Monday, October 22, 2012

Visiting Downton Abbey - Beautiful Highclere Castle

Hi Friends, Carrie Turansky here, sharing some fun memories from our recent trip to England!

My husband Scott and I spent a wonderful week touring country villages and back roads in Oxfordshire, the Cotsowlds, and the Peaks District. We rented a car and my brave husband drove over 400 miles sitting in the driver's seat on the wrong side of the car and driving on the wrong side of the road! But he considered it a challenge and handled it all very well. What a great sport!

Touring Highclere Castle where the TV series Downton Abbey is filmed was the highlight of the trip for me. Walking through the front door and into the double library where so many scenes have been shot was so exciting! I almost expected to see Carson and hear him announce me to Lord and Lady Grantham. We toured all through the ground floor and the next floor up, which is called the first floor there, peeking in the bedrooms and wandering down the hallways. My favorite room was the great hall, which is called the saloon. The high arched celiling with the carvings and large fireplace are so lovely. I felt like I was stepping back in time to the Edwardian Period.

This was a research trip for me. My next book, The Governess of Highland Hall, is set in England during the Edwardian Period. It's the first of a three-book series that will follow the Ramsey family of Oxfordshire from the years 1910 to 1919 including WWI. Like Downton Abbey, the story captures the viewpoint of both the hard-working servants downstairs, and the wealthy, distinguished family upstairs. Of course it includes romance, faith, family struggles, and a delightful dash of history.

Until next fall when the Governess of Highland Hall releases, I hope you will be looking for my latest Love Inspired title, Snowflake Sweethearts! It's a sweet and inspiring holiday romance set in Fairhaven, Washington and inclues the four senior-age ladies known as the Bayside Treasures who love to play matchmakers for their friends and family. Snowflake Sweethearts is available in eBook format now here:  It will be available as a paperback in stores and online after November 13th.

For more info about my books please stop by my website:

Are you a Downton Abbey fan? If so, are you eager for Season 3 to start in January? Who is your favorite Downton Abbey character? 


  1. Oh Carrie. Lucky you!

    I can't say I'm a big fan of the series but I'd love to visit the Castle and feel the atmosphere.

    The series couldn't grab my attention. I felt during the first season that there were several inacurancies that ended spoiling the effect for me. I don't mind some adjustements here and there but it was too soapy for me and since I love that era so much it made difficult to wait and see if it would arise.

    I might give it another chance soon.

    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hi Teresa,
    thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about Downton Abbey. I liked Season 2 more than Season 1, so you might give it another try. It is set durring WWI and the stakes are much higher for all the characters. The rivalry between Mary and Edith loses some of its steam as they both realize what's more important in life. There are also some faith elements woven in, which I appreciated.

    Yes, Highclere is a wonderful place to visit, and the Edwardian period is so interesting.

    Happy reading!

  3. Jealous, jealous, jealous. A friend told me how to watch the series on- line now but I am waiting until January. Post-Christmas doldrums will be banished.

    Looking forward to your next books, sooner and later!

    Peace, Julie

  4. Hi Julie, thanks for your comments. I wonder why there is that delay from when Downton is shown in the UK and the US. I've seen lots of phtos from Season 3 and it certainly makes me excited to see those programs.

  5. Carrie, what a fun trip! We made a trip to England, Ireland and Scotland a number of years ago, and my hubby braved driving on the wrong side of the road. The rotaries or roundabouts were tricky. Your new series sound interesting. I've heard so much about Downton Abbey, but I've never watched it. Maybe I'll give it a try if I find time.

  6. Hi Merrillee, that's fun to hear you've also been to the UK. I would love to go again and see some other areas. I do hope you check out Downton Abbey. There are lots of interesting characters and the writing is great.

  7. If you've traveled to research a book I'd love to hear where you went. Or tell us where you'd like to go in the future.

  8. I've put the series on my list of things to watch. I don't get to watch series much. I think the last one I had a vested interest in was The Gilmore Girls. Once my son gets older, it will be easier. Please tell that's true LOL
    I want to go to England! And Scotland, and Ireland, and France. I can hardly wait to explore.
    Because I'm afraid of flying, I will, of course, go by boat.

  9. Carrie, I'm with Julie...jealous, jealous, jealous. And, yes, Season 2 was much better!!!


  10. Hi Renee, I hope you're able to visit Highclere some day. It was a very special trip for us!

    I've had a sneak peek at Downton Abbey Season 3, and I am surprised the way the writer, Julian Fellows, is able to keep my interest even though Mary and Matthew are now together. I was thinking that might make the series less appealing, but all is well. I think you will enjoy it!

  11. Hi Pamela,'s true as the kids get older you will have more time to write, travel, and watch some fun series. : ) I hope you do get to take that trip to Europe. There are so many wonderful sites to see!

  12. I have really enjoyed traveling vicariously with you. Wonderful photos.

  13. I have really enjoyed traveling vicariously with you. Wonderful photos.


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