Photo from Wikimedia Commons by Richard Munckton
In honor of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we thought we’d highlight some recommend spots to take in life in the United Kingdom, Jane Austen style (with some Downton Abbey thrown in). While the two take place in very different time periods, they’ve captured and imbued our American fascination with Britain in similar ways.
Here’s our wishlist of architectural destinations to check out in England:
1. Visit Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed
Actually located in Newbury (west of London), the home is still occupied by the Carnavaron family but open for tours and events. If the architectural style rings a bell, it’s because it’s designed by the same architect as the British Houses of Parliament.
2. Inverary Castle in Scotland
The final episode of Downton Abbey Season 3 takes place partially in Scotland, at the home of the fictional Lord and Lady Flintshire. Inveraray Castle is located on the banks of Loch Fyne, 60 miles from Glasgow. Inverary Castle has been located here since the 1400s, but this current incarnation was inspired by a sketch by Vanburgh, the architect of Blenheim Palace and built in the mid 1700s.
See more film locations for Downton Abbey here.
3. Take in Bath, England, the seaside town where Jane Austen situated many of her stories
The city now has its own Jane Austen Festival, but the city is equally known for its historic Roman baths, the working Thermae Roman spas and the Royal Crescent, the curved architectural icon.
4. Pemberley aka Lyme Park
Fans of the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice by Andrew Davies will remember Lyme Park as Pemberley, home to Mr. Darcy. Once the estate of the Leghs of Lyme and later the Lords of Newton, today Lyme Park is managed by the National Trust, which means you can visit this house in Disley, Cheshire in the panoramic Peaks District.
5. Belton House (location of Rosings in Pride & Prejudice)
Image via Wikimedia Commons
This stately home, run by the National Trust, was used as Rosings Park in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, where Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her sickly daughter lived. The architecture of Belton House and its gardens reflects many of the classical maxims of home design during the 17th century.
6. Jane Austen’s House Museum
Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, a village in Hampshire, is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice with a special exhibition on the book, theater adaptions, concerts and other events. Jane spent the last eight years of her life in this house, writing famed novels like Emma and Persuasion, and is buried in nearby Winchester Cathedral.