'Where is Downton Abbey filmed?' is the question on many people’s minds since Downton Abbey: A New Era was released in cinemas and there were some serious filming shake-ups.
Last year the Downton Abbey sequel teaser trailer teased an international move for the Crawley family, headed up by the Earl and Countess of Grantham.
Now the Downton Abbey: A New Era film has landed in the UK and, confirmed that the setting will be split between England and the sunny French Riviera as the family set out to uncover a decades-long mystery surrounding the Dowager Countess, Lady Violet.
If you’ve raced through the new period drama Life After Life and are loving Michelle Dockery's other series Anatomy of a Scandal, then you will certainly be interested in this latest installment from the Downton Abbey crew.
But where is Downton Abbey filmed, what have fans learned from the new Downton Abbey: A New Era film, and when can you watch it?
Where is Downton Abbey filmed?
For anyone who’s been waiting excitedly to catch up with Crawleys again since the first Downton Abbey movie was released in 2019, the wait for Downton Abbey: A New Era is now over.
Though with the sumptuous setting of Downton Abbey just as eye-watching and central as any of the characters, some people will likely be wondering a very important question—where is Downton Abbey filmed and will the new film take us back there?
Created by Julian Fellowes, whose recent HBO drama The Gilded Age has been satisfying our Downton Abbey craving in the meantime, the hit ITV show’s titular stately home is on the Crawley family’s fictional country estate in Yorkshire. However, when filming the original TV series, the production team instead chose Highclere Castle in Hampshire.
As revealed on the official Highclere Castle website, Lord and Lady Carnarvon welcomed the cast and crew back to their home for filming, with special photos of A New Era showcasing Highclere taking centre stage.
Lady Carnarvon declared, “We are thrilled to be welcoming Downton Abbey back to Highclere again. Julian and the wonderful cast and crew became so much part of our lives here at Highclere and we look forward to our next adventure with them.”
This magnificent Jacobean property was built in the 17th century and is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. During filming the country house closed to the public, though any Downton Abbey super fans looking to re-trace the aristocratic Crawleys’ steps up the historic staircases and imagine themselves being treated to one of Lady Violet’s cutting but hilarious comments in the dining room can book to visit Highclere Castle.
Given the importance of Downton Abbey itself to the show, it’s perhaps no surprise at all that when it came to shooting both Downton Abbey the movie and Downton Abbey: A New Era, the production team soon headed for Hampshire again. Though it is clear that Highclere House is not the only location where the second Downton Abbey movie was filmed.
Find That Location revealed that Tom Branson and Lucy Smith's wedding reception location was filmed on the grounds of Belchamp Hall, in Belchamp Walter in Suffolk.
The Crawley's local church which has been the location for many weddings and other religious ceremonies also appears in the series. This real-life church is St Mary’s Church in Bampton which is located in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.
It was also revealed that many of the farm scenes in the first half of the film are located in Cogges Manor Farm, which is located in Witney, Oxfordshire. This location can actually be visited by fans as it is a working farm with a museum, manor house, and tours.
In the newly released Downton Abbey: A New Era, Lady Violet reveals she’s inherited a beautiful villa in the sunny south of France. Cue the Crawleys on tour as they enjoy a holiday there and depart from the typical backdrop of the stunning English countryside.
The French villa filming location is reportedly the Villa Rocabella on the Cote d’Azur. The villa is not located in Cannes but is instead closer to Toulon. The property is also available to rent from Oliver's Travels, and is perfect for Downton fans who want to experience a little opulence.
Watch the Downton Abbey A New Era trailer
If there’s one thing Julian Fellowes knows how to do, it’s create that unforgettable blend of mystery, joy, and drama, and fans were treated to all of that and more in the new Downton Abbey: A New Era trailer.
For those who have not yet seen the film, this trailer gives the perfect introduction to this latest installment of the Downton franchise. This trailer landed on February 15 and proceeded to grip our imaginations as Lady Violet announces, oh so casually, that she’s “come into possession” of the South of France villa from an old flame.
Her granddaughter Lady Mary asks bemusedly, “You never thought to turn it down” to which the Dowager Countess has the most unashamedly brilliant response: “Do I look as if I’d turn down a villa in the South of France?”
Alongside the previously mentioned French holiday, the Crawleys are also once again welcoming visitors to Downton in the new movie. Producer and director Mr Barber (played by new cast member Hugh Dancy) arrives to make a “moving picture”.
Some of the staff and Lord Grantham aren’t convinced, whilst others are thrilled at the prospect of meeting famous movie stars. Meanwhile, the mystery of why Violet was left the villa after all these years is one her family aren’t prepared to let go without putting their detective skills to the test…
And with the Crawley’s widower son-in-law Tom Branson preparing to tie the knot with Lucy Smith, romance is also in the air. As the Downton Abbey: A New Era trailer draws to an end Violet tells Mary one valuable piece of advice, that since women like them are viewed as “dragons or fools” she should make sure she’s a “dragon”.
It seems change is the theme of Downton Abbey: A New Era—something writer Julian recently discussed with People. Opening up about the Downton sequel, he explained, “It's really a new era. The further the '20s went along, the more the world was changing in so many ways. Everything from entertainment to transport was really different by the end of the '20s. That's what we're referring to in that."
"As we know from the last film, Mary may not be the titular head of the household, but she is effectively running the show,” Julian continued. “We take that further. We're trying to mark the change—the fact that Crawleys of Downton are nearly in the 1930s, which is merely the beginning of the modern world."
Downton Abbey: A New Era release date and how to watch
Long-time Downton Abbey fans will already be aware that the Downton Abbey: A New Era release date was previously pushed back.
The highly-anticipated movie will now be released in theaters on May 20 in the United States but premiered a month earlier on April 29 in the UK. Though if you’ve yet to immerse yourself in the magic of Downton Abbey or perhaps just want to re-watch your favorite moments, then never fear!
Downton Abbey has now returned to Netflix for US and UK-based viewers to enjoy, but even if the streaming giant removes the period drama again there are plenty of other ways to watch the show.
A photo posted by on
Anyone living in the US can also watch Downton Abbey season 1-6 on Amazon Prime Video if they have a subscription to their streaming service. An annual Amazon Prime membership is $119, while a monthly Amazon Prime membership is $12.99 a month. Or, you can get a 30-day Amazon Prime free trial and binge-watch to your heart's content. Meanwhile, fans living in the UK can also watch via BritBox, which also has a 30-day free trial before spending £5.99 for a monthly subscription.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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