12/12/2012 07:41 GMT

'Downton Abbey' Christmas Special In 50 Pictures

ITV have released 50 pictures from the 'Downton Abbey' Christmas special, showing the Crawley family celebrating the festive season at a Scottish estate.

Producers of the hit period drama have warned viewers to have their "tissues ready" for the show's Christmas tearjerker.

This year's two-hour episode sees the family visit cousins, against a backdrop of deer stalking and shooting in the Highlands.

downton abbey

Happily married: Matthew and Lady Mary

But many of their staff have remained at 'Downton', and further dramas unfold in the family's absence, in the show to be shown at 9pm on Christmas Day.

Executive producer Gareth Neame said: "While the cat's away, the mice will play. What will they get up to while the family is away?"

ITV's director of drama Laura Mackie said: "As ever, 'Downton' will take its audience through a whole range of emotions. All of life's experiences will feature in this episode."

The Christmas edition of the show has become one of the most popular programmes of the festive season.

Cast and crew recently celebrated the official commissioning of a fourth series penned by Lord Fellowes.

Check out all the pictures below...

Downton Abbey Christmas