Go Upstairs, Downstairs, and Behind the Scenes of 'Downton Abbey!'

Ever wanted to take a closer look at Downton Abbey? Head behind the scenes-both upstairs and downstairs!-with series creator Julian Fellowes!

Go Upstairs, Downstairs, and Behind the Scenes of ‘Downton Abbey!’

Ever wanted to take a closer look at Downton Abbey? Head behind the scenes—both upstairs and downstairs!—with series creator Julian Fellowes!

-Lucia Peters

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbeyonce never gets old!

Did you catch the Downton Abbey second season finale this past Sunday? I didn’t, but it’s okay, because I had already seen it (what can I say; I am impatient and therefore found a way to watch it as it was airing in the UK over the fall). In any event, (SPOILER) how about that proposal, eh? Thank goodness Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary (Michelle Dockery) finally got over their angst! There’s lots of exciting stuff to look forward to in season three, including a whole bunch of post-war social landscape changes and the appearance of Shirley MacLaine (playing a character, of course—Martha Levinson, the mother of Elizabeth McGovern’s Lady Grantham—not just as herself. That would be weird).

But curses! We have to wait a whole year for season three! Sigh. But hey, here’s something to tide you over while you work your way through Downton Abbey withdrawal: An insider’s tour of the abbey, hosted by series creator Julian Fellowes and historical advisor Alastair Bruce!

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First, let’s head downstairs with Alastair into the fast-paced world of the servants, which is located in Ealing, UK. Step inside the servants’ hall (never underestimate the importance of gossip), Mr. Carson’s (Jim Carter) base of operations, the kitchen (two of the burners on the state-of-the-art stove actually work!), and the servants’ bedrooms (which, by the way, are in reality on the same floor as everything else, rather than all the way upstairs the way they look on the show—movie magic at its finest). Watch it here:

Ready to head upstairs with Julian into the leisurely—well, comparatively speaking—world of the family? Let’s go! In real life, Downton Abbey is Highclere Castle in Hampshire, UK. Get a load of the gorgeous architecture of the great hall (which would have functioned as a combination receiving room-ballroom-reception room for entertaining), the light and airy drawing room (a.k.a. the realm of the women), the library, and—of course—the all-important door that separates upstairs from downstairs. Check it out here:

Neat-o, right? What a world! Stay tuned for Downton Abbey’s third season!

Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.

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