Visit the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, with Hampshire Ambassador,
Phil Howe. Approximately 45 minutes from London Waterloo, Hidden Britain Tours can pick you up from Basingstoke's
local hotels or railway station and take you on a short journey through some of England’s most attractive countryside,
explaining the beautiful Hampshire landscape as you go.
An expert guide, Phil developed a talent for explanation during his earlier career as a Senior Lecturer. On the journey
to Highclere Castle you are driven through some of Hampshire’s finest scenery, taking in back roads that pass through
the village of Kingsclere, with King John's peculiar legacy on top of the church. A short detour may be made to the top of
Watership Down, where we can look down on the landscape that inspired Richard Adams to write the book of the same name which
was subsequently filmed.
Leaving Kingsclere and keeping Watership Down on our left, we take to winding country lanes that pass the entrance to Sir
Andrew Lloyd Webbers' estate at Syndmonton, composer of West End and Broadway musicals Evita, Cats and Phantom of the Opera.
At Old Burghclere we stop and trace the fascinating Carnarvon family history in a beautiful abandoned village church.
In the light of the success of Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle is a popular destination and only opens at certain times
of the year. Expert guides in every room help you understand this unique property and you visit the staterooms as well as
Lunch may be taken at in the pretty village of Kingsclere at The Crown, visited by Downton Abbey cast members.
Entry to museums and lunch is not included and the tour lasts all day.