Although I’ve been to Hughenden Manor many times, I’ve never explored Hughenden Park which is down the hill. You have to drive through it to access the manor’s grounds. A follower recommended that I also visit Hughenden Park to do a review, and I’ve finally got around to it. Whilst, theoretically they’re separate, there are two parts that make up the green space at Hughenden Park. There’s the National Trust owned section which is beneath the Manor itself. Then there’s the rest which is run by Buckinghamshire Council. They’re separated by a couple of gates but that’s it.
The National Trust Owned Section of Hughenden Park
I’ll be honest, I don’t know if this is technically Hughenden Park or not, but it’s certainly Hughenden Manor’s parkland! We have visited the house so many times, but never really stopped to explore the parkland before. I’m not sure why. I knew there was Hughenden Stream running through it (a rare chalk stream apparently) and that they often have a herd of cattle, but that’s it.
There’s not a huge amount of exploring to do (except playing dodge the cow-pat) but it’s a nice place for a walk. The absolute highlight has to be the stream. If you’ve ever visited Hughenden Manor yourself you will have driven over it. It runs parallel to the main road and you drive over a little bridge across the stream to get to both the manor and the church. What I didn’t realise is how clear it is and that you can paddle in it! It is worth bearing in mind that the cows also use this stream to drink (and inevitably wee) in, but they weren’t around today so I let the kids go in.
A quick note about the stream
Disclaimer – PLEASE keep an eye on your kids near the water, the section we were in wasn’t deep, but I don’t know if it gets deeper in other places. Also, because it is a chalk stream the water level can vary a LOT. The water level you experience on one visit won’t be the same as on another. Also, with any open water like this don’t drink it etc. I wouldn’t put your hands in it or get it in your eyes. It looks really clean, but I have no idea if it is or not!
Anyway, back to splashing around in streams! At various points on the stream they’ve added weirs (for trout fishing apparently) and these seems to be a good spot for getting in and have a splash around. There also seemed to be a really good spot near the council/National Trust boundary but we didn’t explore it yet.
Although this bit is owned by the NT it is free to visit, and you don’t need to park to park. Most people seem to park in the church car park for their walks, but if you’re visiting on a Sunday I think they close it to parishioners only (don’t quote me on that though)
Hughenden Park (The Buckinghamshire Council Section)
This part of the parkland is separated by a couple of kissing gates (which you can get a single pushchair though). There is also a large open gate near the stream if you cannot fit through the kissing gates.
Mostly this is just grassland and trees. There’s space on either side of the stream with benches dotted around. There isn’t a huge amount to “do” here, other than have a really nice walk in beautiful surroundings. There is however the Hughenden Park playground. This was recommended to me by one of the blog followers last year but today was the first time I’ve got around to visiting.
There’s some really good bits of equipment in here. There are two main play-frames; one for toddlers and one for older kids. The toddler one is really good – there’s a little climbing wall ramp to get up into it a cabin and a slide down.
The older play-frame is really good. It’s got multiple towers, rope and log bridges, climbing walls and slides. There’s also the terrifying (for parents) two rails slide thingy. I am still not 100% sure how you’re supposed to get down this. Like monkey bars? Slide down on all fours? Who knows, but if you fall off it’s quite high up!
Hughenden Park playground has also got a zip line, trampolines, a play trail, roundabout, swings, climbing net, wobble boards, spinny cups, rocking toys and a massive rope swing. Apparently this was a viking long ship and I had to help get it swinging so we could set sail. Sadly I haven’t got a photo of it without the kids on, but you can fit 8 kids on this one swing!
Generally the park seemed to be well maintained and clean. There’s a bit of seating for grown-ups. It’s fenced off but has two exits. When I visited to do this review of Hughenden Park and the playground it had only just re-opened post lockdown so it was still fairly quiet. I can imagine this is a popular park in a normal summer time.
Our Hughenden Park Review
This was a really nice way to add a couple of hours to our visit to Hughenden Manor. If I’d known about the stream I would have brought towels/change of clothes/wellies for the kids but I know for next time. I did really like the playground, it’s got some really good equipment and a lot of it. Plus you’re in beautiful surroundings. It’s a shame there’s no toilets though.
There is no charge to visit either the National Trust or council owned sections. If you are planning on visiting the manor you will need to pay to enter (or be a member). A visit to the manor is a nice way to bulk out your visit to Hughenden Park, you can read my review here.
Parking / How to get there
There are three free car parks, but they’re all quite small. The church car park is accessed via the entrance to Hughenden Manor (Hughenden, High Wycombe, Bucks. HP14 4LA). There’s also a car park on White Hill, and another on Coates Lane. Click here to have a look at the map. From photos on google maps it seems to me that a lot of people park on the grass verges along Coates Lane but I’m not sure you’re supposed to.
Annoyingly there are no toilets on site. There are some up at the manor if you are visiting there as well.
There is no food available on site, but it’s a lovely spot for a picnic. Either bring your own blanket or there are benches dotted around.
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