Beginning their acquisition of large Buckinghamshire estates in the 1840s, the Rothschild family have since made considerable efforts to both enhance and preserve their properties and parklands.
With the help of the National Trust, horticultural experts and local farmers, they have been able to continually transform their estates’ lawns, fields and woodlands into a haven of thriving ecosystems and scenic beauty. Ascending from rolling meadows to tree-lined parkland, we journey from Stone to Waddesdon village.
An aerial view of Waddesdon Manor © Waddesdon Manor
1. From Stone to Field
Exit the A418 and turn into the village of Stone. Park your car along Eythrope Road after the houses end and continue on foot to the end of the road. Follow the footpath through the fields until the Aylesbury Ring trail merges with the track from the left. Continue straight along the Aylesbury Ring until you reach the shaded banks of the River Thame.
2. Pavilion Crossing
Cross the gently burbling waters of the River Thame and keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers. Continue straight until you reach Beachendon Cottages, then turn right and follow the track to the edge of Eythrope Park’s Homestead. You will likely be able to glimpse the spiralling turrets and chimneys of Alice de Rothschild’s ‘Water Pavilion’ through the trees on your right. This beautiful red brick lodge was built by architect Jacob Devy and combines a wonderful blend of Jacobean and French Renaissance architecture.
Kingfishers dart out from riverside perches, skimming low over the water in pursuit of prey © Getty
3. Eythrope Park
Through the trees, you may also see a reflective glint shining off of Eythrope’s greenhouse, a feature of the Rothschilds’ renowned and horticulturally acclaimed vegetable garden.
Follow the footpath until it turns left and then gently ascend through the wooded parkland until the path forks. Here, take the left branch and continue on to Waddesdon Hill Farm.
4. Waddesdon Hill
Keeping Waddesdon Hill Farm on your right, continue along the trail as it crosses Waddesdon Hill Road and passes Waddesdon Stud. Follow the track through arable land into Waddesdon Village. The footpath will lead you past Waddesdon Church of England School before merging with the A41.
If you are lucky, you may see roe deer grazing in the Eythrope Parkland © Getty
5. Waddesdon Village
Turn left and walk along the quaint high street until you reach The Five Arrows Hotel on your left.
6. The Five Arrows
Enjoy delicious and well-deserved refreshments before either going on to explore the fantastic grounds and interior of Waddesdon Manor, or returning on foot along the same route. Alternatively, you can catch the 613 Red Stone Travel Bus from Waddesdon along the A41 into Aylesbury and back to Stone.
Built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French Chateau for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, Waddesdon Manor was used as a weekend residence for grand entertaining and as a home for Ferdinand’s impressive collection © Getty
To view the walking route with Ordinance Survey, please click here.
Main image: The Vale of Aylesbury, 1933 painted by artist Rex Whistler © Getty