here are the top tours of Downton Abbey.

Best Downton Abbey Tours From London

 Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from LondonFrom London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach TourPrivate Downton Abbey with Castle Taxi Tour
editors choice
Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from LondonFrom London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach TourPrivate Downton Abbey with Castle Taxi Tour
Departure:Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4SFGloucester Road Underground StationHotel pickup and drop-off available
Departure Time:9:00 amCheck with tour operator8:30 am
Duration:9 hours9 hours9 hours
Includes:Local guide, live commentary on board, entry to Highclere Castle, transport by Mini CoachGuide, round-trip transportation from London, entrance fees to Highclere CastleBottled water, private transportation, private guide, air-conditioned vehicle

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking


Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Downton Abbey Tours For 2022

  1. Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from London
  2. From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour
  3. Private Downton Abbey with Castle Taxi Tour
  4. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour
  5. Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

Be sure to see our reviews of Buckingham Palace tours, Windsor Castle tours and Thames River cruises.


Downton Abbey Tour Reviews

#1. Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from London

Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from London

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Gloucester Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 4SF
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am
  • Includes: Local guide, live commentary on board, entry to Highclere Castle, transport by Mini Coach

This is yet another we absolutely loved, and draws many similarities to the previous tour. The Small Group Tour: Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from London will have you taking the footsteps of Lady Mary Crawley on this full-day tour.

Covering many important locations, you’ll not only hear historical accounts but anecdotes about filming and the series. We would’ve liked that this tour included a hotel pickup, but you’ll instead be meeting your guide at the Gloucester Road tube station.

Your guide will wait for you at the station exit right outside Flowers Inc. at 9:00 am so you have the full day to explore. You’ll be transported by a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle with a separate guide and driver rather than a 2-in-1.

The journey to Oxfordshire is quite beautiful, and your guide offers interesting commentary along the way to make it more entertaining. If you’ve ever wanted to explore more of the English countryside, this is a great way to see charming little villages and rolling hills.

Before you know it, you and your group will be arriving in the wonderful Cotswolds village which served as “Downton”. Just like with the others, you’ll have time to explore the former home of Matthew Crawley, Downton Cottage Hospital, and various other buildings.

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Along the way, your guide will share anecdotes about filming and the actors along with genuine historical information about these spots. You won’t be able to get this experience anywhere else!

Take advantage of the free time you’ll have here before heading over to Highclere Castle, which itself boasts an over 1000-year history! Your guide will fill you in on some of the most important events that have taken place here during that time.

Serving as the Crawley’s family home in the series, you’ll also get to see inside and outside to take some photos. The above-stairs and below-stairs rooms are quite the contrast, and you’ll learn all about them through a self-guided pamphlet.

At this time, you can choose to grab a coffee at the castle or a light lunch. The grounds are stunning and perfect for enjoying your lunch on.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#2. From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Gloucester Road Underground Station (Piccadilly, Circle and District Lines)
  • Departure Time: Check with tour operator
  • Includes: Guide, round-trip transportation from London, entrance fees to Highclere Castle

Let’s kick things off with the From London: Downton Abbey and Village Coach Tour. If you’re really looking to immerse yourself in this world, this is one of the most popular tours for doing so.

This 9-hour adventure will take you on a comprehensive tour of Bampton, with a skip-the-line to the legendary Highclere Castle, and learn about the series itself.

Start out by meeting your guide at Gloucester Road Underground Station, and they’ll be waiting next to the station exit. You’ll then hop onto a comfortable, air-conditioned coach and head straight towards the charming village of Bampton, located in Oxfordshire.

As you journey there, your guide will offer an educational commentary and give a briefing as to what you can expect. Once you get to Bampton, you’ll hop out and start your guided walking tour around the village marked by iconic spots seen in the series.

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If you’re familiar with the series, you’ll surely recognize the post office and the house where Matthew Crawley lived before moving to the abbey.

Continue on to Highclere Castle, where you’ll be allotted around 3 hours of time you can use at your own leisure to explore the grounds. To help find your way around, there are maps detailing where to go so you can plan according to what interests you most.

After that, you’ll be able to either grab some lunch at the castle or find some unique souvenirs for yourself or those who weren’t able to go with you. Thanks to the professionalism and exceptional organization of the tour guides, you’ll be able to check out pretty much everything you could ever want to!

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#3. Private Downton Abbey with Castle Taxi Tour

Private Downton Abbey with Castle Taxi Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup and drop-off available
  • Departure Time: 8:30 am
  • Includes: Bottled water, private transportation, private guide, air-conditioned vehicle

Perhaps you want to go all out and have your own private tour and tour guide handy! If so, then check out the highly-rated Private Downton Abbey with Castle Taxi Tour!

This 9-hour tour is similar to the previous one, but you’ll receive a more insider look about the show and will see more due to the small group size and exclusivity.

Hotel pickup is included, so make sure you’re ready at your hotel lobby by 8:30 am! Drive through London in the adorable car and head out to the Oxfordshire countryside which is absolutely beautiful.

