How To Get The Location Tour YOU Want…

There are many, many fans of costume/period dramas, and whether your passion is the juggernaut that is Downton Abbey or the gritty North and South, you can be sure that there are numerous kindred spirits wanting to visit the locations they’ve seen on tv or in films.

Organising a trip yourself is one way of visiting these locations, but obviously you do have to also organise your car hire (if needed), get map and sat nav details of the locations, and book your hotels en route. But more fans now want to leave all that to someone else. There are a whole group of tour companies providing tours for those travellers wanting something more. So whether you’re a solo traveller, a couple or a small group, here are some pointers for a successful tour:

  • Research – put the internet to good use. Talk to friends and fans of the productions you’re interested in, discuss the locations you’d most like to visit, and the time of year that is best for you and your group. Remember that  travelling during high season will mean high season prices, and more traffic on the roads, whereas spring and autumn in Britain will offer agreeable weather and access to the locations a little earlier/later in the season and fewer crowds to deal with. Make sure that the company you use allows enough time to travel and then actually see the locations, as many are often quite a distance from each other in real life. Of course watching the film/series a few more times will also help!
  • Budget – Of course there are many companies now offering film location tours, but do you want a coach tour that whizzes past the locations or rushes you through the site, or do you want a tour that includes itinerary planning, and a guide with social historical knowledge behind the film, plus information about the actors, scripts and the locations themselves? Obviously this type of tour isn’t cheap – but for you, the avid fans, these tours will deliver a most complete and original experience. Whether you want to skip through the grounds at Longbourn or sit under the yew tree at Downton Abbey, and get the behind the scenes know how from the experts, then you won’t be disappointed. Checking the credentials of the tour operator is always a good idea, and also asking for feedback from their previous clients. You will very likely meet other people who are just as passionate as you, and from this, many friendships are formed that are lifelong. All you have to do is relax, enjoy the ride, and keep your camera or phone well charged for all those photos!
  • Options – Consider what you want to see. What are your must see sights and sites? A good tour company will be able to put together a bespoke tour to include these locations on request. This will require more input from you of course, but a good tour company will take on the booking of tickets, hotels (on approval from you) and plan your itinerary. The tour company you choose will be able to add day tours or events to your specifications, to make your trip a memorable one.
  • Going it alone – Of course this is the cheapest way of seeing the filming locations on your bucket list. However, finding the filming spots is sometimes harder than you’d think, even if you do have screenshots saved to your phone or iPad. It can be exceptionally frustrating at times trying to find them, but when you get there it is utterly amazing. Touring Highclere Castle is one thing, but finding and then  walking up the rocks to see the views from Pride And Prejudice is quite another, and is for perhaps only the most avid fan! Then of course, you need the time to plan your itinerary, research and find good, restful hotels for you to relax in after a day of travel on unfamiliar roads.
  • Details – Check, check and check again. Ask as many questions as you feel necessary to ensure your peace of mind. This way you can’t be taken by surprise or be disappointed that the location you so desperately wanted to see, will only be seen from the coach/car on the way to somewhere else. Ask those questions. The tour company you use won’t mind going over the points to make sure you understand what is included and what is not. The quality of  tours on offer is quite wide, so you need to be clear on what you’re agreeing to.

It is a lot to consider, but once you’re there, standing in the spot that you’ve seen and loved so many times before on film, you’ll be enraptured, and watching the movie again when you get home seems somehow more magical than ever before!



We had a great time on our Downton Abbey Tour with Polly.  Such fun! I look forward to working with you all again.

BH UK – Downton Abbey Premiere Tour

We had a wonderful visit to Highclere and Bampton.  Polly is simply delightful and very knowledgeable as well as warm and funny.  We are so pleased we chose your service, it certainly made a difference.  We will recommend you again without hesitation.  Give our best to Polly and thanks so much for a lovely day.

CM USA – Downton Abbey Premiere Tour

My two ladies were enthralled by Hazel Jones as a tour guide, her knowledge and kindness. So please, thank Hazel from the bottom of my heart that she enabled such a great time for them both!

