Visitors from across the world have flocked to England's Highclere Castle, scene of the "Downton Abbey" smash hit TV drama. The majestic setting will appear on the big screen when the very first "Downton Abbey" movie opens in Britain on September 6th and globally later this month, according to AFP.
The period drama about early 20th century aristocrats has mesmerised Yifan Gao, a Chinese student attending university in Scotland, who said, "Everyone our age knows Downtown Abbey in China. It's charming." He took a six-hour train ride from Edinburgh with two friends to attend a special weekend at the castle organised by producers of the film.
Emily Dickmann from Chicago said, "I think we Americans are obsessed with the English. We don't have lords and ladies, that long history, and it is kind of fascinating for us," after stepping inside the bedroom of Lady Sybil, one of the heroines of the show.
The number of visitors to the castle has more than doubled to 90,000 people a year thanks to the series, whose tale began with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and ended in late 1925.
The film, which officially premieres at London's Leicester Square on September 9th, picks up the plot in 1927, with the Crawley family anxiously awaiting a visit from King George V and Queen Mary.
Boasting 200 rooms, four chefs and four gardeners, the 19th-century estate is now home to George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon and Lady Fiona Carnarvon, his wife.