Sprawling castle on a hill
Alnwick Castle was the stand-in for Brancaster Castle.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Planning a Downton Abbey Vacation? Here Are 5 Filming Locations to Check Out

Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland, England

Alnwick Castle is the seat of the Duke of Northumberland and it is the second largest inhabited castle in England. This gorgeous Grade I-listed building was a filming location for the 2014 “Downton Abbey” Christmas special.

The castle was the stand-in for Brancaster Castle, which was rented by Lord Sinderby, Rose’s father-in-law, for a round of grouse shooting. The episode was shot mostly in the stately gardens, Hulne Abbey and the opulent halls. When you visit the castle, you can see a “Downton Abbey”-themed display of props, photographs, costumes and other items that were used during filming.

If you’re a “Harry Potter” fan, you’ll also recognize that many scenes from the fictional school of Hogwarts were filmed at this beautiful castle.

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Interior of restaurant with circular tables and pianoThe Criterion Restaurant was the place where Michael Gregson and Edith Crawley met in Season 4. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Criterion Restaurant, London, England

Remember when Michael Gregson and Edith Crawley meet for dinner in Season 4? They share their first kiss and he tells her his plans to become a German citizen, divorce his wife and marry her. The stunning, glitzy restaurant where they dine is none other than the Criterion on 224 Piccadilly in London.

This luxurious dining room is one of the oldest in the world. Winston Churchill has dined there and the women’s suffragette movement used to meet there. It was also mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes story “A Study in Scarlet.”

Experience “Downton Abbey” for Yourself

While the characters and setting of “Downton Abbey” may be fictional, the timeless historic charm of England is very real. At these stunning filming locations, you can truly get a sense of the grandeur of another era.

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