Explore History & Heritage around Buckinghamshire
14 Jan 2015
• From historic Hartwell House in its 90 acres to the heritage of the Vale of Aylesbury
• Discover British treasures including Waddesdon Manor, Blenheim Palace and Stowe Gardens, all close to Hartwell House
• Special ‘Winter Retreat’ break at Hartwell House unveiled
Hartwell House is a country house hotel in the village of Hartwell near Aylesbury in leafy Buckinghamshire. Owned by the National Trust, the beautifully restored 18th century stately home is set in an expansive 90 acre estate with guest rooms both in the main house and in the 18th century converted coach houses. Magnificent spaces furnished with antiques and paintings were certainly fit for a king – Hartwell’s most famous guest was Louis XVIII, exiled king of France and his court.
Hartwell House is well placed for visiting a host of historic destinations and attractions in the area, from fellow National Trust properties with grand gardens to a high-end shopping outlet. With a couple of days in hand, guests at Hartwell can get to know the main attractions within easy striking distance of the hotel.
Waddesdon Manor is another beautifully restored National Trust property in the county. Built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874 to display his outstanding collection of art and to entertain his set, the palatial manor was given to the National Trust by the Rothschild family in 1957. Unsurprisingly given the family wine history, the cellars hold vintage bottles open to tastings and tours. Spectacular Victorian gardens include a parterre, fountains, walks and woodland with the Aviary, stocked with species that were once part of Baron Ferdinand’s collection at its heart. Installation artist Bruce Munro returns for the third year to create a midwinter trail of seven light works through the gardens.
Steeped in history, Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxford is home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Blenheim – the only non-royal, non-ecclesiastical residence in Britain styled a palace – is a stunning stately home and example of 18th century Baroque architecture. Crowned a World Heritage Site, it offers visitors 2,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland, a giant hedge maze, butterfly house and miniature train headed for the Pleasure Gardens.
While you are in the area, the Ashmolean in the old heart of the university city of Oxford is Britain’s oldest museum, which reopened after extensive renovation to reveal a spectacular light-filled space connected by glass walkways, 39 galleries and a rooftop restaurant. Forthcoming exhibitions include Hiroshige’s Japan and Drawing in Venice (Titian to Canaletto).
Sated with history and heritage, indulge in some retail therapy at Bicester Village – Europe’s leading luxury designer outlet shopping destination. Set on the outskirts of the pretty market town of Bicester in Oxford (25 minutes from Hartwell), the outlet offers spacious boulevards lined with boutique after boutique. The town itself has many small independent shops such as Bicester Toy Shop and Coles Bookstore along with traditional teashops and pubs and a monthly Farmers’ Market.
For garden enthusiasts, Stowe Landscape Gardens, in Buckingham is one of the most important landscape gardens in Britain which has been attracting visitors for over 300 years.
Hartwell House is an impressive Grade I listed house, which has both Jacobean and Georgian facades dating from around 1760. The hotel showcases rococo ceilings, antique furniture and paintings, yet with contemporary comfort in all bedrooms. Hartwell House is home to a restaurant and spa with an indoor pool.
The Winter Retreat Package at Hartwell House
Enjoy a Winter Retreat at Hartwell House & Spa, which includes accommodation in a standard double room based on two people sharing, a three-course dinner from the Seasonal Menu (with an allowance of £32 per person), full English breakfast, with early morning tea or coffee served to guests room, use of the spa including indoor pool. Priced from £250 per room per night.
This break is available until 31st March 2015.
Let Hartwell House show you the highlights of its surroundings this winter.
Hartwell House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP17 8NR, Tel:01296 747444
B&B priced from £205.00 per night based on two sharing a Court bedroom and £290.00 per night based on two sharing a bedroom in the main house