If you're among the legions of "Downton Abbey" devotees who wateched the show's season premiere, you might want to incorporate a bit of Downton flair into one of your vacations this year. The following six historic homes offer spectacularly luxurious "upstairs" rooms and fascinating glimpses of the "downstairs" servants' quarters.
And what about the real Downton Abbey? Highclere Castle, where "Downton Abbey" is filmed in Newbury, England, "is a must," wrote one TripAdvisor traveler, though many reviewers lamented that "it was a pity that you couldn't take pictures inside." Still, several rooms display signs indicating what scenes were filmed there.
The castle is open on an irregular schedule beginning in late March 2013, but is sold out. However, fans should keep an eye on Highclere's official website, which says summer tickets will be released in early February.
The Elms, Newport, R.I.
According to many TripAdvisor reviewers, it's practically a crime to visit The Elms and not take the behind-the-scenes Servant Life Tour. It "contrasts sharply the exorbitant lifestyle of the owners and the humble lifestyle of the servants," one TripAdvisor traveler wrote. Another said, "We saw staff quarters and spartan furnishings that were the antithesis of the splendor just one floor below." A third reviewer wrote that it's "well worth taking this tour—to understand the 'other side of wealth'!"...