Highclere Castle – or Downton Abbey as so many of us know it - has a rich, multifaceted heritage dating back to 749AD and the construction of a beautiful medieval palace and gardens on the park. Since then the palace has been rebuilt as Highclere Place House (1679) and then Highclere Castle in 1842 after ‘Capability’ Brown had re-designed the grounds, water and symmetrical Georgian house at Highclere for the 1st Earl of Carnarvon. Highclere also has a rich history of modern flight with Sir Geoffrey De Havilland making his first flight on the Highclere Estate in 1910 and, of course, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon was made famous by his discovery of Tutankhamen’s Tomb with trusted colleague and friend Howard Carter. The Castle has also been a wartime hospital and home for evacuees as well as the modern-day setting for one of TV’s most-loved series (and soon to be film…), Downton Abbey
One of our most famous historic cities, take time to discover the history and heritage of Oxford, home to 1,500 listed buildings from every major period of British architectural history from the 11th century onwards. The centre looks like an enchanted fairytale city – making Oxford is a firm favourite of filmmakers from all over the world, from Harry Potter to Inspector Morse along with having inspired countless famous writers over the centuries. Oxford is flat and compact, with many of its major attractions, such as the University of Oxford and its 38 colleges; Bodleian Library, the museums, and Oxford Castle Unlocked right in the centre – perfect to explore on foot. Just a little out of the centre, you can find large green spaces like Christ Church Meadows, University Parks, the riverbanks and Port Meadow.