Visit various villages which Downton is made up of, such as the charming Bampton. Offering plenty of time to take photos outside Matthew Crawley’s house, hospital, and a couple village pubs (along with other gems), you’ll have a blast.

Along the way, your guide will offer interesting commentary on where they are in the show and their importance, culturally.

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There are staff waiting to tell you all about the insider info on filming, and other interesting anecdotes. Make your way to various other villages, which remain a secret so you’re surprised when you do see them.

After this, you’ll head out to the infamous Highclere Castle which will be a bit less than an hour of driving. Along the way, you’ll stop at a traditional English Pub for some delicious lunch and beverages so refuel.

Then, you’ll arrive to Highclere Castle, where your guide will tell you all about its fascinating history and the Downton Locations before seeing the rooms. Later on, you’ll be able to drink a delicious cream tea before hopping on the bus.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#4. London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: Full day
  • Departure: 52 Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3BD
  • Departure Time: 7:15 am
  • Includes: Small-group tour (maximum of 18 persons), Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) and Gardens admission and tour, Yew Tree Farm (Cogges Manor Farm) and Downton village (Bampton) visit, tour guide, round-trip transportation from London by executive mini-coach

Maybe the other tours sound enticing to you, but you really want to experience as much as you possibly can of the area. If so, then the London: Downton Abbey, Cotswolds, and Highclere Castle Tour is just for you.

This full-day tour will take you through the gorgeous Cotswolds, visiting iconic spots like the Cogges Manor Farm, Downton Village, Downton Abbey, or Highclere Castle.

Start off the tour by being picked up at your hotel by luxury mini-coach. With a small-group of a maximum of 18 people, you’ll have the guide’s full attention and be able to see more. Should you have any questions, you can feel free to ask your guide and feel confident they’ll answer you.

Along the way, you’ll stop at Yew Tree Farm where you’ll explore many film sites used throughout the series. Head further to the Swan Inn located in Swinbrook, which fans of the series will all know quite well, due to its controversy within the show.

Next, make your way to Shilton: a beautiful Cotswolds village that larger coaches and tours aren’t able to access. This is yet another benefit of taking a small group tour!

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Before making that quick journey to Bampton, you’ll be able to see the old stone footbridge, duck pond, and old pump and well. These are great for snapping some photos and videos of before heading back into the coach.

Then, make your way a bit further down to “Downton Village” and see Highsclere Castle. This castle is usually the highlight of the tour, and with its incredibly intricate architecture and significance in the series, it’s no wonder why. Before stepping inside, make sure to appreciate the beautiful gardens and grounds outside.

Once inside, you’ll take a thorough, guided tour of each of the lavish rooms and even explore the Egypt exhibition.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#5. Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Departure: Gloucester Road Tube (London Underground) station
  • Departure Time: Morning
  • Includes: Professional guide, transportation, admission fees to Highclere Castle House and Gardens

Last but certainly not least, we bring you the Downton Abbey and Village Small Group Tour from London. Like most others on our guide, this tour also clocks in at 9 hours full of sightseeing and learning about the history and relation to the series of the area.

Thanks to the small group size, you’ll be able to see and learn more as there are many places you’ll see that larger coaches aren’t able to access.

Meet your guide at the Gloucester Road Tube, “the tube” station next to the station exit outside Flowers Inc. Make sure you’ve brought along some comfortable walking shoes, because you’ll be doing quite a bit of that on this tour!

Hop into your air-conditioned vehicle for the day and head straight through the beautiful English countryside to Oxfordshire. Along the way, you’ll make stops in various villages that have been featured in the series. The guided tour of Downton Hospital, the village pub, the former home of Matthew Crawley, and the local church.

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Your guide will give you plenty of leisure time to explore at your own pace, taking photos along the way. Then, head onto the star of the show: Highclere Castle, which you’ll learn about on the way so you have some knowledge about it before arriving.

In “real life”, this castle has been around for over a whopping thousand years, and has understandably quite the background.

The history isn’t always a pleasant one, but fascinating, nonetheless. Your guide will also tell you about its use in Downton Abbey, considering its perhaps the most important building in the entire series. After, grab lunch at Highclere Castle and enjoy it while sitting on the beautiful grounds.

 

More Information & Tour Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


London Travel Guide

tours of Downton Abbey

Planning Guide For Your London Trip

If you’re planning a trip to London anytime soon, be sure to add one of the best Stonehenge tours from London to your itinerary. But which ones are the best? We’ve reviewed the top 5 Stonehenge tours and provided you with a guide for visiting both Stonehenge and London.

Most likely, your day trip to Stonehenge from London will be a small part of your vacation to this historic English city. Here, we offer a guide to visiting London, from the airport you will be arriving at to other attractions you may want to visit and even the weather.

Let’s help you make the most of your vacation to London!

Airports & Entry

There are five airports that service London, England. If you are traveling abroad, you will most likely be arriving at London Heathrow. For shorter flights departing European airports, should you be heading to London from a previous vacation spot, you may fly into one of these smaller London airports:

  • London City
  • London Gatwick
  • London Luton
  • London Stansted

To enter the United Kingdom, UK, you will need a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for your entire stay and can’t expire before your expected departure.

