As windows or rather window frames go, this probably the strangest one I have seen since I started Window Wednesday. Spotted on the walk down from the car park along the river at Cliveden I wooped when I saw it and knew I had this week’s blog post sorted!
There are six picture frames on the walk, this one the only blank one to allow you to frame the view behind. Or this
You can’t really talk about Cliveden though and not talk about scandal. Right from its beginnings in 1666 when the Duke of Buckingham laid the foundations for a house for his mistress to the Profumo affair that rocked those foundations in the sixties, this has a been a house with a story to tell. In between there have been visits from Monarchs, prime ministers, landed gentry, nobility. And this weekend the Cookes and us. The Cookes are our dearest friends and having received their National Trust membership as a birthday present recently we decided to visit as they had been recently and loved it.
The house is not owned by the National Trust, but run as a hotel (and stunning location for weddings). The 376 acres of grounds and river frontage are owned and maintained by them and so worth exploring. We parked in the Woods Car Park as it then leads you down to the river for a stroll alongside it as you approach the house. It is a good 45 minute walk but the views are stunning and when it tried to rain we were able to shelter under trees and stay dry.
Once you are in the Cliveden grounds one of the first buildings you see is the boat house from where you can take a cruise (but they need to be booked at the Information Point so if you want to do this you would need to park in the main car park). We decided to carry on a little way and hired a little motor boat for half an hour to do our trip up the river. We could have also hired a rowing boat and really pretended to be Ratty and Toady but then decided that since none was particularly competent with oars it was probably best to spend a bit extra and get the motor boat for half an hour.
That done it is then up to you how you climb up to the house and grounds. You can either do the road or you can do the stairs.
We did the stairs
I nearly died.
But the view when you reach the top is stunning. The house really is spectacular
With the most incredible views out over the Berkshire and Oxfordshire countryside
And in a rare moment of “yes okay, you can play with my camera and take my picture” this happened.
From the side of the House you can then wander past the cafes and ice cream sellers to the maze, water gardens, shops and main car park. It was lovely to see it all so busy from families playing badminton on the lawn to toddlers running through the maze. There really was more to do than we had time for and we will back, for sure.
If only to stop and spend more time looking at this stunning fountain
All the info you need on Cliveden is on the National Trust website, including events and other goings on. including children getting in for free on 10th September! So well worth checking it out.