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Choose between a 3-hour, 4-hour or full-day tour and explore London’s Downton Abbey filming locations with a private guide. Start your tour with a central hotel pickup by London black cab, and meet your professional driver-guide. Settle into your comfortable vehicle and listen to interesting insider facts and insights into the making of the Downton Abbey series and plans for future seasons. Designed to be fun and entertaining rather than a serious historical exploration, this family-friendly tour is a fantastic way to see London through the eyes of the Granthams. Be sure to book early, though — the tour is hugely popular!
Travel deep into the historical heart of London, delving into the prestigious districts of Westminster, Belgravia, Mayfair and the City — all regular haunts of English gentry in the early 1900s. Pause outside the house that served as the Granthams’ family home and see where Harold, the maverick American brother of Cora Crawley, had a picnic with love interest, Madeline, and his mother Martha in the Christmas Special of Season 4.
Pass by the restaurants and gentlemen’s clubs, such as Boodle’s and White’s, Lord Grantham might have frequented. Also, step daintily out of your cab to visit some of the shops where the aristocratic Lord and Lady Grantham might have bought their clothes and hunting regalia. And, discover from your guide how London’s poor lived at the time, often in cramped districts just a few steps from the genteel areas known to families such as the Granthams.
If you have opted to enjoy a 4-hour tour, spend an additional hour exploring more buildings and shops featured in Downton Abbey. Alternatively, select the full-day tour option to include a visit to the grounds of the Granthams’ London home (entry to the house not included) and lunch (own expense) in a 500-year-old Tudor hall that has been frequented by the capital’s elites for centuries.
Your tour finishes when your driver drops you at a convenient central London location.
Please note: all tour options include coffee breaks (own expense), restroom stops, and complimentary water. Depending on availability and group size, you might end up in an old-style black cab or a newer black cab. The maximum passengers per taxi is six.
Start your experience with a hotel pickup by traditional London black cab, and meet your friendly driver who doubles up as your personal guide. Relax in one of the cab’s comfortable seats, and listen to tales and trivia about the Doctor Who TV series as you travel west out of the city, along the motorway to the Welsh capital.
After roughly 3 hours on the road, work your way into central Cardiff to see all the Doctor Who sights. Pass the American cafe where the Doctor regularly meets his friends, and visit the places where Captain Jack Harkness from the Torchwood Institute — an extraterrestrial-fighting team — and the Doctor puzzled over weird and wonderful events.
Having seen the fictional character of the Face of Boe (‘played’ by a giant mechanical head), loop past the houses of the Doctor’s two trusted sidekicks: Amy and Rory Pond. From the residential neighborhoods, travel back into the city center and head inside the Doctor Who Experience at Cardiff Bay.
Enter the interactive exhibition at your own expense, and then explore with your guide, seeing a collection of original costumes alongside other attention-grabbing memorabilia and Doctor Who artifacts. Watch a short film about the series, and then become the Doctor’s assistant on a walk through the TARDIS time machine. Step through a crack in the wall, battle with the Doctor’s enemies and gasp in awe at the special effects that line your route. Finish by posing for a photo against a giant screen, displaying your choice of background.
Take a break for lunch (own expense), and then sightsee around Cardiff some more, seeing the wedding setting of Amy and Rory Pond besides others. Learn about Rose Tyler, played by British celebrity Billie Piper, while passing her place of work. You can stop for a quick snack before you make your way out of the city, traveling back along the motorway.
Leave London’s Marble Arch by air-conditioned minivan, and travel west to the rolling limestone hills of Oxfordshire. On the journey, your guide will keep you entertained with tales and trivia about the Downton Abbey TV series that has a fan base spread all over the world.
Filmed mostly in and around Oxfordshire, the British period drama of Downton Abbey documents the dramas and scandals of the fictional Crawley family and their servants in the days leading up to and after World War I. Hear insider gossip about characters such as Lady Mary, and discover little-known facts about the shooting locations included on your tour. Stop at a farm nestled in the hills near Cogges and enjoy a hot drink (own expense) in the farm’s rustic cafe before you check out filming locations around the farm.
