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5 English Castles for Downton Abbey Lovers

Travelers Today       By    Emily Eggleston

Updated: Jan 07, 2014 03:36 PM EST

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Downton Abbey drew 10.2 million viewers to watch its season premier this week and with the fourth round of the show comes another season of English castle fever. The spires, the high ceilings, the gross concentration of wealth--Highclere Castle, Downton's real setting, has it all. If you are in the mood to indulge in the luxurious world of royal homes, here are five British castles and palaces that you can Google, visit, and even follow on Twitter.

1. Highclere Castle

As Downton Abbey begins its fourth season, millions of eyes drink in the setting of the British drama every week, Highclere Castle. If you would like nothing better than to wrap yourself in a long string of pearls and wonder the castle while pretending to visit the Crawley's, you can. Highclere is 70 miles west of London and high societal ranking is no longer an entrance requirement. Read more from Travelers Today about visiting Highclere Castle: Experience Downton Abbey.

2. Blenheim Palace

Owned by the Duke and Dutchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace was also the childhood home of Winston Churchill. You can gaze at one of his youthful blond ringlets, preserved in a frame, while passing through his bedroom. This 18th century estate is located in Oxfordshire and has a film history of its own, including an appearance in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Both the palace and its grounds are open to visitors and there are several themed tours available, including one about the ladies of the house and another about Christmas in the Blenheim Palace.

3. Eltham Palace

A more modern take on royal living, Eltham Palace is what happens when Art Deco meets a limitless budget. If you're in London and want to see a home where everything radiates luxury, especially the bathroom, this is the spot.

4. Witley Court and Gardens

Though fired ravaged the majestic estate in 1937, Witley's magnificence is still very much alive. Witley's premier (and fully functioning) fountain, Perseus and Andromeda, boasts 120 jets that reach up to 90 feet in spray height. The detailed, colorful symmetry displayed in the East Parterre garden (pictured above) seems more of painting that planting. This ruined palace is 30 miles outside of Birmingham and best to visit in warmer months.

5. Osborne House

Don't be fooled by the term "house," Queen Victoria's family home on Isle of Wight is anything but ordinary. Osborne is the apex of decadence and you can get a sense of its scale by browsing the House's interactive map online. Complete with a private beach where you can see the Queen's "bathing machine" and a walled fruit and flower garden, the grounds will take just as much, if not more, time to explore as the rooms.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
Downton Abbey , Castles , england , Blenheim Palace , Highclere Castle , Eltham Palace , Witley Court , Osborne House , British royalty , Royal palace
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