Today we visited Waddesdon Manor which is a stately home close to Aylesbury. It is well signed and just off the Aylesbury to Bicester road. The manor has been featured in Downtown Abbey and various films such as Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
As you enter the site you come to a big car park where you leave your vehicle before catching a shuttle bus up through the parkland to the Manor itself.
Waddesdon Manor is in my opinion the most beautiful stately home in the UK and was designed to look like a French Chateau. The house itself is interesting inside and very luxurious but our highlight is the gardens.
To the rear of the house there is a stunning parterre which is planted up each season in a really lovely display, there are also other areas to explore such as woodlands and little hideaways with statues etc. The boys also found a massive hill with a great view that they were running up and down.
Near to the main gardens are two large birds made completely of flowers.They lead you towards the Aviary in which there is a great variety of tropical and unusual birds. There is information about each one and they are usually easily visible.
We headed from here down to the Stable Block which has a sweet shop, toy shop, cafe, National Trust shop. bookshop and an exhibition space. At the moment it has an exhibition about ceramics.
Just above the stable block is the woodland play area. This is fantastic for all ages of children, as there is an under 9's area with swings, climbing equipment, slides, see saws etc and as you go up through the woodland you come across different areas with more balancing and climbing equipment and a great big long green slide which was great fun.
At the top of this area is equipment for older children such as a zip wire, basket swing, balancing items, climbing frame etc all of which is designed for children aged 6 to 14. Close to this area there is a small cafe selling hot and cold drinks and ice creams which has lots of seating outside plus a picnic area and natural auditorium.
We would highly recommend Waddesdon as a day out as it is really beautiful, has lots to see and the play area was great fun too.