World News

Yours for £150 on AirBnb: A night at the real Downton Abbey

Exclusive night at the real Downton Abbey Highclere Castle is offered for £150 on AirBnb – and you get dinner and cocktails with the Earl thrown in too

  • The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will welcome two guests for a one-night stay on Tuesday, November 26
  • The ‘truly unique’ evening will be listed on AirBnb for £150 from today but cannot be reserved until October 1
  • The couple will join guests for cocktails in the saloon, dinner in the state dining room and coffee in the library

Downton Abbey fans can spend a night at the castle where it was filmed – as its aristocratic owners invite two guests over for dinner and drinks through AirBnb.

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will enjoy cocktails, dinner and breakfast the next day with two attendees of an exclusive night at Highclere Castle in Hampshire.

To celebrate the release of the Downton Abbey film the doors to the castle will be opened on Tuesday, November 26, at a cost of £150 for a ‘truly unique stay’.

The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon will enjoy cocktails in the saloon, dinner in the state dining room, coffee in the library and breakfast the next day with two attendees of an exclusive night at Highclere Castle (pictured) in Hampshire

Guests will meet Lady Fiona Carnarvon (pictured) and her husband George Herbert, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon, at the beginning of their stay and will even enjoy a private tour of the castle and its grounds before the leave the next day

Dinner will be served in the state dining room (pictured) where the butler will wait on the two guests to ensure the evening runs smoothly. Highclere Castle has been the setting of the award-winning hit Downton Abbey for the last nine years

Guests will meet Lady Fiona Carnarvon and her husband George Herbert, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon, for cocktails in the saloon before dinner is served in the state dining room. 

During the evening they will be waited on by Highclere Castle’s butler and, after dinner, coffee will be served in the library.

The guests will then retire to one of the principle en-suite bedrooms which boasts views over 1,000 acres of rolling parkland. 

And, following breakfast the next day, the guests will be given a private tour of Highclere’s extensive grounds. 

Lady Carnarvon said: ‘It’s an absolute privilege and pleasure to call Highclere Castle my home and I am delighted to be able to share it on Airbnb for a truly unique stay.

Following dinner the two guests will enjoy coffee in the library (pictured) with the Earl and Countess before retiring to their bedroom. The house itself is being opened up for members of the public to stay the night for the first time 

‘Highclere Castle has been in the Carnarvon family since 1679 and has an incredibly rich history.

‘I am passionate about the stories and heritage of Highclere Castle, and I am looking forward to welcoming our future guests.’ 

Guests have been able to stay overnight on the grounds of Highclere Castle since 2014, when two stone lodges that form the estate’s grand entrance, collectively called London Lodge, were opened.

But this time applicants will need to show they are ‘passionate about Downton Abbey’ in the message they include when requesting the reservation – with the Earl and Countess then choosing the most creative to stay with them. 

The guests will then retire to one of the principle en-suite bedrooms with views over 1,000 acres of parkland. Pictured, one of 61 bedrooms – some of which have now been turned in to offices – in the castle. Some 12 of these are off the first floor gallery

A bedroom will be especially prepared for the visit and the night will cost a total of £150. Guests will have to have been regular users of AirBnb before making a reservation and need to already have been given positive reviews from previous bookings

But the two guests who manage to secure the night’s stay may find themselves in ghostly company when they retire to their bedroom. As Lady Carnarvon says she has encountered negative entities along the castle’s halls. 

During a special episode of This Morning, broadcast live from Highclere Castle, she said she had been followed by a supernatural being one afternoon in November.

Lady Fiona claimed the ghost followed her and her young son down a corridor before stopping when they ‘crashed’ through a bedroom door.

She later discovered a footman had killed himself after his affair with one of the nursery maids in the house led the then-Countess’ baby to suffer from cot-death.

Lady Fiona claims a ghost followed her and her young son down a corridor before stopping when they ‘crashed’ through a bedroom door to try to get away. Pictured, Lady Carnarvon sits on one of the house’s grand staircases with her dog

The two guests who manage to secure the night’s stay may find themselves in eerie company when they retire, as Lady Carnarvon says she’s seen ghostly entities. After one encounter she had the house blessed to release the spirit 

Hadi Moussa, general manager for Northern Europe Airbnb said: ‘We are thrilled to be able to offer fans the ultimate Downton Abbey experience through this once-in-a-lifetime-stay at Highclere Castle.

‘At Airbnb we are passionate about offering unique and unforgettable travel experiences to our community, and we are certain that guests will have a magical experience while staying on the iconic location of Downton Abbey.’

Details of the listing will be available to view on the Airbnb website from today, but reservations will only open at noon on October 1.

Applicants must be signed up to Airbnb in advance and have a record of good reviews from their previous bookings.  

Guests have been able to stay overnight on the grounds of Highclere Castle since 2014, when two stone lodges that form the estate’s grand entrance, collectively called London Lodge (pictured), were opened on Valentine’s Day and the Easter holidays

Details of the listing will be available to view on the Airbnb website from today, but reservations will only open at noon on October 1. Applicants must be signed up to Airbnb in advance and have a record of good reviews. Pictured, Highclere Castle

The history of Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle, which became colloquially known as Downton Abbey thanks to the ITV hit series

The current Lord and Lady Carnarvon reside full time at the stunning Highclere Castle where the six series of the hit ITV show Downton Abbey were filmed.

The first written records of the estate date back to 749 when an Anglo-Saxon King granted the estate to the Bishops of Winchester. Bishop William of Wykeham built a beautiful medieval palace and gardens on the park.

Later on, the palace was rebuilt as Highclere Place House in 1679 when it was purchased by Sir Robert Sawyer, Attorney General to Charles II and James II and direct grandfather of the current Earl.

In 1771, ‘Capability’ Brown made plans for the alteration of the grounds, water and symmetrical Georgian house at Highclere for the 1st Earl of Carnarvon.

In 1842, Sir Charles Barry – who was also working on the Houses of Parliament at the time – finished his final designs for the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon, transforming Highclere Place House into Highclere Castle.

The Countess’ research has revealed that, in 1867, the Constitution of Canada was drawn up in the British North America Act by 4th Earl of Carnarvon and John A. Macdonald, later the first Prime Minister of Canada.

Highclere was used as a hospital for two years until 1916 but as the war gained momentum, the medical equipment was moved to London to cope with rising casualties. 

In 1922, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon discovered Tutankhamen’s Tomb with trusted colleague and friend Howard Carter.

Throughout WWII, Highclere Castle was home to evacuees, whose names you can see etched into the roof lead. During the conflict, military planes from four nations crashed on the Highclere Estate whilst on active service.

The current Earl’s father was the Queen’s racing manager from 1969 until his death in 2001.

Today, the Castle is home to the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. 

Source: Read Full Article