Waddesdon Manor Reviews
Take a Step Back in Time Aug 08, 2013
We had seen the signs for Waddesdon Manor en route to Wendover to visit friends and thought it may be worth a visit. On arrival at our friends in Wendover we discussed plans for the following day where it was decided that we would indeed visit Waddesdon. Our friends had already visited but said that the manor and grounds are so impressive that they would not hesitate to visit again.
The following morning we set off from Wendover, the drive took about 20-30 mins from where we were staying. Turning up the driveway was impressive in itself, the scenery beautiful. Admission to the grounds was taken at a ticket booth at the entrance of the driveway - £8.00 for just a grounds ticket or £18.00 for visiting the grounds and inside the manor house. Members of the National Trust get free admission.
It's a good job that the driveway is as long as it was due to the number of vehicles parked up on either side of the grass verges. Car parking assistants are on hand to help and find you a parking space - we were quite lucky as we got pretty near to the actual manor gardens, about a three minute walk up a winding gravel pathway before our first glimpse of Waddesdon came into view, and what a view it was. My first impression was that we could have been somewhere in France as it definitely had a grand chateau look about it. Walking down the gravel pathway towards the huge manor made you think what it would have been like back in the late 1800's when the house was built.
Entrance to the house is on a timed ticket basis for both members and non members of the National Trust. Tickets are available at 15 minute intervals and can be obtained on the day via the ticket booth to the left of the manor house, or by pre booking over the internet. The last timed ticket entry is 3.15pm as the house closes for viewing at 4pm. Our tickets were timed for 1.30pm-1.45pm thus giving us enough time to enjoy our picnic lunch in the grounds.
ENTRANCE TO THE MANOR
On entrance to the house you are asked to surrender all water bottles, large backs and ladies are asked to remove stiletto heels, thus to avoid causing any damage whilst inside. (Personal belongings are collected on exiting the manor by handing in a collection ticket which is given to you when you hand your belongings over.) There was also the opportunity to purchase a companion guide for £5 or an audio handset for £3, but we declined the offer of these. Photography is allowed inside the manor but visitors are asked to refrain from using flash photography.
NAVIGATING INSIDE THE MANOR
The house is pretty easy to navigate around even without a guide/audio handset. There are numerous staff to point you in the correct direction, and it is obvious that you are not allowed to wander aimlessly around - this as evident when my friend and I ascended a spiral staircase and headed off in the wrong direction - a member of staff quickly ushered us in the opposite direction - ooops, consider ourselves told!!! Just when you think you have seen one spectacular room, you wander into another room that takes your breath away also.
On our visit we were lucky enough to see a wonderful display of napkins - not just any old napkins but napkin folding at its extreme, birds, snakes, lions, seahorses, castles the list is endless. The title of the exhibition was Folded Beauty - Masterpieces in linen by Joan Sallas - well worth visiting the manor for just to see this. My pictures do not do the intricate designs justice.
There are 45 rooms to make your way around featuring collections of English and French paintings, furniture and decorative objects - it took us roughly an hour to walk around but in all honesty we were rushing slightly as our friend had a medical appointment to attend at 3.30pm so we could have spent a lot longer in the manor. We did not even get to see the additional attractions:
Ampitheatre & Summer house
Miss Alice's Drive Woodland walk
ON SITE EATERIES:
Manor restaurant - which is waiter serviced
10am-12pm - breakfast, 12.00pm-3pm - lunch, 3pm-5pm - afternoon tea
Stables Café - 10am-5pm
Coffee Bar/Summer House (weather dependant) 11am-5pm
Glasshouse café - Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10.30am-4.30pm
ON SITE SHOPS:
Manor Shop - 10am-5pm
Wine Shop - 10am-5pm
Stables Shop - 11am-4.30pm
Plant Centre - Mon-Sat - 10am-5.30pm, Sun 10.30am-4.30pm
An absolute gem that takes you a step back in time, well worth a visit. During August children are admitted FREE, and there are various activities for them to join in with.
Website - www.waddesdon.org.uk
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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French Chateau Manor House in Buckinghamshire Apr 18, 2011
This is a stunning place with Grounds that just look outstanding, especially this time of year. The House itself has been restored over years for people to continuously enjoy.
The Grounds don't need to be explained anymore when you see some of the pictures. I've tried to take a few just to give you an idea.
There is a Manor Restaurant which is a silver service restaurant which are based in the old kitchens when the House was in full use all those years ago. There is a coffee bar outside so you can have a snack or a drink. They also have the Stables Cafe along with the Coach House where the main exhibitions are held in the main season. There is also the Plant Centre which is reachable from the main road where there is also a cafe for you get a light bite to eat.
There are shops located in the main Manor, the Stables which is aimed for children filled with sweets and toys and there is also the Plant Centre. There is an Adventure Playground for the children.
The main season runs from the end of March till the end of October when we close for the House to be decorated for Christmas and that opens mid November. The Manor is closed from the beginning of January through to the end of March but the Grounds are open at the weekend along with the Manor Restaurant.
The cost is free for National Trust members and for non National Trust members the prices are as follows:
Weekdays (Wed - Fri)
House & Gardens: Child £11.00
Weekends & Bank Holidays
House & Gardens: Child £13.00
It honestly is worth the money for what you get to see.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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