Eight great reasons to visit Waddesdon this summer
It takes around an hour or less from Chorleywood to get to the National Trust property, Waddesdon Manor and there couldn’t be a better time to visit.
Creatures and Creations Exhibition
A new bright and lively digital art and fashion exhibition in The Stables celebrating animals, birds and insects. Walter Rothschild’s natural history collection inspire virtual collages by contemporary artist Platon H and colourful intricate couture dresses by London based Greek fashion designer Mary Katrantzou. Rothschild specimens (on loan from Tring Natural History Museum) are also displayed. Until 29 Oct
Power and Portraiture Display
Fascinating… shows how Elizabeth I and her courtiers used portraits to promote their public image and includes two panel paintings by Nicholas Hilliard, famous for his portrait miniatures. Complemented by two amazing portraits of HM Queen Elizabeth II – one by Lucian Freud and the other, a stunning button collage, Pearly Queen of Shoreditch, by Ann Carrington. Take time to watch the video in the room. Until 29 Oct
French Calendars – Glorious Years
A collection of French Calendars depicting major events, from royal weddings, and births to victorious battles plus delightful leather bound pocket sized almanacs – some are official directories, others are schedules for the postal service, collections of songs, poems and illustrations. Look out too for the brilliant, specially commissioned, 21st century almanac by British artist Adam Dant inspired by current British politics. Until 29 Oc
Van Ostade masterpiece.. Landscape with Cattle by C17 Dutch artist Isack Van Ostade has been returned to Waddesdon as a gift from Lord Rothschild through the Cultural Gifts scheme. The oil painting has stunning detail (note the woman, with a child in her arms, – the white shirt hanging on a washing line, the white horse in the distance) and striking use of light and shade . Find it in The Morning Room.
Best explored in the summer months! Don’t miss the recently laid Rothschild lily carpet bedding designed by Platon H. “It’s like painting by numbers “ says acting Head Gardener Richard Ernst who planted up the bed with his team of gardeners, “it took five of us three and a half hours to lay 20,500 plants into the abstract design.”
There are also 3D plant sculptures around the grounds made of a mesh framework over steel skeletons with internal watering systems. Hunt out Kate Malone’s ‘Big Mother Pumpkin’. Check out too the ivy trained in a trellis shape on the house front. Genius.
New look Gift shop
Designer-look shop with exclusive and specially commissioned products, many are Waddesdon exhibition themed – currently include Portraits, Sèvres porcelain, almanacs and passementerie and all make great presents. The Rothschild Mynah bird features on children’s gifts and The Victorian Collector is prominent with bugs, butterflies, taxidermy and exotic plants and trees. We loved the bugs. Not forgetting the wine shop with Rothschild and guest wines.
The Stables Café and Woodland Playground
Great family destination, The Treaterie’s sweet goodies include Lemon and raspberry fruit ice cream recipes taken from Waddesdon archives. Playground has seesaws, swings and soft bark and bird’s nest swing for gentle play and a contour slide and climbing frames for more adventurous kids
Stacks of children’s events including
* Kids Big Camp Fri 21/ Sat 22 July
Pro run campfire, nature walks, stargazing and family activities. Evening BBQ – pay on day. 5.30pm – 10.30am Adult £30, Child £15 inc breakfast roll . Book at 01296 820414
* Children’s Photography Summer School. Wed 2 Aug – Fri 4 Aug
10am – 4pm £150 per child for 3 days, camera included.
* Bushcraft Summer School, Wed 9 – Fri 11 Aug
8 – 12 yrs Shelter building and fire lighting to tracking animals and making primitive weapons.£150 per child for 3 days,
* Children’s House tour, Wed 16 Aug
8 – 12 yrs. 10.45am – 12 Discovering life at a C19 house party and featuring musical elephant. £5 No adults!
* The Luna Outdoor Cinema, Fri 25 Aug. Sat 26 Aug
Casablanca and Harry Potter and The Philosphers Stone on the North Lawns
* Mimi’s European Adventure, 26 July – 28 Aug
Children join Mimi the Mynah for an European tour – Different country each week with related crafts
More details of exhibitions events, opening hours and costs at www.waddesdon.org.uk
GETTING TO WADDESDON
Driving takes approx 45 mins) or take 10.24am Chiltern line train to Aylesbury Vale Parkway (Wed – Sun) and pick up a direct transfer bus at the station at 11.03am. The bus returns to station to link with a return Marylebone train, time varies according to day