A real British event

I’m a huge Downton Abbey fan. So when I was asked if I’d like to go to an event at Highclere Castle where Downton was filmed, I jumped at the chance, even though I had no idea what the event was!

I only learnt that it was The Battle Proms when I got into the car yesterday afternoon to drive to the venue. J’s neighbour had kindly organised the picnic and offered to drive us. The website tells me that…

… the first Battle Proms was at Battle Abbey, East Sussex in 1997, and from this it has grown into the UK’s premier picnic concert series, set at the UK’s finest stately homes.

The creation of the Battle Proms came from a desire to make best use of the 200 live firing replica Napoleonic cannon that were taking up a lot of room in the yards of the English Field Artillery Company.  The only sensible use for this amount of guns was to perform Beethoven’s ‘Battle Symphony’ as he intended, with 193 live firing cannon providing a thunderous percussion!

Battle Proms home page

For me, this was a gloriously British event with a magnificent programme of music, fireworks, singing, a flyover by a Spitfire, a display by the Red Devils (The Parachute Regiment and British Army’s official display team) and a very extended picnic from 4:30 to 10pm, complete with silverware, china plates and crystal champagne glasses.

Click on any of the images below to see them individually.

Aah, yes. This is one of the reasons I came back to the UK – to take full advantage of these types of events, to see famous buildings and landmarks and to immerse myself in Britishness!

Even though there were apparently 10,000 people there (can you imagine it?) and I normally hate crowds, it has to be the highlight of my summer so far.

This post is part of my Experiences series

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