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Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibit: Tickets, Costumes, Review

Downton Abbey Exhibit Biltmore is perhaps one of the most highly anticipated events at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. If you’re thinking of visiting the Biltmore Downtown Abbey exhibit, here’s everything to know!

Biltmore downton abbey exhibit servants room with ringing bells

Biltmore Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is a limited time exhibit at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

(Similar to another limited time engagement at the Biltmore Estate – Chihuly at Biltmore. Check out our colorful photos from that memorable exhibition.)

The Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibition showcases the hit television series that became a feature film in 2019. You will enjoy never-before seen interactive elements that bring the story to life through the characters, props, fashions and locations.

The Biltmore Downtown Abbey exhibit runs until April 7, 2020.

downton abbey kitchen from tv show at Biltmore estate exhibit

downton abbey characters in Biltmore estate exhibit

This Downton Abbey Exhibition is one that has been traveling across the country. In fact, our mom and aunt saw the exhibition in West Palm Beach, Florida, and shared with us how the Asheville exhibit was slightly different than the touring exhibit when in Florida.

For instance, mom said the Florida exhibit was a lot less intimate. You couldn’t get as close to the props and costumes as you can at Biltmore Estate.  

Other touring locations of the Downtown Abbey Exhibition are often housed in one location. Downton Abbey Exhibit Biltmore Estate is housed in two different locations (The locations must be driven to, they are not walkable. However, there are free shuttle buses):

  • Amherst at Deerpark
  • The Biltmore Legacy at Antler Hill Village

Was Downton Abbey Filmed at Biltmore Estate?

No, the television show was not filmed at Biltmore Estate. However, the similarities between Downton Abbey and the real-life story of the Vanderbilt family at Biltmore Estate are remarkably similar.

The Vanderbilt family were pillars of American society. And they had a staff taking care of their every need, too, just like in Downton Abbey.

downton abbey Biltmore exhibit highclere castle statue

Part of the tour at Biltmore House is “downstairs” where the servants would have been busy cooking, cleaning, living and behaving just like the servants in Downton Abbey.

While filmed in two different countries, the lifestyle was very similar. And the houses (both Biltmore Estate and Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed) are both grand estates that were actually lived in.

Downton Abbey Biltmore Tickets

Admission to Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is different depending on how you enter the Biltmore Estate.

  • For day tickets sold during the Biltmore Downton Abbey exhibit time, admission to the Downton Abbey Exhibit will be included.
  • Biltmore Annual Passholders will NOT be able to go to the Downton Abbey Exhibit with just their annual pass. A separate daytime admission to Downtown Abbey: The Exhibition must be purchased. (Prices range depending on date of visit. In January 2020 the price is $16, and gradually increases to a high of $20 in March and April.)
  • Group Tickets admissions do not include admission to the Biltmore Downtown Abbey exhibit. Admission to the Downton Abbey exhibit will need to be purchased.
  • Overnight guests at one of the two Biltmore Estate hotels with a package that includes daytime admission to the House WILL have admission to Downton Abbey: The Exhibition.

Do You Need a Reservation for Biltmore Downton Abbey Exhibit?

No, there is no need for a reservation.

However, you may need to wait longer on busy days.

From our personal experience, longer wait times are during the middle of the day, especially early afternoon. This is when a lot of tour groups are visiting the exhibit.

white wedding dress on display at Biltmore Downton abbey

Consider arriving earlier in the morning or later in the day. 

Hours (which are subject to change, so be sure to check the Biltmore Estate website) are:

  • Downtown Abbey Exhibition at Amherst at Deerpark: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (last entry)
  • Downtown Abbey Exhibition at The Biltmore Legacy: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (last entry)

Downton Costumes Biltmore

One of the things that we enjoyed the most was looking at the Downton Abbey Clothes at Biltmore Estate. Costumes from the Downton Abbey show and the Downton Abbey movie can be seen close up at The Biltmore Legacy.

Downton costumes Biltmore clothing from tv show

It was actually remarkable how close you could get to the historic and iconic costumes that were worn in the TV show and the movie. The attention to detail is astounding. 

If you are a true fan of Downton Abbey, you will remember many of the Downton Abbey Clothes at Biltmore. They are from some of the most memorable scenes in the television series.

The Downton Costumes at Biltmore are located in an intimate area in Antler Hill Village. You can shop, eat and dine at the small village square. Next door, the Biltmore Estate Winery is open for free tours and tastings.

You really could make a long afternoon enjoying the Downton Abbey costumes, trying amazing wines, and shopping in unique stores. That’s before you sit back and relax on the village green and maybe listen to some live music if it’s playing that day.

Downton Abbey Exhibit Review

I brought my mom and husband, both Downton Abbey fans, to the Biltmore Downton Abbey exhibit. We went during November, soon after first opening and in the middle of the Biltmore Christmas crowds. 

We liked the exhibition. It definitely was interesting to see the props and costume from the television show in person. And the chance to do it close to home was amazing!

When to Go

The crowds were pretty bad when we went to the exhibit in the Deerpark. It was about 1-2 p.m. and the number of tour buses was pretty big. However, keep in mind, this was during the Christmas season when crowds typically do get big. 

I would suggest going to the Downtown Abbey exhibit early in the morning or towards closing. It seems that most tour groups probably follow the same timeline, which I’m guessing is:

  1. Biltmore House in the morning
  2. Gardens and free time
  3. Lunch
  4. Downton Abbey exhibit
  5. Antler Hill Village

If you can visit the Downton Abbey exhibit when tour groups are not likely to be there (such as mid to late afternoon), chances are you’ll have much less crowds. Because it was very difficult to read any of the plaques with so many people milling around.

Nothing says you have to visit the Biltmore House first during your visit to the Biltmore Estate! It’s not mandatory!

The Downtown Abbey Exhibition was really well done. I especially loved the film narrated by Carson at the beginning and the end of the exhibition.

Also, the interactive quiz where you can see what kind of Downton Abbey servant you’d be was pretty interesting. Here’s a few screenshots of when I took the quiz:

downton abbey quiz

downton abbey quiz Biltmore estate

Keep in mind that you DON’T need to be a fan of the show – or even have seen the show – to like or appreciate the Downton Abbey Exhibit at Biltmore Estate. 

In fact, I found the exhibit to be very general and broad as a dedicated viewer of the show. There’s not too much hidden secrets to be found while exploring the props and costumes. What there is to enjoy is an appreciation of the details of the sets and props. As well as a love of the period costumes and fashions that were so painstakingly brought to life. 

vintage wedding dress costume

Of course, there is a gift shop at the exit of the Deerpark exhibit. It was a lot of fun to see the unique gifts and souvenirs they have for Downton Abbey that can’t be found in most other stores, so be sure to leave time to shop!