Ascott House always used to have really awkward opening times so it took ages for us to actually go an visit. They’ve extended this now, but they’re still only open for a couple of hours per day, and closed on Mondays. This review of Ascott House has been written during a partial reopening of the site so I don’t have any photos of the inside of the house. Ascott is based just outside of Wing in Bedfordshire.
One thing that’s really interesting about Ascott House is that it’s still lived in by the family. That means that, as you look around the house, you might spot little things from the modern world as well. It always seems a little odd that people actually live in stunning houses like this!!
Right by the car park there are a couple of resident horses right by the car park. Obviously you shouldn’t stroke or feed them, but they’re really friendly and Smallest Child loved watching them. I think we were in the car park for about 20 minutes on the promise of finding her some more horses (there are actually some more along the driveway).
Relatively little of the house is actually open, and what is open is only on the ground floor. I think there’s a reason it’s only open for a few hours a day, because you won’t spend too long in the house. If you’re a fan of horses then this is the house for you. There are paintings and statues of horses everywhere. When we visit stately homes we always play “spot the animals” with the kids to keep them entertained whilst we look around. There’s lots of opportunities to do that here!!
Ascott House itself has got quite a homely feel, albeit it a lot tidier than my home. At with MUCH more expensive things in it. The room volunteers that we met were really friendly and happy to engage with the children. Like I mentioned above, when I visited Ascott House this time to do the review the house itself was closed so I’ve not got any photos.
The front garden at Ascott House
The at the front of the house there is the Lynn Garden, a pond and a small woodland. The boys loved the Lynn Garden when we first visited as there’s loads of hills, hedges and places to hide. We literally had to drag them away! There’s also a lovely little pond with a cute summer house to walk around. When we visited there were tons of tiny baby frogs making a run for it from the pond to the woodland which the boys thought was fascinating.
The back gardens
It seems weird calling this the back gardens because they’re massive but they are the various gardens at the back of the house!
You’ll find several fountains, a slate sculpture (which Smallest Child desperately wanted to climb on) and lots of secret walkways created by hedges. There’s also a hedge sundial (who knew that was a thing!). The gardens are really pretty and the views are AMAZING. From the edge of the garden you can see; Mentmore towers (used as Wayne Manor in the batman films), Ivinghoe Beacon, Whipsnade Zoo and Dunstable Downs. There’s loads more to see as well. The field immediately next to the garden was full of sheep when we did this review of Ascott House, another big hit with Smallest Child.
These gardens really are very pretty and there’s loads and loads of seating dotted around so you can sit back and take it all in. Because it doesn’t open until 13:00 you probably wouldn’t bring a picnic here, but there’s loads of places you could put down a blanket and just let the kids run around.
Our Ascott House and Gardens Review
Both times we’ve visited Ascott House we’ve really enjoyed it. You could very easily be there for the full four hours that it is open. In all likelihood you would have seen everything in that time, even if you’re not rushing around. It’s a good space for both adults and kids. There’s lots of different things to see and the addition of the animals is always a plus.
Entry is free for National Trust members. £7.50 per adult, £3.75 per child. At the time of writing this review of Ascott House they’re not publishing the prices for the house and gardens so click here for the latest price (affiliate link).
The only toilets are near the car park. There is a bay change though.
There’s a little cafe (not NT I believe) and there’s plenty of seating.
Parking / How to get there
Free parking on-site. It is basically a field though so I do wonder how muddy it gets when it’s wet!
Address – Wing, near Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire, LU7 0PR
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook