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Lifestyle, Country

Family Easter Trails with the National Trust


From creating wild art to waddling like a duckling, the National Trust have created a series of trails designed to tickle the senses and immerse little ones in the natural world. Bring the whole family together this Easter and at the end of each, there’s a (responsibly sourced) chocolate egg. What more incentive could you need?

 There are nine trails to choose from across the local area of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. All cost just £3 (plus admission and parking if applicable) and include a chocolate Rainforest Alliance Easter egg.

Stowe, nr Buckingham

Easter adventure in nature trail 15-24 April

The scale and beauty of Stowe have attracted visitors for over 300 years and the gardens and park provide the ultimate backdrop for igniting imaginations. The Easter trail invites families to explore a world of lakes, magical woods, hidden temples and twisted trees. As you play and have fun on your family adventure in nature, there’s lambs roaming the parkland, a new meadow of bluebells and the unusual cuckoo flower in bloom in the old orchard.

Hughenden, nr High Wycombe

Easter adventure in nature trail 8-24 April

Set atop a Chiltern hill surrounded by wooded valleys, Hughenden is a country manor with formal gardens based on the designs of Mary-Anne Disraeli. She and her husband, Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli also created the sweeping parkland and the pleasure grounds which are perfect for the adventure. There’s also a natural play area in the orchard and a walled garden with a willow tunnel.

Waddesdon, nr Aylesbury

Easter adventure in nature trail 13-24 April

The French Renaissance-style chateau was built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild in 1874 to entertain the fashionable world and house his collection of fine art. Today, the Manor continues the tradition of welcoming guests for relaxation and entertainment. The Victorian-style gardens are full of flamboyant colours on the parterre amid ornate fountains and statuary. After completing the Easter adventure, continue the adventures in the woodland playground which winds through the trees or spot wildlife along the woodland walk.

Pre-book your visit at

Basildon Park, nr Reading 

Easter adventure in nature trail 8-25 April

Sitting elegantly in 162 hectares (400 acres) of historic parkland and gardens, this 18th-century house was purchased by Lord and Lady Iliffe in the 1950s. Cheery buttercups and daffodils cover Basildon’s parkland and swathes of bluebells transform the woodland, making it a picture-perfect location for a trail. There are plenty of great picnic spots to choose from in the parkland, with clearings in the trees.

Greys court, nr Henley-on-Thames

Easter adventure in nature trail 8-25 April

Greys Court is an intimate and peaceful family home and estate set in the Chiltern hills. The 16th century mansion is welcoming and homely, and the series of walled gardens is a colourful patchwork of interest amid medieval ruins. Cosily nestled in low, rolling hills and perfect for little legs to explore. Along with the nature trail, look out for the patchwork quilt of spring bulbs inspired by the quilt in Lady Brunner’s bedroom, and the crab apple blossom fluttering from the tunnel of ballerina hoops.

The Vyne, nr Basingstoke

Easter adventure in nature trail 9-24 April

On the edge of a tree-lined lake dotted with geese, The Vyne was once a great Tudor powerhouse comparable in size to Hampton Court. It was built by King Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain, Sir William Sandys and Henry visited several times. The sprawling gardens and woodlands are just waiting to be explored. Look out for the delicate pink and white blossoms in the orchard, the sleepy blanket of bluebells in Morgaston Woods and look out for young ducklings, goslings and cygnets bobbing behind their parents on the lake.

Chastleton, nr Stow-on-the-Wold

Easter adventure in nature trail 15-17 April

A rare gem of a Jacobean country house, Chastleton was built at the beginning of the 16th century by a prosperous wool merchant as an impressive statement of his wealth and power. Owned by the same increasingly impoverished family until 1991, the house remained essentially unchanged for nearly 400 years. Chastleton is often referred to as a fascinating time capsule. The croquet lawn, gloriously tangled kitchen garden and topiary and planting of the Best Garden are a great size for little ones to explore.

White Horse Hill, Uffington, nr Faringdon

Easter adventure in nature trail 15-18 April

The Uffington White Horse can be seen from miles away, leaping across the head of a dramatic dry valley called the Manger. This has steep rippled sides created in the last Ice Age. The ripples are known as the Giant’s Steps. Next to the Manger lies Dragon Hill; a small round hill with a flattened top, said to be the site where St George slew the dragon. According to legend, the blood poisoned the ground and left a white scar for all to see. There are miles of chalk grassland to run around in, plus views over six counties.

Most trails will take place over the bank holiday weekend, 15-18 April but many also continue during the school holidays either side. Please check before visiting.

To discover your nearest National Trust Easter adventure in nature trail, visit:


New build houses
Thu 18 Jul 2024

Congratulations! Buying a new home is such an exciting moment. Whether it is your very first home or you are upgrading your current property for something a bit nicer, there is no feeling like it. New build homes are such a great investment. Not only are they brand new for your family but you can feel confident that they have been designed with the future in mind. Many properties come with eco-friendly features which are great for safeguarding your family. Financing a new home can be a bit of a minefield. Let’s take a look at how you could buy your new home as well as some things to look out for along the way. Mortgage Mortgages are the most common financing option when buying a home. Buyers of new builds can benefit from mortgages designed for the intricacies of the new build process. Lenders may be a lot more critical when looking at your application as there is less security for them with a new build. As construction timelines can be subject to delays and issues, be sure to keep in touch with your lender and see if you can extend your mortgage in principal agreement. You may be able to get some help with buying a new build home. If you are a first-time buyer, look into whether you are eligible for a discount under the First Homes Scheme. Incentives from builders It is in the best interest of building developers to sell their new homes, so some may offer you incentives. You may be offered cash towards your deposit which will be transferred to your solicitor on completion. If you do take advantage of this, remember to inform your mortgage lender. For people who have already purchased a home, developers may be able to help you sell your old house. A developer-assisted sale is one where they will aid you with independent valuations, appropriate deals or the actual sale. This is often free, and they may pay for your estate agency fees. Hidden costs Buying a house can come with hidden costs such as stamp duty and moving costs. Delays in the construction of your new build can often be costly too. When thinking about your moving budget, it is wise to incorporate a buffer zone for additional expenses. Advice The home-buying process is not a straightforward one, so seeking help from professionals is prudent. A lot of the process includes legal intricacies which will be beyond your capabilities. Mortgage brokers, for example, will be invaluable when it comes to getting you a mortgage in principle that works for your situation. Not only will you be able to get the best deal and save money, but a broker will save you so much time. Instructing a firm of solicitors will also be worth the expense. They can do land searches, deed transfers and keep everything above board for you going forward.

Endellion Lycett Green - you drifted by
Mon 15 Jul 2024

This summer the Laura Lopes Gallery presents works by botanical artist Endellion Lycett Green in the Tithe Barn at Thyme. Through her art, Lycett Green pays testament to the inspiration she finds in the natural world.

Lydia Millen
Mon 15 Jul 2024

For anyone who hasn’t come across Lydia Millen, she is an influencer-turned-writer who has embraced a life of bucolic bliss. Her debut book, Evergreen: Discover the Joy in Every Season, came out last autumn and encourage readers to be inspired and soothed by connecting with the natural world.

Urban winner   Danny Kidby Hunter
Mon 15 Jul 2024

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has opened its annual nature photography competition for 2024 with new categories and prizes.