Though best known for the iconic mansion setting of Highclere Castle, this Downton Abbey location doesn’t fall far from the charm of the main house. Walking through the streets of Bampton Village really feels like stepping into another time. The villagers take pride in their status as a filming location and are more than happy to share their stories of what they’ve seen on set.
This must be one of those silly soap operas…
When we both moved to Cardiff, Wales in the autumn of 2013, we decided to pick up some “really British habits”. Aside from drinking more tea, trying to get the hang of scones and completely falling in love with Welsh cakes, we also picked up the first season of Downton Abbey from the local HMV.
As anyone who has any idea of what the show is like might well guess, we were completely hooked and obsessed after just the first episode. Nope, this was not a soap opera. This was something completely different. A brilliantly written, beautifully shot, amazing show full of complex, lovable characters.
We got absolutely obsessed; there was no going back. We watched the first season within the first two days and went back for more. We laughed, we cried, we loved every single actor on the show and by that time, it was clear that we needed to visit every Downton Abbey location possible.
Now, these days it’s pretty easy to discover the filming locations of any popular TV show or movie. The internet is your friend – just google the show’s name and add “filming locations” at the end of it, and you’ll have a really good chance in finding out where to go. That is what we did.
A mere hour and 40 minutes from London, this place is definitely a must-visit for any Downton Abbey fan.
We did that too, and the rest of history. Some months later we were standing in the middle of Bampton Village full of fangirl happiness and excitement.
Once you get there, you’ll soon realise it’s a pretty small village, which means the community is quite tight too. But everyone we’ve met during our two visits have been super friendly and absolutely welcoming.
Start off at St Mary’s Church and make sure to visit Bampton library which houses a photo exhibition of Downton Abbey filming. There’s also a small shop where you can buy Downton Abbey postcards and other art. They also sell (for a very reasonable fee) a map displaying all the spots throughout the village that have featured in the series.
Bampton Official Website
Bampton village on Google Maps
Bampton on Wikipedia