Are you fascinated by the glamourous setting of Downton Abbey and all its splendour? Now you can stay at Downton Abbey yourself. Previously open for weddings and events, the Earl of Carnarvon and his wife have restored Highclere London Lodge on their estate to provide one-of-a-kind accommodation for guests.
Built in 1793 by the first Earl of Carnarvon, London Lodge formalised the entry to Highclere Park, and was constructed to celebrate the Earl’s entry to the peerage. The imposing stone archway, dressed with Coade stone and filled by the heavy iron gates, framed a grand entrance for family and visitors alike. The individual lodges, to either side were added later, most probably around 1840. Over the past two years they have been painstakingly restored by the current Earl and his wife to provide unique and luxurious accommodation for two. London Lodge is situated to the north of the estate, with paths and tracks taking guests back through the parkland towards Dunsmere Lake, The Temple of Diana and expansive views of the Castle.
The restoration of London Lodge is testament to the original beauty and simplicity of the design of this grand gateway. Having undergone careful cleaning and conservation, under the guidance of architect Peter Brownhill, and with help from a dedicated team from Fairhurst Ward Abbott, it now stands proudly sentinel to the Castle itself.
The interior has been sympathetically restored using traditional lime plaster to the curved internal walls of the lodges and the principal rooms have large windows with bespoke oak wooden shutters, copies of the originals. The layout for both lodges has been kept simple; to the North West, a charming sitting room arranged around a Chesneys wood burner, and fully equipped kitchen behind. Then across the lit, paved walkway to the bedroom lodge, and a comfortable double bedroom, bathroom and dressing area.
In conjunction with Interior Decorator Sarah Morris, Lady Carnarvon has created elegant and inviting spaces, using softly subtle Little Green and Farrow and Ball wall colours, beautifully complimented by curtains and blinds in Nicholas Herbert and Robert Kime fabrics. Layered textures on sofas, chairs and bed throws lend the whole a sense of luxury, waiting to envelope guests in warmth and calm.
The London Lodge is available to guests on specific days throughout 2015. Speak to your MTA Travel Expert for more information and to make a booking.