HW Germany – Jane Austen Tour

It was so great to meet you! We had an absolutely wonderful time on the tour, definitely something we will never forget, especially our Lizzie moment on the rocks! Thanks so much again 🙂

AN USA – P&P 2005 Tour

We all had a great time with you. We felt we were out with a friend rather than a tour guide. Am missing England already!

LH USA – P&P 2005 Tour



Remembering Miss Austen d.18th July 1817

Today is of course, the anniversary of the death of Jane Austen.

Jane Austen spent her last days at 8 College Street in Winchester, a small compact dwelling that she took in the hope of help from Giles King Lyford, a surgeon who practiced at the nearby Winchester County Hospital. Mr King Lyford had been able to help relieve symptoms of Jane’s illness at an earlier time.

But Mr King Lyford realised that Jane was beyond help by this stage, all he could do was make her final days more comfortable.

On 17th July, Jane Austen was very weak, and slept for much of the day. She asked Cassandra to pray for her, as she only wanted death. Mr King Lyford gave her a draught to calm her and by 7pm the compound had fully sedated her.

She died peacefully the next morning, her head in the lap of her ever loving sister, Cassandra, who closed her eyes.

It is a short walk from College Street to Winchester Cathedral where Jane Austen is buried. It is a truly beautiful building with a soaring ceiling, with elaborate decoration, and is just breath taking.

She was laid to rest on July 24th 1817, her family’s Hampshire clerical connections permitting her to be interred in the north aisle of the cathedral, as Winchester in Jane Austen’s day, was the major city of Hampshire county.

Her tombstone, laid into the floor of the cathedral is very simple and makes no mention of her writings, but only mentions her goodness and virtues.

The brass memorial plaque that is in situ now was placed there by James Edward Austen-Leigh, her nephew who used the profits of his memoir of his aunt to pay for it. This tablet was placed sometime after 1870 on the north wall of the nave near Jane Austen’s grave, and it does acknowledge her life as a writer.

To go to Jane Austen’s burial site is very emotional. More than you’d probably anticipate, especially for someone who has been long dead. Possibly the reason that many are moved by it, is that it is such a simple tombstone set into the floor of the cathedral. You would expect a more noticeable memorial, one that mentions her achievements as a writer, one of such elegance, wit and observation that she already had a following for her compositions at the time of her death.



There is also a memorial stained glass window to Jane Austen which was made possible by a public fundraiser in 1900. It depicts St Augustine (abbreviated name Austin – with an ‘i’) at the head. David plays the harp at the centre top of the window, whilst St John holds an open Bible at his gospel at the bottom centre of the piece. Other figures therein, carry scrolls that have quotations from Psalms and are representative of Jane Austen’s religious character. There is a Latin inscription which reads – ” Remember in the Lord Jane Austen, who died 18 July, A.D. 1817″

Of course life for Cassandra continued, and it is to her that we owe most of our knowledge about her now very famous sister, as she ensured that her nieces and nephews learned about their aunt. But conversely, Cassandra also was the means of the loss of much more information. It is estimated that she destroyed up to 3.500 letters from Jane, possibly due to the fact that they contained details that Cassandra deemed too personal for others to read.



Poldark Series 3!

The BBC has confirmed today that there will be a third series of Poldark…that’s before the second series has even been aired!

The third series will be adapted from the fifth and sixth books in the Poldark collection by Winston Graham, and will begin filming later this year.

The long awaited second series will air in the autumn in the UK on BBC One and is set in 1794 against the backdrop of the French Revolution. There will be 10 episodes in this second series, which is good news for all Poldark fans! There will be new characters introduced into the show, including the rich landowner Ray Penvenen played by John Nettles (aka Inspector Barnaby from Midsomer Murders!)

All in all, I am sure it will be a fabulous series, keeping us transfixed through those long winter months.

And don’t forget, we have a Poldark Tour in place, ready for you to follow in the footsteps of Ross, Demelza, Elizabeth and the Warleggans etc next summer 2017!

Contact us for more information about this splendid tour, we’d love to take you there!