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“Chatting with Holly” and Lord Carnarvon of Highclere Castle

11th December 2020

“So many stories to share, Highclere is a very special place” Lord Carnarvon

Set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular Hampshire parkland is Highclere Castle.  It has been home to the Carnarvon family since 1842, however more recently it has risen in recognition due to the award-winning drama series and movie, Downton Abbey.


Holly thoroughly enjoyed chatting to the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, on her “Chatting with Holly” podcast series, to learn all about his heritage and the dream of his Great Great Grandfather, the 3rd Earl, creating such an incredible gothic Italian mansion and parkland.

Over the years, Dream Escape has enjoyed working with Lord and Lady Carnarvon at Highclere Castle, from private lunches, dinners and intimate afternoon teas, hosted by Lord and Lady Carnarvon; to champagne receptions in the entrance hall with roaring log fires, “I could almost have been on the set of Downton Abbey!” remembers one of our team fondly.

Highclere is still a working Estate and Farm that has opened up for private visits and events and visiting Highclere is a truly unique experience as you are sure to uncover the real people and stories behind this amazing historic property. There are many wonderful experiences from etiquette lessons to private tours of the magnificent gardens. An afternoon can disappear wandering around the glorious arboretum and wild flower meadow or you can enjoy a private visit to the Highclere Stud which is one of the leading independent stud farms located in the stunning 300 acres of undulating hills and lush grassland. This stud has been carefully developed as a prime breeding and rearing facility since its establishment in 1902 and is currently run by Lord Carnarvon’s sister and brother-in-law.

Visit the grand, opulent State Rooms and find out what life was like in Highclere’s heyday. You will learn about Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, who converted Highclere Castle into a hospital in September 1914 and see many original artefacts dating back to the 18th century.   Highclere is also home to the Egyptian Exhibition featuring archaeological finds uncovered by the castle’s former resident, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. This highly acclaimed exhibition tells the thrilling story of how Lord Carnarvon and his companions unearthed the lost tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.

“2022 marks the centenary of the 5th Earl and Howard Carter discovering the tomb of Tutankhamen….so we are very much looking forward to taking clients to Highclere to rediscover the adventures of one of the most colourful of previous Earls”  Holly Mackie


Unbelievably there are over 300 bedrooms at Highclere Castle, with the upper floor having undergone major restoration, the rooms are opulently decorated and furnished, with each detail providing a unique insight into Highclere Castle’s history. There are even opportunities to stay in the recently restored Lodge and Round Towers on the Estate, but it is Christmas at Highclere when the property really comes to life. This is when Lord and Lady Carnarvon host special Christmas tours and welcome you into their home. A big tree and roaring fires, after a game shoot and Christmas carols, what more could you ask for?

But what’s next for Highclere?

Listen to the podcast to hear more but expect to see Highclere sparkling wine from their vineyard in the Victorian Walled Gardens, and watch out for another movie !

Sample itineraries that can include a visit to Highclere Castle :-

Downton Abbey

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