We have finally started to explore National Trust properties outside Kent, Surrey and Sussex (because we have now seen most of them at least once) and headed towards the Shires for a weekend – this time we saw some of the Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.
Our main NT destination was West Wycombe Park – an impressive Palladian country home in Buckinghamshire with park-like gardens where different temples have been scattered around. The name might not be familiar to you, but West Wycombe has been featured in many movies and TV series, such as the Downton Abbey – not to forget the lovely music video “Picking up the Pieces” from Paloma Faith.
West Wycombe is an unusual NT property because the owners, the Dashwood family, still lives in part of the house, which also means that the opening hours are more limited than in many other National Trust properties. Also, there is no tea room to enjoy a lovely cream tea at the end of visit – but the village has a couple of cafes and it just a few minutes walk away from the estate’s parking lot.
This is also one of the most Italian in style in the country – all the way down to the little exotic temples scattered around the 45 acre estate. On the day of our visit we got to sit down on the lawn and enjoy some nice brass music performance with a handful of other people – as the place was fairly empty despite it being a Sunny Sunday afternoon.
Parts of the first floor of the house are also open for visitors and definitely worth a visit as they portray the typical gilded Italian extravaganza with ceiling frescoes and all (sadly, no photography allowed inside to showcase it, so you’ll have to visit this magnificent place)
The sweeping views over the parkland and looking at the surrounding hills. Right across the main road, up on the opposite hill, is another sight worth visiting (not part of the National Trust though): the Hell-Fire Caves.