Waddesdon Manor


R and I took a day trip to Waddesdon Manor, a large 19th century stately home near Aylesbury. Actually, ‘home’ isn’t quite right: it was built for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild specifically to display his art collection. It’s kind of a cross between a house and a gallery.

They offer a shuttle bus service from the nearest station, but it only runs once per day each way. We had to get up fairly early: two buses to Aylesbury, then train to Aylesbury Vale Parkway where the shuttle picks up.


You have to book a timed ticket to tour the house. Before the time came up, we took a quick look around the gardens. These are impressive and extensive - we didn’t really have a chance to see everything.

Statue outside the house made of wine bottles.
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Bird sculpture made out of bits of hedge.
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Part of the exterior.
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The house inside is quite impressive and there’s a lot of art of various kinds – paintings, pottery, fancy furniture, crockery, whatever. I didn’t find most of it very impressive individually (there were a few nice paintings and I liked the furniture), but it is interesting in situ.

Decorative lampshade.
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Small table on a colourful carpet.
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Dining room setup.
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Marble wall panels.
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Statue and plants (inside and out).
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Multi-panelled window to allow light into a staircase.
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Pink/red stairs and yellow lamp.
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Natural light on wooden ceiling.
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Three-coloured vase.
1/15 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO1600 51°50′32″N 0°56′15″W

After the tour we had afternoon tea in the restaurant. It was R’s idea to have afternoon tea instead of lunch and she made a good call; it was delicious.

Outside again

We didn’t have very long before the only shuttle bus back, but we did have another quick look around some of the gardens.

Two-tone tunnel to the toilets.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°50′33″N 0°56′12″W
Rock surround built around the door to the old ice-house.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°50′34″N 0°56′26″W

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.