How To Rent The Real ‘Downton Abbey’ Castle On Airbnb
If you’re a hardcore Downton Abbey fan — the kind of fan who truly believes they are living in the wrong century and feels deeply invested in the Crawley family, I mean — you’re going to flip out over Airbnb’s latest silver-screen-to-IRL listing. For one night only, Highclere Castle, aka the actual Downton Abbey, will open its doors to lucky two Airbnb guests for a one night stay. This listing is actually a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as it’s never before been available to book, and won’t be on Airbnb again.
So, how does one book? By setting lots of alarms: On Oct. 1, at 7:00 a.m. ET, the listing for Highclere Castle will go live on Airbnb, and it’ll be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Two (extremely well-timed and extremely lucky) guests who access the page in time will be able to book a one night stay at the castle, and that stay will have to take place on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Even better: If you’re worried that the price of this stay might deter you from booking, fret not — it’s listed at a rate cheaper than many motels, this experience is only going to cost you about $159, or £150 a night. Of course you’ll have to get yourself to Highclere, England, but that’s only about an hour or so outside of London so you can make a whole holiday of it.
According to the New York Times, Highclere Castle has been in the Carnarvon family since 1679, and is currently owned by the Eighth Earl of Carnarvon Geordie Herbert — also known as Lord Carnarvon — and his wife, Fiona Aitken, aka Lady Carnarvon. Note: Herbert is also Queen Elizabeth II’s godson, in case you needed any more proof that this fam is total royalty. While Highclere Castle was always an incredible, royal estate, it’s obviously taken on a new charm since it became the filming location of one of the most popular shows ever. If you happen to be part of the lucky duo that is ~awarded~ this stay, here’s a glimpse at what your time at Highclere will look like.
According to the Airbnb listing, you’ll arrive at tea time and be welcomed by Lady and Lord Carnarvon themselves. The first order of business will be tea time, which will turn into a cocktail hour in the Saloon, and be followed by a traditional three course dinner in the State Dining Room. The whole time, you’ll be waited on by the Highclere Castle’s own butler, treated like absolute royalty, so that you can really immerse yourself in the experience and imagine what it might have been like to be a Crawley. After dinner you’ll have coffee in the Library, and then be taken to your room, which will look out over 1,000 acres of pristine, rolling park land. The next morning you’ll have breakfast, and enjoy a private tour of the estate. This might take a while, as there are 300 rooms sprawling over 100,000 square feet to explore.
Check out time will be at 4:00 p.m. BST, which means that if you’re coming from abroad, you won’t really have a chance to iron-out your jet lag and will likely convince yourself that this entire experience was a dream. House rules are as you might expect, you can’t bring any dogs (but there will be nine [!!!] on-site), you can’t have a party, there’s no smoking, it’s not a suitable stay for infants or children, and you must be able and willing to climb many (many!) stairs.
Save this listing as a bookmark and set a reminder in your phone for October 1, (you’ll have to get up before 7:00 a.m. ET to ready yourself for the fastest clicking of your life!) and give it a shot. Someone has to win, why not you? Until then, you can get your Crawley fix on September 20 when the Downton Abbey film hits theaters in the U.S.. Oh, and if you need more reason to get behind this epic opportunity, Airbnb will be making a donation to The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to celebrate.
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