Day 89 (4.12.17): Blenheim, Downton Abbey, and Downton Village

We were tired from our day in London, so we were all moving a little slow on Wednesday morning.  We decided to split up.

Julie and Kate headed to Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed.  They were excited to see lambs frolicking in the fields.


It was a beautiful day and the palace was magnificent.  It was designed by the same architect who designed Parliament.  Maybe houses were his side job.  Having just visited the London the day before, the similarities were clear.


Capability Brown, who designed Blenheim’s grounds, advised on the design of the grounds for Highclere, too.  Of course, there’s no Lord and Lady Grantham.  In actuality, the house and grounds have long belonged to the Carnarvon Family.  They have great taste and the budget to do something about it.  Kate was so excited she ate her hair in an homage to the Highclere door knockers (see above and below):


Meanwhile, I took the girls to the Blenheim grounds, so they could explore a bit.  they had a great time climbing on the ancient English oaks.

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We next headed to the hedge maze, where we played tag for a while.  As you can see from all of the pictures I didn’t take of the girls in the maze, I lost at tag.

We all met back at 8 Brown’s Lane.  Julie and Kate hadn’t gotten enough Downton Abbey action, so they took the girls to Bampton, which is the place where the village scenes from Downton are filed.  (I went for a lovely bike ride in the countryside.)  Along the way, the girls enjoyed the blooming fields of rapeseed.

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The village was quite charming, so Kate and Julie were happy.  The kids got ice cream, so they were happy, too.


One of the highlights was the church where Matthew and Lady Mary were married.  (If you haven’t seen the show, they remain happily married.)


Fortunately, they left the village before the credits started.  Who knows.  Someday maybe the kids will watch Downton, and all of this will finally make some sense.


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