Live like a Crawley: Stay at the real Downton Abbey for $550 a night

The entrance to Highclere Castle

The entrance to Highclere Castle  (Highclere Castle )

Fans of the hit TV series “Downton Abbey” will soon be able live like a Crawley when the Highclere Castle’s gatehouse opens for tourists next spring.

The 220 year old castle where the PBS show is filmed is steeped in British history. After a full renovation, two separate gatehouse lodges—small houses that guard the entrance to a large property—will be open to accommodate couples looking for a truly authentic getaway in the English countryside. [image]

Each lodge is at the base of the mile-long driveway that leads up to the castle itself, according to the Daily Mail. Visitors will be able to take day trips to the castle and tour the grounds.

Lady Fiona Carnarvon who owns the manor, has spent two years fixing the gatehouses with new details like wood burning stoves, fully equipped kitchens, double bedrooms, and bathrooms with a dressing area.

“It’s a new step for me. We will welcome people from all over, I expect. Access is going to depend on the time of year. It will be cosy, charming and unique,” Lady Carnarvon told the Daily Mail. [image]

“It’s exciting bringing back to life an old, sad building and again giving it purpose. It is a new departure for us to try short lets and we hope it will amuse people.”

The success of Downton has helped her family restore the castle to its former glory. There is a currently a “very long waiting” list for weddings—each earns the estate over $23,000.

But don't expect the royal treatment at this castle. Though stays start at $550 a night, no servants come with the package.