Downton opens for charity

Earl and Countess of Carnarvon
The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon are opening their home for charity Photo: Steve Parsons/PA

Fans of period drama Downton Abbey can explore life behind the scenes at the real Hampshire castle where it is filmed. Lord and Lady Carnarvon will open up their home, Highclere Castle, near Newbury, to support Young Epilepsy, a charity dedicated to children and young people aged under 25 who live with epilepsy.

Highclere will be opened on October 18 to help raise funds for the charity. Guests will be welcomed into the library, enjoy a champagne breakfast before embarking on a tour which will take them into the main state rooms and bedrooms, as featured in ITV's Downton Abbey. They will then be joined by Lord and Lady Carnarvon, who will give a talk on life at the world famous estate.

The Earl of Carnarvon, who has visited the charity's base near Lingfield, said: "We are delighted to welcome the supporters of Young Epilepsy to Highclere Castle where we hope you will have a fun and informative day while taking in the atmosphere of Downton Abbey. We wholeheartedly support the vital work undertaken by Young Epilepsy, which does so much good work in research, education and care of children and teenagers with a wide variety of epilepsy conditions."

Lisa Farmer, director of fundraising and marketing for Young Epilepsy, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity and express our utmost thanks and appreciation to Lord and Lady Carnarvon. These tours provide a rare opportunity to get a glimmer of what life is like at Highclere, but also to see behind the scenes of one of the most popular period dramas."