I boarded a train from Paddington Station in London for Newbury, then shared a taxi with another Downton Abby enthusiast to Highclere Castle in the Hampshire countryside. The farm and castle are owned by the Lord and Lady Carnarvon. I was scheduled to see the castle in a spring guided tour in March of 2020, but of course this was cancelled. I was given a voucher with 20% more added to my ticket. Fast forward to October 9, 2021 and I was walking toward the castle in a fog for a history festival with re-enactors of World War II. There were guest writers as well as talks by the host themselves, with Lady Carnarvon being a writer as well. The proceeds went to charity and Viking Cruises sponsered the event as well. I was in a dream world all day.
The walk through the castle brought tears to my eyes, as I was overjoyed being not only in a beautiful place, but also from being a fan of Downton Abby. The castle is truely a character in itself. No pictures were allowed inside, but the rooms were true to what is seen, minus the downstairs that was filmed in London.
I walked the gardens, visited the follies, and got a glimpse of the horses in the field.
Lady Carnarvon said well done in finally making it there, as we shared a chat. Later I would get a picture with her after she signed her booked. The Lord and I shared a chat as well about them being stewarts of the farm and castle for future generations. I ate clotted cream with scones and had a cream tea with couples who brought in the antique cars, as we listened to live music of the war era in the 1940’s.
The taxi driver stopped by Diana’s folly on the way back to the train station. Check out Lady Carnarvon’s blog,podcast and Instagram for more on daily life at Highclere. I made this blackberry cake from here book. I sent her an email with a picture of it. She agreed that an upside down cake is never pretty but it sure does taste good.