If you want to live like a royal on a commoner’s budget, now’s your chance: Highclere Castle, the real-life castle that stands in for Downton Abbey on the PBS series, is going up for rent on Airbnb.
Heating a castle and running an estate is a costly enterprise, so much so that it’s even a storyline in Downton Abbey, so it should be no surprise that, in these modern times, eventually someone would put their ancestral homes up on Airbnb. Multiple revenue streams are one way to pay the heating bill, right?
That brings us to Highclere Castle, the Yorkshire home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon that stands in for the royal home of Lord and Lady Grantham on the TV series turned movie. For one night only, all 100,000-square feet and 300 rooms in Highclere Castle will go up on Airbnb, throwing open its doors to anyone who has dreamed of sipping tea with Lady Mary, trading recipes with Mrs. Patmore, or swapping zingers with the Dowager Countess.
For that one night, two lucky guests can be treated like royalty with a private tour of Highclere Castle’s extensive grounds, evening cocktails in the saloon like the Crawley family (perhaps with the castle’s own gin), butler service (Carson not included) during a three-course dinner in the State Dining Room with the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, post-dinner coffee in the Library, which was regularly featured in Downton Abbey, and a room in one of the Gallery bedrooms with an en-suite bathroom and views over 1,000 acres of rolling parkland, and a lavish breakfast.
Reservations to book the castle on Airbnb.com will open on October 1 at 12 p.m. BST for £150 for a stay to take place on November 26.
If you can’t book on Airbnb, your only other choice to visit Highclere Castle is through its partnership with Viking Cruises, in yet another revenue stream that helps the castle pay its electric bill. Otherwise, just watch the series again—or rent a giant potato on Airbnb and crown yourself the spud queen.