I spend quite a lot of time in and around Waddesdon, Bucks but I haven’t really explored the wider estate until today. Many of you will already know that Waddesdon Greenway is a family friendly walk, but have you tried Windmill Hill at all? Although this walk is through part of the Waddesdon Manor estate you don’t need to be a member, or buy tickets, to follow the route as it’s on public and permissive paths. That means that this is a free, circular, family-friendly, (mostly) buggy friendly, paved walk through beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside!
I did this walk with the kids when they were 3, 9 & 11 and they all managed it without moaning their legs were tired. They were fuelled by copious amounts of snacks, but that’s the joy of school holidays for you!
Length and access
This route is a circular walk that’s approximately 2.5 miles in length. There are some uphill sections but they’re relatively gentle. There are two cattle grids with a large gate at the side for access. You could easily get a pushchair through the gate. These two sections are a few meters long and can be a bit muddy in winter but everything else is tarmac / concrete.
The route is mostly on a road and so you have to be aware of vehicles. The beginning and end sections are the busiest, but there’s ample space on either side of the road to keep away from the cars.
We took about 90 minutes to do this route. You absolutely don’t need to take that long! I think an adult could do it in about 45 minutes, with kids you could do it in an hour. Carrying this “stick” for a significant part of the route and constantly stopping for snacks slowed us down A LOT!!!
Windmill Hill walk route
Start at the Waddesdon Manor visitor centre.
Instead of following the main, woodchip path up to the manor you’ll need to walk along the tarmac road slightly to the left. This can be a bit busy as it’s the main shuttle bus route as well as the car park exit so it’s best to stick to the grass if you can. Walk past the first road on your left (marked private). Continue until you come to a metal sign to turn left up the road towards Windmill Hill.
Follow this road, which is gently uphill. It gives you some glimpses of the manor and some lovely views across Buckinghamshire along the way.
Eventually the road bends to the right. Continue to follow the road until you get to the first cattle grid. There’s a gate to the side to allow access.
You are now in Millennium Avenue which links the manor to Upper Winchendon. There are more glimpses of the house from here. There may be livestock in these fields so please make sure dogs are on short leads and watch where you’re stepping. Continue along to road and cross the second cattle grid.
You walk through a little copse and on the other side there is a fork. Take the right hand fork.
Follow the road through the trees and it will eventually sweep round to the left. This brings you to the front of Windmill Hill itself. The first thing you’ll notice is Perceval – the massive shire horse sculpture in front of the building.
Follow the path round to the right and then turn left just before the farmhouse. This takes you along a public bridleway past the side of the complex. When you come to the t-junction turn left to walk between Windmill Hill and the other house.
By the gates turn right to continue following the bridleway. This brings you back to the fork just past the copse.
Retrace your steps back to the car park.
How to get there
Address – Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 0JH
Parking for this walk is at the main Waddesdon Manor car park. My understanding is that this is closed when the manor is closed (Usually on Monday and Tuesday but double check before visiting). Although there is pedestrian access from the village to this route via public footpaths please do not park in the village as it’s already a nightmare for local residents
The visitor centre at Waddesdon Manor car park has toilets
Other places to try
There are lots of family-friendly walks in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. There are also lots of ideas to help keep the kids entertained whilst you’re out on your walks as well!
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