Planning Tips

Visiting London is unlike visiting any other city on earth. Because of this, you will want to keep some things in mind when planning and packing. We list our top 5 tips for visiting London below. Do you have additional tips to suggest? We’d love for you to comment them below!

Tip #1: Bring Your Walking Shoes

Much of your travel around the city will be walking. Even when you head out of town for a day tour, such as those to Stonehenge, most of the tours require quite a bit of walking. It’s best to be relaxed wearing athletic shoes instead of wearing more fashionable shoes that can make the necessary walking uncomfortable.

Tip #2: Bring a Converter or Transformer

Your electric and electronic devices made for use in the US will not work in the UK without a converter or transformer. A converter is made to use with electronics such as your phone or tablet and a transformer with electric devices such as a hairdryer. The US runs on 120 V and the UK on 240. This means that using your US devices without a voltage converter or transformer in the UK may damage them.

Tip #3: Start Planning Your Trip Early

London receives millions of tourists each year. This means that you will most likely have to book tours well in advance. You should also book your accommodations and reservations in restaurants as soon as possible. This is especially true for tickets to theater events and shows.

Tip #4: Always Bring an Umbrella

It doesn’t matter what time of year you’re visiting London, quick showers and rainstorms are always a possibility. It’s best to bring an umbrella with you as purchasing one at a convenient location in the city will most likely cost much more. A collapsible umbrella that is easy to carry with you is ideal.

Tip #5: Start Budgeting in Advance

London is quite an expensive city to visit but it’s worth it. Be sure you have budgeted for your flight and accommodations as well as your daily meals. You should have plenty of British pounds, the local currency, on hand as taxis and some stores may not take debit or credit cards. Also, keep in mind that the farther out your trip is planned, the better deals you will get, especially on accommodations.

Restaurants & Eating Out

There are several Dishoom restaurants located around the city. These restaurants serve high quality and delicious Indian food within a modern atmosphere. London is one of the best places to enjoy Indian food outside of India. These restaurants often have a wait but the wait is well worth it.

Not only will you want to experience the delicious Indian food, it also wouldn’t be a trip to London without an afternoon tea. There are plenty of places around town to enjoy your tea, but afternoon tea at The Savoy Hotel, London is something not to be missed. Sketch is another afternoon tea hotspot offering a unique experience.

If you’re looking for a meal with a great view, you’ll want to make reservations at the Duck & Waffle. However, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the most popular meal in London, fish and chips, at many local hotspots.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Nightlife in London can be anything you’d like it to be. There are nighttime tours of the city and surrounding areas for something a little more low-key, or you can head to a nightclub or one of the many music venues to turn up the entertainment dial.

From standup comedy and dramatic theater to the trendy clubs of the West End and even the casinos that can be found around town, nightlife in London is perfect for everyone.

Getting Around

As mentioned, visiting London requires a lot of walking. However, you can also choose to ride the subway, board a boat, or even hop on a bus or take a taxi. You may find the subway also referred to as “the underground” or “the tube.”

The cost of transportation by any of these methods will be determined by your destination’s distance from central London. The city and surrounding areas are divided into zones that determine distance and cost. If you’re going to be visiting for at least a few days, you may want to invest in a daily or weekly Travelcard pass.

Accommodations

There are many choices in accommodations when visiting London. You may find a great Airbnb location, and you can also find everything from a small hostel to a five-star, luxury hotel. The accommodations you choose should be determined by your budget, but also by the type of experience you’re looking for. An Airbnb can instantly make you feel like a local.

A hostel can provide plenty of opportunities to meet other tourists and learn more about attractions and eateries. If you’re looking for a luxury experience, the Camden Enterprise Hotel or even the Dorset City London can provide it.

Weather

The average low temperatures during the winter months are in the mid-40s Fahrenheit or around 7°C. These mild winter temperatures make London an ideal vacation spot for the holidays. July, London’s hottest month of the year, usually doesn’t reach the 70s Fahrenheit, or above 18⁰ Celsius.

Even with mild temperatures during the summer, it can feel quite humid and you may run into a short shower or two. Once again, always have an umbrella handy.

Attractions

A vacation to London necessitates a visit to Buckingham Palace. Other attractions include the Coca-Cola London Eye, the Ferris wheel easily seen in every London skyline, as well as historical landmarks such as Kensington Palace, the London Tower, or the Churchill War Rooms.

While in London, be sure to visit one of the many museums and art galleries that can be found in nearly every area of the city. Parks, waterfronts, and bridges provide great photo ops and can provide a beautiful place to rest and take in the local sights.

The History, Beauty, in the Cotswolds and Oxford

When planning your vacation to London, be sure to plan for a day trip to the Cortswods while there. A guided tour of Oxford and the Cotswords will allow you to experience the English countryside.

However, that doesn’t mean you can skip on visiting the many museums and art galleries, enjoying some of the best food available, and taking time to appreciate the beautiful mix of modern style and historical sites that London provides.

Enjoy your trip to London!

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The Downton Abbey and Village Tour of Locations from London is our Editors Choice for the best Downton Abbey tour.

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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