This post may have affiliate links. When you click on a link we receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you. See Our Affiliate Policy for more info.
Highclere Castle, located in Newbury, England is home to some of the most impressive special events. From lavish weddings to intimate garden parties, classical music concerts, and Christmas celebrations, Highclere has it all. One of the more notable special events is the Egyptian Exhibit. Is Highclere castle Egyptian exhibition worth visiting?
I visited Highclere castle for myself at Christmas time and wanted to share my experience. Truth be told I was more interested in visiting Highclere castle as a fan of Downton Abbey. But after my visit, I believe you can have a wonderful time even if you have never even seen the tv show.
Is Highclere Castle Egyptian Exhibit Worth Visiting?
The Egyptian Exhibit at Highclere Castle is a showcase of the impressive collection of jewelry from ancient Egypt as well as dream books, and figurines. These artifacts come from the tomb of Tutankhamun. The mummy case and throne are also on display!
These findings give a real look into the ancient Egyptian culture and how they lived. The exhibition itself is really small but packed full of incredible historical treasures.
Since this small collection is also part of an incredible castle tour with its own rich history, I believe it is most definitely worth visiting!Embed from Getty Images
Who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun?
In 1922 a British archaeologist named Howard Carter and his team discovered the tomb. Carter had been searching for the tomb in the Vally of the Kings for nearly 2 years before the discovery. The tomb was discovered when the team found a sealed doorway leading to a burial chamber containing Tutankhamun’s mummy and ancient artifacts.
This discovery was one of the most significant archaeological finds in history. It provided a profound understanding of life in the culture of ancient Egypt.
The Tomb of Tutankhamun and Highclere Castle Connection
Highclere Castle is the ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Geroge Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, also known as The 5th Earl of Carnarvon, was said to be the key financial backer in the exhibition in search of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Eygpt.
On November 4, 1922 history was made when Howard Carter located the tomb. Lord Carnarvon would only be around till April 5, 1923, to enjoy this discovery. Some would say it was the “King Tut curse” that took his life in that hotel in Cairo when in reality it was a poor immune system.
Highclere Castle has also been the filming location of the Downton Abbey television series and movie. The show writers give a little wink to the real Earl of Carnarvon by writing into the fictional character, Lord Grantham’s love of Egypt. In the beloved series, the Crawley family dog’s name was Tiaa.
Lady Edith would go on to point out that all the dogs had Egyptian names. “Tiaa was the wife of Amenhotep II and the mother of Thutmose IV. Don’t you know anything?”
This wasn’t the first time the show integrated the Castle’s real history with the show. During World War I Highclere Castle was used as a hospital portrayed in the show.
It was the real-life Lady Carnarvon who worked as both a nurse and administrator.
Learn about The Earl and the PharaohEmbed from Getty Images
This newly published book written by The Countess of Carnarvon, tells the exciting details of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun and the life of family ancestor George Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.
On the 100th anniversary of this incredible discovery, Lady Carnarvon in a highly-rated novel pays tribute to the extraordinary life of The Earl. Learn all the history relating to the home of the Earl of Carnarvon, Highclere Castle, and his part in this amazing discovery.
Fiona, The Countess of Carnarvon lives at Highclere Castle as her private home with the Carnarvon family.
How to Visit Highclere Castle
You can visit Highclere Castle on a self-guided tour, like I did, by buying tickets directly from the official website. Please note you will need to register as a user on the website (free) before being able to buy your tickets.
There are many special events hosted at the Castle that you want to make note of. Not every ticket will grant you admission to the interior of Highclere Castle or the Egyptian Exhibition.
There is a lot of information on the castle’s website. Go to the Tickets page and scroll through the openings to make your choice of visit.
You will find there is typically a public fall, spring, winter, and summer opening as well as private tours of the castle.
I would recommend doing the Castle tour that includes the Egyptian Exhibition, Gardens & Afternoon tea.Embed from Getty Images
Ticket Prices for Highclere Castle & Eygptian Exhibition
The castle offers morning tickets and afternoon tickets. Below are the prices I found on the official website. As you can see from the ticket prices below, the extra cost to visit the castle including the Egyptian Exhibit is definitely worth it.
*Subject to Change, check the official website for more details
|Castle, Gardens & |
|Family (2 Adults, 2 Children)||£79|
|Carer (registered caregiver of |
|Highclere Castle & |
|Family (2 Adults, 2 Children)||£63|
|Carer (registered caregiver of |
Opening Times & Public Transportation
The are three admission times when visiting the Castle. Morning admission is between 10 am to 12:30 pm, Midday admission is from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, and afternoon admission 2:30 pm to 4 Pm.
Getting to the castle by public transportation is not fully possible. You can take the train to Newbury Railway Station, but then you need to take a taxi to the castle.
From the train to the castle it’s a 15-minute taxi away. Or you can take the train from London Waterloo to Andover and then 20 minute’s taxi.
There is no Uber in this part of England, so when you get to Newbury station you will need to call for a taxi.
As a die-hard fan of the tv series Downton Abbey, nothing was more magical than touring the Highclere Estate! It was a huge bucket list item of mine that I sincerely hope all fans are able to check off!
Visiting the real Downton Abbey filming locations is easier than you think. There are several companies making a day trip to Highclere castle if you don’t want to go self-guided.
I like this tour the best. It is highly reviewed and perfect for anyone visiting and staying in central London.
This tour includes your transportation to and from London, entry to the castle itself, and a professional tour guide! This tour does not include lunch, which will be at your own expense.
Also included on the day tour is a guided tour of the Cotswolds Village used as the actual town in the show.
Imagine walking through the drawing room, dining room, smoking room, and music room of your favorite show! You will also tour some of the bedrooms as well as Highclere’s gardens. On winter tours the gardens will be less impressive than in summer months.
If you are visiting during the holiday season be sure to try some festive gluhwein served next to the gift shop.
Please keep in mind the following when booking your trip to Highclere Castle!
- Book your tickets months in advance. There is a limited quantity and it’s very popular.
- Wear shoes you are comfortable walking in. The grounds and secret garden are a lot to explore on foot.
- If you feel inclined, bring a picnic and spend the day there! They do have a cafeteria on-site, but when I visited there were very limited healthy options. No options for vegans.
- Don’t bring a large bag, you won’t be able to bring it in.
- You will not be able to get interior photos, just exterior shots.
- Some special areas can only be entered on a guided tour, so book in advance.
- The weather can be unpredictable, plan accordingly
For more tips on visiting the castle and information on where to stay in Newbury, read here.
Yes! Highclere Castle is definitely worth visiting! Tickets are very affordable and between the interior tour, castle grounds, and Egyptian Exhibit it is worth the money!
You do not need to be a fan of Downton Abbey to enjoy visiting the castle! There is so much to explore on the grounds and gardens. This historic castle in the English countryside should not be missed!
Visiting Highclere Castle on a tour is very enjoyable and may be easier than doing a self-guided tour. On an organized tour, you will have priority on entry and oftentimes be taken to additional areas of the castle not possible on a guided tour.