Never has television and film had such an impact on the way we travel. People are hitting the road in search of the places where their favorite characters come to life. The Internet has made access to information on location shoots easy to come by. Anyone can learn that the city of Dorn in “Game of Thrones” was shot in Seville, Spain. A tiny island in Ireland that plays the hideout of Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is being overrun with tourists who easily discovered its whereabouts thanks to promotion by Tourism Ireland.
And one very special castle serves as the titular home in the television show “Downton Abbey.” Highclere Castle, home to the Crawley family on the show, is now a top attraction in England.
Zicasso is combining a tour of Highclere with several other recognizable filming locations around England and Scotland for its private Tribute to Downton Abbey Tour. The nine-day journey showcases several other destinations from the series and the castle as well as luxury hotel stays around the two countries and high-end culinary experiences.
“To capture the true essence of "Downton Abbey," fans can traverse the historic neighborhoods of London and the filming locations of the series with their very own private driver-guide, who is an expert historian in World War I, the British Monarchy, and noble society, providing in-depth knowledge of the Downton Abbey period,” said Steve Yu, Director of Marketing at Zicasso.
Spoiler alert: Highlights of the tour include a visit to several iconic filming locations including breathtaking scenes from seasons five and six.
Guests will also traverse the historic neighborhoods of London on a Downton Abbey Filming Locations tour with a private driver-guide and expert historian who knows early 20th-century history, events and British aristocracy backward and forward.
Guests will also be able to explore the depths of Highclere Castle on an exclusive private tour. They will also have the opportunity to have afternoon tea in the elegant Ritz London, where Lady Edith and Aunt Rosamund dine on the show.
Bampton village is the stand-in of Downton Village, and guests will stroll along its charming streets and visit the church where Mary and Matthew were wed. There will also be an elegant lunch at the world-famous Criterion Restaurant, where Lady Edith meets Michael Gregson.
Visitors can tour the opulent grounds of the Lancaster House to give the feeling that they have entered Buckingham Palace and they will relish a scenic train ride through the British countryside, taking them from Alnwick to Edinburgh, overlooking the cliffs of the northeastern sea. There is also the chance to drive a classic car on the “Brooklands Race Track” as shown in Season 6.
The journey begins in central London, where guests spend three nights at the Victorian-era St. Ermin’s Hotel to get into the spirit of the time. Next, guests travel to Horsted Keynes station and the Brooklands Race Track. The fifth day is spent in Oxfordshire, the location of Highclere Castle and the group visits Bampton, otherwise known as Downton Village.
The journey continues to Basildon Park in Berkshire, Greys Court in Henley-on-Thames and then on to Alnwick Castle. On the final day of the tour, guests visit Inveraray Castle in Scotland.
Zicasso offers customized travel and tours around the world -- several of which focus on other shows such as "Game of Thrones."