Highclere Castle

Aristocratic mansion famous for its Egyptian connections and the fictional seat of Lord Grantham: Downton Abbey.

near Newbury, Hampshire, RG20 9RN

Highclere Castle is the home of Downton Abbey in Hampshire, UK
Free for members
  • Cafe / restaurant
  • Free parking
  • Parkland / open spaces
  • Shop
  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

Highclere Castle is a magnificent family home, often described as ‘the finest occupied Victorian mansion in England’. Owned by the Carnarvon Family for over 300 years, we hope visitors will discover its treasures throughout the tours of the State rooms as well as exploring the Egyptian Exhibition.

The Castle you see today was designed by Sir Charles Barry. He began in 1842 whilst re-building the Houses of Parliament. Many similarities exist between the styles of the two buildings.

Visitors will recognise many of the rooms, from the dark mahogany, gilded, Library with over 5,650 books, to the Dining Room dominated by Van Dyck’s portrait of Charles I.

The Castle cellars celebrate the achievements of the 5th Earl who, with his colleague Howard Carter, discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

Highclere’s gardens have existed since medieval times and Lord and Lady Carnarvon take much pleasure developing the gardens you see today.

Opening Times


3 to 26 April, and from 10 July to 5 September. Sundays to Thursdays.

Tours only, 10.30am to 5pm (last admission 4pm).

Highclere is open for both pre-booked visits and walk-ups. Historic Houses members, please go to Admission on this page to find out more about the requirements for entering Highclere Castle.

Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.

See their website to double check their opening times


Visiting Highclere Castle as a Historic Houses member

Historic Houses members cannot pre-book free tickets but free admission is available on a first-come, first-served basis when arriving on site (where capacity permits). While that means that free entry cannot be guaranteed, most Historic Houses members wanting to use their card to visit for free can be accommodated if they are prepared to wait (notably in peak season).

Please note: Historic Houses members will not be granted free admission before 3pm during the summer period. Members are welcome to enter after 3pm.

Last entry to the castle is at 4pm for all visitors.

Please do not travel long distances for free entry on weekends – Highclere is exceptionally busy on weekends and you may not be able to enter. Demand for entry to Highclere, from existing pre-booked ticket holders and walk-up visitors paying full price on the day, as well as from Historic Houses members, is always quite high, and capacity is limited.

Historic Houses is satisfied that the castle is operating the very fairest and most accessible policy regarding free entry that is compatible with the imperatives of protecting this important heritage site for future generations. We and the castle ask that Historic Houses members have patience and understanding with the arrangements in place.

The Egyptian Exhibition is not included in free entry but Historic Houses members can buy tickets for £7 from Visitor Reception at the main gate.

Regular summer prices for the house, exhibition, and garden:

Adult: £27.50
Child (4-16yrs): £16
Over 60: £25.50
Student: £25.50
Family: £75

Various other prices based on access. See the castle website.

Group Visits

Group bookings are released in early January for the year ahead. Due to high demand these bookings do sell out very quickly and we advise you check our website for the latest updates.

  • Guide dogs welcome
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking
  • Wheelchair ramps/routes
Visit the house's website
for the latest information.

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Highclere Castle in the snow looking glorious

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