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“Nice Day Out”
Review of Basildon Park

Basildon Park
Ranked #1 of 88 things to do in Reading
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: An 18th-century house, a 1950s homeThis is a story of grandeur created, dissolved and resurrected - not once, but twice.Basildon Park is an impressive Georgian mansion, surrounded by glorious parkland, which was lovingly rescued from ruin by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the mid 1950s. The house you see today is a re-creation and restoration of the 18th-century mansion. They restored the elegant interior and scoured the country salvaging 18th-century architectural fixtures and fittings. They filled their comfortable new home with fine paintings, fabrics and furniture, which can still be enjoyed by visitors today.
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice Day Out”
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Typical National Trust Day Out - very pretty and pleasant. Lovely walks through the grounds. Outdoor theatre here with a picnic is a great experience.

Helpful?
1 Thank RJOBFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Buckingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Beautiful location worth a visit”
Reviewed October 15, 2012


After driving past this stately home for the last 10 years I took the time to visit. I wasn't disappointed the location and history was immaculate and staff very helpful and friendly.
Although the open house free to look around I did feel quite intimidated by the volunteers one who felt the need to follow me from room to room!!
The others were just happy to talk about the house etc..
Highlight was the 1950's kitchen and getting cookery tips!!

Helpful?
1 Thank 306NickiT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Falmouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
57 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Inaccurately re-created manor, poor tea room”
Reviewed October 7, 2012

Basildon Park is a restored Palladian manor house whose interiors are impressive but give a misleading impression of how the house would have originally been used, and this isn't pointed out as well as I'd like to see in a National Trust property. I'd done research on Basildon Park as part of a historical project because it's one of the few Palladian manor houses where detailed original floor plans are available, so I knew that the public rooms we were seeing should have been the personal suites for the lord and lady of the manor, not the dining room, library, sitting room, etc. The public rooms would have been on the ground floor which now serves almost as a basement area. The room interiors were all restored attractively with antiques and gave a good impression, but I would have walked away with a completely wrong impression of how Palladian manors were used if I hadn't already known. The tea room has problems - I ate in at least a dozen National Trust tea rooms during my trip and I'd give all of them top marks except Basildon, where the food was low average at best, even the cakes.

The grounds are very pretty, and if your goal is to see the lovely house where Pride & Prejudice was filmed, you'll be very happy with Basildon Park. There's even a room devoted to how the movie was filmed there with pictures of the actors and a video about how the manor was used. Just don't assume that's what history actually looked like.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank littorea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andreia S, Manager at Basildon Park, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Thank you for your comments regarding your recent visit to Basildon Park. I am very sorry that you were disappointed with our tearoom.
We use fresh locally sourced produce, and have a daily selection of homemade cakes and biscuits. Our tearoom team does their best to maintain National Trust high standards.

Regarding the house, I wonder if you realize that the restoration work was completed by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the 1950s to create a comfortable family home relevant to their lifestyle and not that of the 18th century.

Bear in mind that the mid-twentieth century was a difficult time for country houses across Britain with many being demolished at the rate of up to one a day - rationing was still in effect and building materials were scarce. Despite these difficult circumstances, the Iliffes set out to create a home for themselves and the collections they amassed to put inside it. It is this story that we celebrate and share with our visitors and where Basildon Park’s real significance lies.

Perhaps, the next time you visit, you might like to take one of our guided tours to learn more about what the Iliffes achieved. We also offer guided tours about the 18th century history of the house, highlighting Sir Francis Sykes role and the work of his architect, John Carr.

Thank you again for taking the time to give us your feedback

Yours sincerely,


Andreia Silveira
Visitor Services Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Pleasant surroundings”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Took family here for picnic, lovely grounds. Glad we took picnic as food here is quite pricey and entry fee is not great value for money as not much to do and additional fees for tours etc.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank 01mm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Andreia S, Manager at Basildon Park, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
“Pleasant surroundings”
Thank you for your comments regarding your recent visit to Basildon Park. I am very sorry that you felt that there wasn’t much to do; we have a full list of events in our website.

Regarding our entrance fee, have you thought about join National trust and become a member?
Our membership gives you unlimited access to hundreds of days out. If you become a member, you can experience great places and spaces, and visit us as millions of people already enjoy.
Plus, your membership fee means we can continue our work to preserve places and spaces for ever, for everyone.

Our daily guided tours are free, and we issue timed tickets. Our visitors love the tour guides and volunteers’ stories.

Thank you again for taking the time to give us your feedback

Yours sincerely,


Andreia Silveira
Visitor Services Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Enjoyable day out in the sun”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Taking advantage of the last days of sunshine this Autumn, my wife and i visited Basildon Park last Saturday. Having seen the venue being featured in the recent film 'The Wedding Video' it was good to see it up close. The house has a lovely approach and the visit round the house is just the right length - the rooms have been left as a 'house' with limited information to clutter the place - the rooms are fabulous especially the range of different beds! The 1950s kitchen is most interesting. There are some gorgeous gardens, and for the more adventurous a massive area of parkland that can be walked. All in all a great afternoon out.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Steven8915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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