Downton Abbey fans you are in for a real treat! Viking River Cruises are offering a behind-the-scenes excursion at Downton Abbey aka Highclere Castle (for an additional fee). The Victorian Gothic style castle was built by Sir Charles Barry who also built the Houses of Parliament. The current residents, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon graciously allow Viking passengers to visit the estate. On the excursion you can view the public rooms including the main dining room, library and sitting rooms.
Also included is a walking tour of the colleges of the University of Oxford which dates back to the 11th century and whose students included kings, presidents, Nobel Prize winners, prime ministers, explorers, artists, actors, authors and scientists.