Peaceful places in the gardens
There are endless secluded spots hidden around Waddesdon’s grounds. Take some time to unwind and explore a garden steeped in history.
The gardens at Waddesdon are the vision of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, who created the Manor at the end of the 19th century. In contrast to his lavish and extravagant parties where he entertained the fashionable world, he found calm in the sanctuary of the grounds.
On your visit take a moment to listen to the birdsong in the Aviary Glade, picnic in dappled sunshine on Baron’s Walk and breathe in the sweet aroma of the Rose Garden. Here are some top peaceful spots to discover…
Hidden alongside the Parterre this path was used to transport plants from the huge glasshouses that once stood at the bottom of the hill. Winding through woodland, there are clearings, flooded with spring and meadow flowers in season, and two important sculptures of Venus and Adonis, which were formerly at another Rothschild house nearby at Aston Clinton. The path has breath-taking views across the Vale of Aylesbury, and it’s a good place to spot Red Kites and other bird life.
Red Lion steps
A pair of sandstone lions guard the foot of Red Lion Steps, a quiet spot to one side of the Parterre. It is also a memorial to the Cedar Boys, a group of Jewish orphans from Frankfurt who were rescued at the start of the 2nd World War and given a home in the village by James and Dorothy de Rothschild. The top of the steps is the perfect place to admire the Parterre with its striking 18th century sculptures set against the floral backdrop of the formal bedding.
Switch off and disconnect from the hustle and bustle in Waddesdon’s designated Silent Space. Unplug yourself from technology and soak up your surroundings. Encircled by beautiful trees you can enjoy the garden as Ferdinand intended. He chose the trees for their interest throughout the year, and to create colour and contrast in the landscape, from blossoms in the spring to rich russets in the autumn.
Tucked away, Tay Bridge stands above an old single-track tramway once used to transport construction materials from Westcott up the hill to the Manor. Spot bamboo and palms as you wander over the bridge, or take a seat at a bench to enjoy views of Buckinghamshire. In the nearby Winter Garden, discover Tibetan cherry trees and mondo grass that create an unusual display of black and bronze, while white-stemmed bramble and hellebores add shades of reds and purples.
Allow yourself a moment of reflection on your visit to Waddesdon and find solace in the gardens, just as Ferdinand did. Whether you crave wide open spaces, sweeping vistas or shady hideaways, carve out some quiet time and reconnect with nature.