John and I have visited England three times: for our honeymoon, for a spring break with Gran, and for a very English Christmas in London and Northumberland to visit relatives with our young son.
We love it when we watch Downton Abbey and recognize something off the typical tourist track. In Episode 3, Bertie and Edith make a date for drinks at Rules which is known as the oldest restaurant in London and we almost fell off our chairs. We once had a wonderful dinner at Rules with friends from the States who had moved to London for work. Very English and clubby with loads of ancient oil paintings and etchings on the walls and rich, red woven carpets, velvet banquettes, and fabulously flattering (read: dim) lighting. The food was excellent as I recall.
We have also visited Alnwick Castle and Gardens in Northumberland which was the location for Cousin Shrimpie’s Brancaster Castle in Season 5. Home of the Percy Family (the Duke of Northumberland) the historic castle was also a filming location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.
The lovely home decor site Wayfair UK sent me a fabulous map they created called “The Ultimate Downton Abbey Locations Map” which marks over 71 Downton Abbey filming locations, with information about where they are, what scenes they feature in and how you can visit them. Click anywhere on the map and see the real English castles, villages, London spots, and great houses that you love in the series. If you are planning a trip to England and love Downton Abbey, here is your roadmap.
Map courtesy of Wayfair UK.
Disclosure: I’ve shopped at Wayfair U.S. online and like their products very much (reasonably priced; good selection) but this is not a sponsored post, nor do I have an affiliate relationship with them.
Enjoy tonight’s (February 14th, 2016) episode of Downton Abbey on your local PBS station, 9pm EST. Only a few more to go.