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“Nice place but nightmare parking!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor
off the A41 between Bicester and Aylesbury | HP18 0JH, Waddesdon, Aylesbury, England
+44 1296 653226
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Ranked #1 of 1 Attractions in Waddesdon
Type: Historic Sites, Gardens, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: Surrounded by views of Oxfordshire, the Chilterns Hills, the Vale of Aylesbury and just a train ride away from London, Waddesdon Manor, is an ideal place for relaxing with family and friends. Explore this French Renaissance-style chateau built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874 to entertain the fashionable world and to house his collection of fine art. We are continuing the tradition today of entertainment and hospitality with events celebrating food and wine, and opportunities for you to explore our history, collections and gardens through changing exhibitions and special interest days.
Oxford
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Nice place but nightmare parking!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

Good news:
- more a French castle on the Loire than an English country house - so quite different

Could do better:
- Spent an hour in the queue as the car park was simply full and we were waiting for leavers (at 1130am!!). Shuttle arrangements to the house are erratic (think of it as a fully-fledged park 'n ride affair). And getting back from the house to the car was quite painful with erratic bus times etc.
- Cafes / restaurants were all full, so we were outside with our 2 year old at 4 degs C. Food was indifferent and expensive.
- Car traffic was everywhere so we could not really walk around with our little one, without picking him up every 2 minutes when the next car / bus went past.

In summary, not a normal NT property but overly touristy, awkward car parking arrangements, and a lot of walking about on car-busy roads. If you do go, avoid weekends / peak hours since the place cannot handle the volume of people.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WaddesdonManor, Manager at Waddesdon Manor, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Dear lwillson

I am sorry to read your comments regarding your recent visit. We were exceptionally busy last weekend, with our highest visitor numbers for a Christmas weekend since our records began. We have opened the first phase of our new car park, however we did have to park some arriving cars on the main entrance drive as well, and this did result in some queues on Saturday. The system worked better on Sunday when the visitor numbers were even higher than for the Saturday, and the park and ride shuttle bus system coped with the numbers. I am sorry if the departure times were erratic, we will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our new fleet of 4 buses. Our cafes and restaurants do get heavily used during the Christmas season, and we try and offer outdoor catering options to ensure there are alternative options available. We have the Power House available as a heated indoor seated area (for the Coffee Bar adjacent to the Manor Shop), and we have our outdoor cafes at the House and the Stables, with sheepskin rugs and blankets, which proved to be popular last season.

We are aiming to reduce the number of vehicles on site, and once we have the full car park available to use (1,000 spaces), there should be a significant reduction, which will improve the overall experience for visitors walking the grounds.

Thank you for comments, and I hope we can welcome you to Waddesdon again in the future,

Yours sincerely, Simon Wales, Head of Visitor Experience, Waddesdon Manor
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English first
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“A very expensive 2hrs!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

£16 per head for a 25min walk around the house, no more than a dozen rooms to see, and to park the car! The gardens are lovely in the spring & summer (having visited previously) however in the middle of winter there is little to see with the statues being covered up and the fountains closed down! We thought Christmas would be a good time to visit to see the house but were very disappointed. The wine cellars were also closed due to a private function, not mentioned on the web page! Very poor value for money.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WaddesdonManor, Manager at Waddesdon Manor, responded to this review, December 3, 2013
Dear HelenAnn Thomas

I am sorry to read your comments regarding your recent visit. The Christmas Trail within the House goes through the East Wing and Bachelors’ Wing, and we do try and explain in our marketing materials that it does not cover the entire House. Entrance to the grounds also includes the Alpine Chalet in The Stables (no tickets required, designed in particular with families in mind) and this year for the first time, we are presenting our Winter Light outdoor trail with 6 lighting installations by the artist Bruce Munro. I am sorry that the Wine Cellars were not open during your visit. We do have a number of groups who pre-book their visit and some of them choose to take a wine tasting and although we will always try and minimise any closure of the Cellars, I am very sorry that this coincided with your visit.

Yours sincerely, Simon Wales, Head of Visitor Experience, Waddesdon Manor

Thanks,

Simon
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Sussex
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“The best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

We were lucky to visit Waddesdon whilst there was a light exhibition by Bruce Munro - not usually a fan of this sort of thing, but the river of lights (6,500 bulbs) was stunning, and the other installations were a lovely surprise - I'm so glad we stayed long enough to see it. The house itself is spectacular - especially when you think this was just a weekend cottage! Most of the house was closed for the winter so what we saw was I think just the east wing. Every room had a beautifully decorated christmas tree and the whole tour was most enjoyable. One of the first things we saw was a beautiful clockwork elephant (automaton) crafted in the 1700s - it is absolutely stunning .The gift shop is not packed with the usual "Gift from..." rubbish, but contains some lovely items which are actually worth having. Make sure you visit the stable - set with tables and chairs in the courtyard, where the chairs are covered with clean sheepskins so your bottom doesn't get cold - a lovely touch, and you can relax with a hot chocolate with Baileys in the winter. There is also a delightful Christmas exhibition - predominantly for the children but equally charming for the young at heart. And make time to watch the video presentation at the Power House where you can see film of the stunning clockwork elephant working. And don't miss the wine vault. Oh, and the aviary is a must see too. In fact, don't take my word for it - just go! We have already decided to make a return trip in the summer to see the rest of the house and the stunning gardens in bloom.

Visited November 2013
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Buckinghamshire
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Right on our doorstep in Bucks”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

A lovely place to visit at all times, especially as it is local for us. The gardens are superb, and in the summer it is a lovely place to picnic.

Visited September 2013
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Aylesbury, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“A wonderful location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

The house was amazing, well worth the tour around. The grounds offer a beautiful backdrop, The avery houses some beautiful birds if you can spot them...

Visited October 2013
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