May: Art and Architecture, 12th - 18th, 2019

Art and Architecture

Dates: Sunday May 12th to Saturday May 18th  2019

Price: £85.00 per person to include a Talk, a guided Tour of the Castle State Rooms and Galleried Bedrooms, refreshments and, weather permitting, our guides with knowledge of the gardens will also be available to lead you through the Monk’s Garden, Secret Garden and into the Wood of Goodwill.

“Each year I consider a different theme around Highclere, its landscape, the stories and works of art. In May 2019, I have decided to contemplate the themes of Art and Architecture and thus ask experts from those worlds to give short talks or to be in conversation around this theme. 

The talks are not wholly about Highclere – they may consider Anthony Van Dyck,  given the magnificent painting in the Dining Room and use that as starting point, or Joshua Reynolds or Richardson and the establishment of the Royal Academy in London.  I hope to begin and end our May week with a talk by myself on Sir Charles Barry, the pre-eminent Victorian architect who was building the Houses of Parliament at the same time as he was building Highclere Castle.

We are releasing the dates now in order to allow our guests to confirm dates and times which may suit their travel plans. Although all the speakers and times are not yet confirmed, I am sure that all and any of the talks will give different and fascinating insights”.

Lady Carnarvon

Following each talk which will take place in the Saloon, the heart of the Castle, guests have the chance to enjoy a guided Tour both to explore the works of art, but also the rooms which are of course also the set in which “Downton Abbey” was filmed both for TV and film.

The structure of the day allows you to enjoy the Gardens either at your leisure or in the company of a guide, as well as some refreshments in the Tearoom Marquee.

It is a special time of year to enjoy the famous azalea beds in Highclere's gardens which we hope will covered in colour and scent. They stretch across the Lawns in front of the folly, "Jackdaws Castle". Azaleas altaclarense (Highclere) are now to be found in many gardens on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

The gardens beyond will delight you with the cherry trees, tulips and early scented shrubs.

We would suggest that you arrive 30 minutes before your entry time into the Castle to be seated in the Saloon. In the meantime, the gift shop and tearooms will be open for a cappuccino, teas, croissants and, of course, some scones! The gardens and grounds will close at 5.30pm.

The price reflects the exclusive guided Tours and structured schedule of the day, which at other times of year are set at a higher price.

Numbers are limited and we ask you to pre-book. There is a choice of three arrival times: 10am, 12 noon and 12.30 and each has a structured programme for you.  Do allow four to five hours to enjoy your day here at Highclere. Please note this event does not include the Egyptian Exhibition.


To purchase tickets for these special openings, please see the date selection calendar below.

Dress code: Sensible outdoor wear should you wish to explore the Gardens!

Regretfully, we are unable to accommodate mobility scooters in the Castle. We do, however, have a limited number of manual wheelchairs available for use by Castle visitors. Please contact the Castle Office on 01635 253210 to discuss your wheelchair requirement. Wheelchairs can access the ground floor of the Castle. However, the first floor is accessible by stairs only. Please note that there is disabled access in the Gardens via our gravelled paths.

Click HERE to view our Terms and Conditions. The 'Frequently Asked Questions' section of our website does not relate to this event. Please contact the Castle office if you have any questions.

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Due to the popularity of the Castle, tickets purchased for a given date and entrance time cannot be exchanged, refunded or re-dated.

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