Windsor Castle is one of the sights you'll see on a Downton Abbey cruise excursion.
Good news, Anglophiles: you can take a Downton Abbey-themed river cruise this summer.
Lovers of British culture—and of the hit PBS show Downton Abbey—should start clearing their schedules now. The Barge Lady cruise line has announced four sailings of a Downton-inspired cruise this summer. And, of course, that cruise stars Highclere Castle, the country estate that stands in for Downtonon the series.
However, that's not the only gorgeous scenery on offer. The weeklong river cruise wends down the Thames, starting at Hampton Court Palace and ending at Henley-on-Thames, near Reading. Hampton Court Palace, built in 1494, is rich with history, especially for fans of Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning book Wolf Halland the miniseries based on it. The palace was the home of Thomas Wolsey, the British cardinal who got on King Henry VIII's bad side for not being able to annul his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, and is also where Henry two of his wives and where Jane Seymour gave birth to Henry's only son, King Edward VI. Other cruise excursions include a visit to Windsor Castle, a tour ofOxford University, and stops at pubs along the water. Guests can also add in a special English-style cream tea in London to the beginning of their itinerary.