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Had a great time .Our Guide Jan was great. He gave us background information on characters on the show which was very insightful. Traveling to Bampton was so wonderful our guide had set photos to refresh our memories of shots of the small town .Great town. The tour allowed enough time to eat and shop still having enough time to tour the castle at your own pace. Had time to enjoy the beautiful grounds. Our driver Ray was so thoughtful so allow us to make restroom stops . Delightful man.
I was completely disappointed in this tour, it was nothing like I have experienced on other tours. The guide was not friendly, if not down right rude! The tour consist of the guide flipping through a photo album showing you behind the scene photos. This was extremely boring and cheap. My sister asked the guide where the nearest bathroom was, and he told her to wait he would tell her in a few minutes, this is unacceptable! He should have stopped for 30 seconds and pointed her to the nearest toilet, instead once he felt like it he told her of a coffee shop that has toilets, then proceeded to tell her to buy a coffee! I don't think he need to tell her anything other than where to go. Once at the castle, you are on your own. This tour was extremely overpriced for what you get, I would not recommend it.
When they said small group they meant it. Ours was only six and we were in a small van but being small we got to know each other during the trip which was great. During the trip our guide Stewart entertained us with good stories and even a Downton Abbey trivia contest. He played the intro music to the show as we drove into the castle grounds which was cool. We were able to see the main rooms downstairs and upstairs that were used in the show. The main focus in the rooms was on the family that lives there full time. Pictures of their family everywhere as they should be. We had a nice lunch outside and had time to walk the grounds adjacent to the castle. The tour actually started in the town of Bampton which served as the village outside of the castle on the show. There we saw the buildings used as the Hospital, the church where Matthew and Lady Mary were married. This is an old town and it looks just like the show period setting. Overall a tour well worth the cost if you are a Downton Abbey fan.
Our tour started on time at the designated meeting place. Steven, our guide greeted us and showed us to the van, where our driver Jimmy was waiting. The drive is a bit long heading to the first stop however, Steven and Jimmy, along with the other guests made it an enjoyable experience. Steven is very knowledgeable about the tour, and was very friendly and helpful with trivia facts. We felt we had just enough time to leisurely see all that we wanted without feeling rushed. We have to give Jimmy the Outstanding Driver of the Year award for being so very kind in driving back to our hotel to return our wallet which we mistakenly left in the van. We thank you SO MUCH Jimmy, this could have been a really bad situation, we appreciate your kindness.