Start with a pickup from your London hotel, and travel west out of the city by traditional London black cab. Your private guide for the day is your driver, so chat away as you travel and hear fun facts about the hit Downton Abbey TV series.
After roughly an hour on the road, arrive in rural Oxfordshire. What happens next depends on the option you have booked. Read on for the sample itineraries. Lunch and entrance fees are at your own expense, and all tours finish with a hotel drop-off.
Downton Village Tour:Start with a tour of Bampton, the leafy Oxfordshire dwelling that starred as Downton village. Discover familiar sites such as Downton hospital, the village pub, the local church and even the home of suave Matthew Crawley. Continue through the heart of the Cotswolds to see more of the quintessential villages that typify the area, and enjoy lunch at the pub where Lady Sybil elopes with her chauffeur Branson in the second series. Feeling sated, visit the building that was turned into the pub where John Bates worked when he left the Downton estate.
Downton Place and London Tour:In the third series, the Crawley family downsized to their second home of Downton Place; although in real life, this stately Tudor mansion is better known as Greys Court. On a tour, admire the building’s fine architecture and stylish vintage decor, and learn about the Downton scenes that were filmed at the site. Enjoy a light lunch at Greys Court, and then visit the nearby house that was used by the Dowager Countess. Tour the house, meet the resident pigs in the garden, and finish with afternoon tea: sandwiches plus scones with clotted cream and preserves (own expense).
Return to London in the late afternoon for a tour of the capital to see how the “landed gentry” — or, the English elite — still live today. The drive-by tour takes the theme of Upstairs, Downstairs, another popular British period drama that illustrates the different lives of those who can afford luxuries and those who can’t.
Highclere Castle, Downton Village and London Tour:Take a Downton Abbey tour of Highclere Castle, the setting of the abbey itself, and hear about Lord Grantham who manages the estate in the TV series. See the upstairs area of the abbey where the aristocratic Crawley family spent their time, before a trip downstairs to learn about the lives of servants who once served wealthy families such as the Crawleys. Your Highclere Castle tour finishes with a stroll around the gardens.
Take a break for lunch in the grounds, or perhaps visit an old English inn, nearby. Then, travel to Bampton for a tour of Downton village. In the late afternoon, return to London for the drive-by Upstairs, Downstairs tour. Both afternoon tours are as described above.
Traveler pickup is offered
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
My black cab Downton Abbey tour was amazing. Andrew was so knowledgeable and took such care to make sure I had a memorable experience. From pick up to drop-off, we were chatting Downton, London, and everything in between. I felt like I was sightseeing with an old friend, not someone I just met. He knew so many details and made the day absolutely grand. If I'm given the chance to come back to London, capital taxi tours will be the top of my list!!!
We had a wonderful time, from the initial guidance on how to gain access to the castle, to where to get great snacks, our guide, Andrew, was informative, professional, kind, and fun!
This was a wonderful experience! Our guide, Andrew, was absolutely incredible. He was so knowledgeable about the area, had great anecdotes about each location, and even suggested a delicious restaurant for lunch. Also, he was five minutes early picking us up at Waterloo Station. He truly made this a magnificent experience.
Wonderful tour. Wonderful and knowledgeable guide, very comfortable and leisure tour. Expensive, but worth every penny spent. The visit to Blemheim Palace was a highlight.
Oh my goodness - Truly the highlight of our trip!! I cannot say enough about this tour. Steve was very prompt, courteous, friendly and knowledgeable. I knew we were going to Bampton and Highclere but along the way he also brought us to the spot used to film when Anna goes to find Bates at The Red Lion pub. We drove right through that ford of water that her bus goes through in that scene. He also took us to another interesting old church and pointed out the graves of 3 sisters he thinks the Crawley girls may have been modeled after.
We enjoyed Bampton Village VERY much. So very neat to walk around the square and visit the site used for the hospital, which is now a lovely little souvenir shop run by volunteers. Going inside the church was an extra special treat. Just walking along the walkway with all of the old headstones - it really is like you are walking around Downton Village, it is all so familiar. Now watching the show is even more enjoyable with these real images fresh in my mind. I notice things in the show now that I saw in real life and it gives it an added thrill. There was no shortage of photo ops and Steve made sure we got plenty.
Highclere Castle is just amazing!! The furniture and portraits are just what you know and love from the show. And yes, there are blank shields on the mantle piece. No one really knows exactly why but surmise they were for future marriages. There are many interesting personal and historical photos on display of the real Carnarvon family. It was the expedition of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon that discovered King Tut's tomb and there is a very interesting Egyptian exhibit downstairs. It was the Christmas opening when we were there so there were carolers in the great hall which added to the experience.
If you love Downton Abbey this is a Must-Do tour. SO much more personal and enjoyable than a group bus tour. We truly enjoyed our interaction with our driver/guide Steve. He made sure to take plenty of pictures of us to commemorate our trip and went out of his way to find us a pub to eat on the way home. He was fun and engaging and full of interesting facts and trivia. He saw to our every need and was a perfect gentleman in every way. Thank you so much, Steve, for a truly marvelous, memorable day. Happy Christmas to you and yours!
p.s. Also a shout-out to Capital Taxi Tours for handling the whole booking so efficiently. They even offered assistance in getting tickets to Highclere which I thought was truly going above and beyond. Thank you Allyson!
Steve Cahill, our personal driver and tour guide, was wonderful. He was extremely accommodating, flexible, knowledgeable and helpful. We loved every minute of our day.
Thank you, Steve.
My family and I had a wonderful time with our guide Andrew, who showed us many of the filming locations in Downton Abbey, such as Mr. Drew's Farm, the Downton Village, and more. He was very knowledgeable about the show and even threw in a bunch of Harry Potter trivia, which I loved!. Since it was a private tour, we felt very special to have a cab and guide all to ourselves and did not feel rushed at all. Sadly, Highclere Castle was closed at the time of our visit, but we did get to visit Blenheim Palace, which was equally grand and beautiful!
We really enjoyed stopping in at the farm and the village and other sites of filming. The castle was amazing. We would liked to have had more time walking on the grounds. It was wonderful having our private tour guide with Black Cab. Viator helped us get the tour by rearranging another tour as I didn't realize Highclere is closed on Fridays.
What a wonderful day! Andrew was a terrific tour guide. Although Highclere Castle was not open, we were able to visit Bampton Village, Coggs Farm and other locations used in filming Downton Abbey. We had lunch at the Highway Inn in Burford. It did not disappoint! Would love to go back and stay next time. We then toured various town in Cotswolds and learned more about the history of the area. What beautiful country. Would highly recommend this tour.
I wish I could rate this tour as a 6! Our tour guide, Steve, was fabulous and made the tour that much better!
One item missing (not Steve's fault!) was the bottle of wine which was part of our VIP package. Please look into this and provide to Steve of Capital Taxis. He deserves it!
Discover ‘Downton Abbey’ filming sites on a tour by an iconic form of London transport: a black cab. As a private guide drives, learn about the lives of the fictional Crawley family from the hit TV series, and hear about Britain’s present-day aristocracy, too. The must-do tour is available with a choice of three itineraries, each inspired by the program. Visit the Downton village of Bampton; check out Downton Place, aka Greys Court; or tour Highclere Castle, the home of 'Downton Abbey.' The black cabs seat a maximum of five people.