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  • Have you been to Stonor Park? Put it on your Visit List

    Interesting times afoot at Stonor Park, one of the few privately owned stately homes in the area. It’s probably not been at the top of your must-see venues – Blenheim Palace and Waddesdon are the big beasts of the area – but it’s worth knowing about Stonor because they’re massively upping their offering this summer. […]

  • Downton Funk: groovy locations from the show

    Downton Abbey has long left us, but if you’re still harbouring visions of yourself as Lady Grantham (with a naughty dalliance with Lord Gillingham in the staff quarters – oh just me?!), here’s a nifty swifty guide to some of the Downton Abbey locations that you may not already know about. *Meh* to Highclere Castle, […]

  • Muddy visits… Chastleton House (Nat. Trust)

      I visited Chastleton House when I was staying at Bruern Cottages in the Cotswolds a few months back (yes, the 5 star cottage holiday thats up for grabs on Muddy, have you entered yet?!!). Chastleton House is only a few miles from Chipping Norton so very much on the Oxfordshire side of the Cotswolds, […]

  • Ai Wei Wei at Blenheim Palace

    Oooh you're going to love this! Chinese artist and activist Ai Wei Wei, has created an incredibly fun, subversive and cheeky exhibition at the stunning Blenheim Palace.

  • Jacobean high jinx

      I’ve been trying to visit Ascott, near Leighton Buzzard for absolutely ages. It’s like that sometimes with National Trust places don’t you think? You see the place on a map, read up on it, realise it’s only 40 minutes from where you are, and then spend the next few years trying to find the […]

  • Day tripper: Four go to Warwick Castle

    Ooh yes indeedy, I love castles and am always on the look out for a new one to visit. So when I found out (via the Muddy Guide in fact!) that Warwick Castle had a special Lego event on this month it sounded like heaven. My Lego-nut children would need no persuasion to leave the ipad […]

  • Reasons to go to Waddesdon Manor in August

    It being my closest National Trust property, I’m often up at Waddesdon and popped up again yesterday with the little Muddys and their cousin. This post is largely photos, because the Manor was looking so gorgeous I thought it might inspire you to go up yourself if you haven’t already tried it this summer.   […]

  • Hello Hughenden!

    Today was only my second time at Hughenden Manor – it usually loses out to closer and rather grander Waddesdon – but it was a really great afternoon here. The house is looking beautiful decked out in Victorian Christmas decorations, and today there were also bonus carol singers and sparkly mice for the kids to […]

  • Fit for a king

    You know you need a break from your children when you start rolling your eyes when they ask for impertinent things like more fruit, a book or – don’t push it – a cuddle. And so it came to pass that my children scurried off gratefully to the warm bosom of their grandmother while Mr […]

  • Anyone else love old churches?

    I have a terrible habit of wanting to go into every picturesque church I see – I check out the age of the font, wander around the grounds, admire the windows, have a play on the organ if the vicar has been dippy enough to leave it open, peer at the plaques and tombs. I realise […]

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Bucks & Oxon