‘Downton Abbey’ will be back on our screens this festive season with a two hour Christmas special which will see the Crawley family travelling to Northumberland for a 'grouse shooting' party. The episode promises to deliver some festive high drama as a "scandalous secret" is uncovered and "drastic measures" are taken.

Maggie Smith in Downton AbbeyWhat will the Countess say? This year's 'Downton Abbey' Christmas special will feature the Crawley's grouse shooting

Set in the early fall of 1924, The Crawleys will be the special guests of Lord and Lady Sinderby, the parent’s of Rose’s husband Atticus Aldridge, at their home of Brancaster Castle for the opening of the grouse shooting season.

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Joining the cast for the special will be Olivier Award winning actor Alun Armstrong, as the Sinderby’s butler Stowell, who harbours a secret that threatens to ruin the group's holiday. James Faulkner and Pennie Downie will be returning in their roles of Lord and Lady Sinderby, along with Matt Barber who plays Atticus Aldridge.

Back at Downton the servants have stayed behind and Bates will take drastic measures to clear his wife Anna’s name as she faces a future behind bars. While Baxter and Molesley scheme together and Carson and Mrs Hughes consider a business venture.

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Also appearing in the special episode will be celebrated stage and television actress Jane Lapotaire, who will play Princess Irina, the wife of Prince Kuragin, who incurs the wrath of the Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith).

Downton AbbeyWhat will be in store for Mary and Branson during this year's Christmas special

The episode will of course also feature the regular cast of Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Kevin Doyle, Raquel Cassidy, Sue Johnston, Jeremy Swift, Douglas Reith, Fifi Hart and Zac and Oliver Barker.

It is not yet known when the episode will be broadcast, but in previous years it has been shown by ITV on Christmas Day in the U.K.