The second series of Downton Abbey, set against the backdrop of WWI, is currently being filmed and if these new pictures are anything to go by there will be plenty of action taking place away from the stately home.

Downton regulars are joined by a host of new faces and some of the cast have swapped the countryside for town life.

In the picture below, taken on set, chauffeur Branson, played by Allen Leech, can be seen driving Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay), daughter of Lord and Lady Downton, along the streets of London.

Filming for the drama sensation of 2010 began at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, the show’s real-life inspiration and iconic location, at the end of last month.

The eight-part series, to be screened later this year, continues to chart the lives and loves of the Crawley family and their retinue of servants.

It will begin with the news of Britain going to war with Germany in 1914.

The bloody military conflict will lead to personal tragedy for both masters and servants alike and will mean life in the great house will never be the same again.

It will also lead to the arrival of several dashing and eligible young officers who will break hearts and further complicate the tangled love lives of the three Crawley sisters.

The new series will draw on events that actually took place at Highclere Castle, which became a military hospital between 1914 and 1916.

The idea of turning Highclere into a hospital was the brainchild of Almina, fifth Countess of Carnarvon, a leading light of the Edwardian social scene who was keen to do her bit for the war effort.

Julian Fellowes has revealed the glamorous ladies of the stately home will be rolling up their sleeves for the war effort in the new series.

The writer of the ITV drama said the outbreak of the First World War forced all the women of Britain to change, as we will see in series two.

Julian said: ‘I hope it goes on being reasonably glamorous, I think I would be sad to think… but you know war time is a strange time.

‘Suddenly women were working in ways they hadn’t been working before the war, even posh women. And that changed them and in a way they had to change the world to match what had happened to them during the war and they got the vote in 1919 and all sorts of things changed.

‘I hope we’ve shown some of that. I think it was an extraordinary period of change. When you think there’s only five years between 1914 and 1919, when the world was like a different planet. It is extraordinary.’

The new series of Downton is scheduled for September and will be followed by a Christmas special.