Basildon Park | Kidadl

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  • Bring your four-legged friends for a hearty family romp around one of the more phenomenal National Trust parks.
  • Admire the neo-classical interior of Basildon House, a beautiful property with richly decorated, grand features.
  • Imagine yourself into Downton Abbey, in which Basildon Park featured as 'Grantham House'. 

A stunning Berkshire estate, Basildon House is one of the more recognisable National Trust properties thanks to being featured in season five of Downton Abbey. Wander the 18th-century house with your family and imagine yourselves part of the popular TV series, or take time to marvel at the mansion’s fine furnishings and art collection.

If being in the great outdoors is more your family’s thing, download the guide to Basildon Park walks and explore the wonders of the estate’s 400 acres. Keep your eyes peeled as you follow one of the four trails. These vary in length from 0.5 miles to 3 miles, and the blue walk takes visitors through land with significant biodiversity, whilst kids can discover Basil Den along the pink route. Let their imaginations soar and encourage them to tick off as much as they can from the National Trust’s list of things to do in the parklands, including den-building and bug-hunting. Get them to play I-spy and count the different livestock they can see and to savour the seasons: in summer, you’ll be able to see the sea of yellow flowers that fills the front lawn, and in spring the bluebells and buttercups start to emerge. Bird and butterfly watch, or enjoy some fresh air. If you want a deeper look at the flora and fauna of Basildon, there are guided walks every Friday at 11am. 

Why not bring your family’s four-legged friend for some exercise (all dogs to be kept on leads), and take them on a longer three-mile circular walk that explores the meadows and woodlands of Streatley which offers panoramic views towards the Chiltern Hills and Oxford Vale. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, a seven-mile loop around Streatley’s chalk grasslands and countryside will take you through one of Britain’s largest areas of rare and endangered chalk grasslands, allowing you to admire the River Thames passing through the Goring Gap and views of the North Wessex Downs.

If you’re looking to plan further family-friendly days out, consider visiting Knebworth House or Audley End House and Gardens.

What to know before you go

  • Accessible parking is available at 20 yards from the ticket office. Be aware that there is a steep hill from the car park to the gardens and parkland, and there are uneven pathways throughout.
  • Basildon Park opening times are as follows: the gardens and parkland are open from 10am - 5pm, with gates locked at 5. The mansion is open 11am - 3pm, the food kiosk is 10am - 4pm, and the shop is open Thursday to Monday from 11am - 4pm.
  • Refreshment is available from the outdoor kiosk, which serves a limited range of takeaway hot and cold drinks and snacks. Otherwise, you can grab something in the stable tea rooms, or bring your own picnic to savour in the parklands - the front lawn of the mansion is a particularly scenic, spacious location.
  • Toilet and baby changing facilities are available in the stable-yard. 
  • Bikes and scooters are not permitted on site.
  • Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads as there are cattle grazing throughout the parklands.

Getting there

  • If you plan on visiting the park by road, leave the M4 at exit 12 and follow signs for Beale Park and Pangbourne before following signs to Basildon Park, and using the main entrance from the A329. Have your pre-booked tickets and membership card (if you’re an NT member) to hand, as you’ll be asked for these by the member of staff who greets you.
  • Basildon Park can be reached by the number 142 bus on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. 
  • Pangbourne train station is 2.5 miles away, and Goring train station is 3 miles. Disembark from your train at either of these stations and then get a taxi to Basildon Park, which you’ll need to pre-book, as there are no taxi ranks at either station. If your family is super active, you can walk from Pangbourne station to Basildon Park, but be aware it’s around 40 minutes and a lot of the walk passes along the main road.

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