Continue to Bampton in the Cotswolds. The stone cottages and leafy, twisting streets in this quintessential English village might look familiar; scenes depicting the Downton village are often shot here and appear throughout the entire series. On a walking tour, see the village church — the site of Lady Mary’s wedding to Matthew Crawley — and the house that was once used as the Crawley family home. Stroll along the main street, spotting shops and the fictional Grantham Arms pub that appear in many episodes.
Travel onward to the historical village of Shilton to explore its center, including a quaint village pub that is surrounded by ponds, medieval bridges and wells. From Shilton, travel to a pub in Swinbrook for lunch (own expense) where Lady Sybil eloped with the family chauffeur Branson; enjoy a quick stop in the village of Bladon to see the graves of Sir Winston Churchill and his wife; and finish the tour at Blenheim Palace — a UNESCO World Heritage site.
While not used as a Downton Abbey filming location, one can imagine the palace's stately grandeur that would impress the Crawley family. Take a walking tour that delves into the history of Winston Churchill's ancestral home, originally given to the first duke of Marlborough as a gift from the English Parliament. Wander through the State Apartments, and then explore a section of the beautiful landscaped gardens that feature the Temple of Diana. Finally, return to your minivan and travel back to London where your tour finishes.
After meeting your guide in central London, set off on your Doctor Who tour of the city. While much of the everyday filming for the sci-fi series took place in Cardiff, many iconic Doctor Who scenes were filmed on the streets of England’s capital. See a selection of the best while exploring neighborhoods like Borough, Southwark, the City of London and the South Bank.
As you walk, your guide will entertain you with fun snippets of trivia about the intergalactic time lord, who travels back in time exploring the universe. Learn about his TARDIS – the 1960s-style London police box used as a time-traveling machine – and hear about key characters such as Clara Oswald and Madam Vastra.
Visit sites used recently like Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, which featured in The Shakespeare Code episode, as well as filming locations from older episodes such as Remembrance of the Daleks, filmed in 1988. Stop for photos in John Adams Street, where the Prime Minster's house was recreated for the show and recollect the episode when the iconic building was infiltrated by the ruthless Slitheens – a family of criminal extraterrestrials from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius.
Hear insider gossip about the cast, learning little-known secrets about actors who have played the coveted role of the Doctor. Chat about popular faces like Matt Smith, David Tenant and Christopher Eccleston, and compare them with earlier actors such as William Hartnell who starred in the first-ever episode.
Having explored the key filming sites around London, work your way to Westminster Station where your tour finishes.
There are television shows and there are Cult TV shows and almost all of the best ones are set in London. There are countless locations to choose from but we think we have narrowed it down to some of the very best. Some classic, some contemporary but all Cult TV.
I am not a number, I am a free man. You've seen the intro sequence a hundred times but now you too can visit the home of Number 6 in the hit show The Prisoner.
A cult classic that was running before The Prisoner and continues to this day is of course Dr. Who. We can't promise that the Doctor himself will always be around but out of all the numerous Tardis sightings around the U.K. this one seems to be the most reliable and the only one that I'd be willing to risk my life travelling through space-time.
Next up we will visit the filming location for the masterful reworkings of another cult classic in the shape of the BBC hit, Sherlock.
Then back to the swinging sixties and everyone's favourite spy-duo in The Avengers. Here we will visit the home of John Steed during the classic era of Emma Peel.
Finally we will finish up at the long-time head quarters of the worlds most famous spy, 007 James Bond. It's been blown up a few times in the movies but they seem to have done a great job of repairing it.
In that paragon of travel documentaries, National Lampoon's European Vacation, there is a scene in which Ellen Griswold (Beverly D'Angelo) forgets to lock the door on the shared bathroom in their London hotel. A man comes in to brush his teeth and is pleasantly surprised when Ellen—washcloth over face and believing the man to be her hubby, Clark—calls to him from the bathtub to join her. Shock and hilarity ensue. The accidental intruder was played by none of ther than Robbie Coltrane, 16 years before he embodied Hagrid in the Harry Potter films.