Having moved to Buckinghamshire late last year, and being a country-bumpkin at heart I’m keen to get out and about and exploring the countryside as much as possible. This weekend was no exception and with our newly purchased National Trust membership cards in hand, we went off to explore this beautiful estate.
A beautiful and atmospheric manor house which was once home to Benjamin Disraeli, an infamous politician, author and former Prime Minister (in fact he was known as Queen Victoria’s favourite.) In the cellar you can find out more information about the lives of those who worked on ‘Operation Hillside’, as Hughenden also served as a base for a secret map-making organisation during World War II.
As soon as you enter the manor there is an unmistakable feeling of importance, the rooms are quite dark yet grand and there are numerous portraits of Disraeli and his wife, Mary Anne which flank the walls. My favourite room was the library, I love libraries at the best of times but this one was absolutely beautiful.
Keep an eye out for the smaller chair in the dining room, this was apparently used by Queen Victoria and Disraeli had it especially made so her feet could touch the floor!
After viewing the house we enjoyed lunch in the stable yard cafe before setting out to explore the gardens, we started with my favourite part the walled garden which has been re-created by volunteers and has a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. When we visited the apple trees were just in blossom which made a beautiful back drop to photos!
We later visited the formal gardens at the front of the house which commands beautiful views over the parkland, this vibrant garden gave us the chance to take some brilliant pictures of the house.
After visiting the gardens we decided to head out and explore the surrounding countryside, we love walking wherever we go and when we visited the weather was absolutely perfect. Soon we spotted a Red Kite soaring and circling above the fields, Red Kites are quite the success story, they were saved from extinction by one of the longest running protection programmes and have been successfully introduced to areas of England and Scotland with the Chilterns being a particular strong hold.
We started by heading over towards the Disraeli monument, which was a gift from Mary-Anne to Disraeli, where there are brilliant views back towards the manor. Then we ambled down through the woods, where we marvelled at the carpet of purple bluebells lining the floor before continuing across the patchwork of dry fields before heading back towards the main house.
Just before we got back to the manor we stumbled across an old map reading bunker from World War II, which was fascinating to get an understanding of what life was like during that period.
National Trust Membership
The great thing about having a National Trust membership is that whilst there is an annual membership fee, it offers countless free days out all year in some of the most spectacular areas in the country. Plus, the membership goes towards maintaining these beautiful estates, land and areas of importance for future generations – so it’s a fantastic cause.