Love ‘Downton Abbey’? Now you can stay there

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"Downton Abbey" uses Highclere Castle for exterior shots of the fictional Crawley family estate. The TV series portrays an enchanting aristocratic lifestyle. (Photo courtesy of Masterpiece, via CNN)

(CNN) — Downton Abbey, with its snooty aristocrats and even snootier butlers, has never been somewhere for the likes of us.

Until now.

Highclere Castle, the posh British mansion that doubles as Downton in the long-running UK television series, is opening up rooms to paying guests.

Bookings are now being taken for London Lodge, an historic gateway that forms a grand entrance to Highclere’s extensive grounds in the countryside west of London.

Built around 1840, the “unique and luxurious” accommodation for two has, according to the estate, been restored over the past two years by the current Earl of Carnarvon and his wife (although they may have had help).

The rooms are split across the two buildings flanking the original gateway built in 1793.

Majestic Victorian castle

On one side there’s a kitchen and sitting room arranged around a wood-burning stove.

On the other there’s a double bedroom, bathroom and dressing area.

There are no servants quarters, so guests shouldn’t expect white-gloved flunkeys delivering their morning newspaper.

And, since it’s unlikely to available during filming, there’s little chance of being witheringly insulted by the acid-tongued Dowager Duchess of Grantham.

What is on offer is a chance to gaze enviously at one of Britain’s most majestic Victorian castles and the surrounding 6,000 acres of parkland.

Situated to the north of the castle, the lodge will be available for Valentine’s Day 2015 and for selected weekends through the spring and summer.

There’s no need to ask Carson to make the reservation. Weekend stays, priced from $545 per night, can be booked via the castle’s website.


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