Inside the Castle

Highclere is a cosy splendid family home with between 250 and 300 rooms, including 50 -80 bedrooms. A few of the main entertaining rooms are described below for you to enjoy.

THE SALOON

The Saloon lies at the heart of Highclere Castle, an amazing space for entertaining, warmed by an immense fireplace to one side whilst the famous oak staircase leads through the arches up to the galleried bedrooms. During a reception, one hundred and fifty guests may assemble enjoying drinks and canapes. Equally guests for a dinner or Sunday lunch may gather and with the furniture pulled back it is a perfect space to celebrate Burn's night with Scottish dancing. It is not hard to imagine ladies pausing before step down the Oak Staircase in ballgowns and tiaras, ready for the party to begin. Many fans of "Downton Abbey” will remember the excitement and relief when the leading ladies eventually married, brimming over with happiness and excitement.

THE LIBRARY

The Library conveys an atmosphere of splendid opulence combined with the reassuring comfort of an old-fashioned gentlemen’s club. During the Victorian times it was used as a withdrawing room by the 4th Earl of Carnarvon, somewhere to sit quietly while discussing the thorny problems and tricky political characters of the day. Over 6,000 books line the shelves, from early Bibles to volumes of history, botany, architecture, political speeches, biography, drama, novels and poetry. The books date mainly from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but the oldest, from 1538, is a comedy by the Italian poet Ariosto

THE DRAWING ROOM

The Drawing Room is decorated in green silks inspired by Queen Marie Antoinette’s Boudoir at the Palace of Versailles. The silks were a present from the 5th Countess’s father on the occasion of her marriage in 1895. Facing south it is a charming light filled room, with one of the oldest Steinway’s in the world carefully positioned in one corner. A much loved and used family room, the piano can lead to many entertaining evenings with most often a cocktail to hand.

  • Lavender, Juniper, Oranges and other botanicals, grown for centuries, harvested from the castle gardens for your glass.