Surrounded by views of the Chilterns Hills, and rural Buckinghamshire, and just a short train ride out of London, Waddesdon Manor is a beautiful country house that provides a relaxing environment for learning about the past with family and friends.
The French Renaissance-style château was built in 1874 by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (referred to as simply ‘Ferdy’). Part of the world renowned Rothschild family, Ferdy wanted to create a sumptuous location for entertaining the elite of his day and to house his extensive collection of fine art.
The Rothschilds were some of the greatest collectors of the 19th century, scouring the world for artefacts with a keen sense of historical importance. The houses that they built, by and large created to house the magnificent Rothschild collections within, are now known across the world as the ‘goût Rothschild’ (the Rothschild taste). Waddesdon is one of the rare survivors of that era of opulence.
Now a major tourist attraction in the Aylesbury area, Waddesdon Manor continues that tradition of entertainment and hospitality with events throughout the year for guests, celebrating a selection food and wine. Visitors can explore the history, collections and gardens through a range of ever changing exhibitions and special interest days.
The Victorian style gardens in particular are a treat, and especially in spring and summer when the blooms provide them with a flurry of colour. There are also ornate fountains and a statuary. Rare and exotic birds can be found in the rococo style Aviary found that is situated right at the centre of the gardens.
The more adventurous families can enjoy the woodland playground which winds through the trees, making use of the natural environment to create a magical area for exercise and exploration.
Homemade food and cakes are available in the onsite restaurants and other kiosks that can be found across the extensive grounds. Waddesdon Manor is managed by the Rothschild Foundation charitable trust on behalf of the National Trust, who took over ownership of the estate in 1957. Access is limited to smaller groups and limited numbers so visitors need to pre-book tickets. All proceeds from Waddesdon’s restaurants and shops goes straight back towards the care of the gardens, house and collections.