Although we have been National Trust members for a few years we have never visited their “Jewel in the Crown “ property of Waddesdon Manor.
We were not disappointed – the house was probably one of the best National Trust houses we have ever visited. All the guides (all volunteers) were so helpful and knowledgeable – it was an absolute joy to walk round this very stately home. Tickets are timed ensuring that your visit is more enjoyable as it isn’t crowded. I particularly liked the numerous displays of napkins which were folded into all sorts of shapes (see pics) – made my “fans” look very ordinary in comparison!
The gardens were something else too – the Parterre gardens were stunning as were the Bird Topiary (see pics). To see the house and gardens in one day you would need to get there reasonably early or stay overnight and split your visit especially if NT members as no entrance fees.
We were lucky enough to have fantastic weather. In fact it was so hot we returned the following day to visit the house in the morning when it was slightly cooler.
The B&B we chose to stay at was excellent. Please read my separate review of The Leys.
Although we probably wouldn’t tour the house again I think the gardens would be worth another visit as apparently the Parterre design is changed every so often according to the season.
Whilst walking around the gardens we noted a few visitors in Mobility scooters and one in a wheelchair but there are areas that are inaccessible unless you are fully mobile. There were lifts in the house although we didn’t notice anyone in a wheelchair during our visit .Please check the website prior to visiting.
There is a café plus a few refreshment kiosks.We had a sandwich & a cold drink which was up to the National Trust usual high standards of quality and choice. The toilet facilities are clean and well maintained.
Lastly, a word of warning. Take heed of the notices at the top of the garden. These are only placed at the middle sections by the steps. We approached the gardens from the side where there were no such signs. My husband ignored my warnings that I didn’t think these narrow “paths” were proper walkways and he lost his footing ending up in falling into the top of a hedge. Oh how I tried not to laugh. Luckily no major damage was done apart from a few scrapes and bruises but next time we visit I think he will definitely be using the designated walkways!!
I highly recommend a visit to Waddesdon Manor. The National Trust membership is worth every penny. We can’t wait to return, especially to see the Parterre gardens in a different season.