U.S. Tourists Search for 'Downton Abbey'
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (MainStreet) -- Few international shows, even English-speaking ones, make it on U.S. networks without being reworked with an American cast along the likes of The Office, Shameless and Ugly Betty. But then there's Downton Abbey, the incredibly popular British TV show that chronicles the upstairs/downstairs world of butlers, countesses and chambermaids within the aristocratic Crawleys and their family seat at Downton Abbey.
Now there's also a tourism component to Downton Abbey to satisfy American fans flying off in search of that quintessential English countryside lifestyle. Those in search of Downton can actually find the iconic family home of the actual Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, Highclere Castle, on which the award-winning series is based.
|Those in search of Downton Abbey can actually find, tour and stay near the iconic family home of the actual Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, Highclere Castle.|
With a fan base of more than 11 million viewers in more than 100 countries worldwide, the show has made Highclere a cult tourist destination in its own right, and it's a surprisingly accessible property open to the public at select times throughout the year.
Part of a 1,000-acre property of rolling highlands and impressive gardens, Highclere Castle has been the family seat of the Carnarvon family since 1679, but almost two centuries later was redesigned by Victorian architect Sir Charles Barry to its modern-day silhouette. The estate includes an elaborate complex of horse stables, farms and forest and is still the official home of the current earl and countess, who open it to organized castle tours during Easter season (April 1-15), bank holidays and throughout the summer (Sundays through Thursdays) from July 1 through Sept. 13.