As well as (obvs) Downton Abbey itself, still filmed at Highclere Castle, A New Era’s key location is found in a sunny, seaside corner of France. It’s a large Mediterranean villa called Rocabella that finds its way into the possession of Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), prompting a family trip to the Med. 'We flew into Nice, jumped in a car and raced around these four or five places,’ remembers Ellis of finding the location, ‘including Karl Lagerfeld's old place in Monaco. But once we saw Villa Rocabella, it was just “wow!”. It has everything: views over the sea, the terrace, the classic French look, lovely gardens and that pink staircase you see in the trailer.’ And you don’t need the Crawley wealth – or an inheritance – to stay there. ‘I was surprised to discover that it's affordable,’ says Ellis. ‘It'd be a great party venue.’
The ultimate in posh porn, Downton Abbey: A New Era arrives just in time to bring a large helping of low-stakes Downton magnificence to our lives this week. There will be complicated dinners, unnecessary hats, trips on opulent yachts and glorious sunny vistas as far as the eye can see as the Crawley family and their loyal band of servants navigate weddings, mysterious inheritances and the onset of the Jazz Age.
If the trailer piqued your interest in the film’s exotic locales, you might be wondering where they’re found. A Downton pilgrimage will now take you a bit further than Highclere Castle in Berkshire: France, Scotland and Essex are all now firmly on the map. We asked the film’s supervising location manager, Mark Ellis, to get the skinny on where to go to visit A New Era’s locales for the ultimate Downton pilgrimage.