A walk around Cliveden

Our National Trust membership cards have been gathering dust for much of this year. It was nice to finally be able to use them and venture out for a day out at Cliveden at the start of the summer holidays. We pre-booked our timed-entry tickets online the week before. We had to arrive within our 30-minute time slot but could then stay until closing time.


Sophie and Thomas in front of the Fountain of Love at Cliveden - "A walk around Cliveden"


It was fairly busy when we arrived at the start of our time-slot, but we moved through the queue to check our tickets fairly quickly. We parked on the grass near the entrance and headed up the hill towards the Water Garden. The area around the Water Garden was busy although people were staying distanced on the whole.


Normally we would head for the playground. I wasn’t sure if it would be open though and suspected it would be busy if it was. Sophie is old enough to understand having to hold back from playing on things if they are being used, but Thomas is too little to do so. I knew he would get quite upset if he saw the playground and couldn’t go on things so we gave it a miss. It turned out it was closed anyway, as was the maze.


Instead, we headed for the Long Garden which I thought might be quieter. We’ve not been that way for a while, not since Jessica died. Being there again brought back a lot of memories. Seeing Sophie and Thomas walking along hand-in-hand always makes me think of my girls together; of so many days out with them walking on ahead of me, chattering away to each other. And now those moments are being repeated with Sophie and Thomas. Such beautiful, bittersweet moments.


Thomas pulling Sophie on through the Long Garden at Cliveden


There was a one-way system in place in the Long Garden, with the entrance at the end near the fountain. As I’d suspected, it was much quieter here, with plenty of space for the children to explore. The flower beds were beautiful, such a mass of colour. Thomas likes to pull leaves and petals off plants at home; thankfully he was more interested in having space to run about and left the flowers alone!


On the other side of the Long Garden, our walk took us past the Blenheim Pavilion and the amphitheatre. We would have liked to head down towards the river for our picnic, but the path didn’t look buggy-friendly. Instead, we found a nice spot, just off the path, under a big tree.


Me, Sophie and Thomas enjoying a picnic


With everyone refreshed and ready to get walking again, we headed towards the house. Thomas walked with Sophie most of the time, with a couple of brief rides in the buggy when he started to get tired or wanted to veer too much off the path! It was a good walk for little legs. He liked stopping every now and then to pick up a stone he’d spotted on the path. We had quite a collection in the buggy by the end of the walk!


Thomas and Sophie walking along hand-in-hand

Thomas sitting in his buggy looking intently at a stone


We headed past the war memorial garden and came out on the wide steps of the Yew Tree Walk. There are 172 steps on this walk – thankfully we were partway along and only had some of them to climb!


Sophie helping Thomas up the steps of the Yew Tree Walk at Cliveden


After stopping at the top to admire the view, we made our way towards the parterre. This was one of Jessica’s favourite places. She loved rolling down the hill there. Sophie doesn’t share the same love of rolling down hills, but she recreated that moment in memory of her sister.


Sophie and Thomas admiring the view at Cliveden

Sophie rolling down the hill at the back of the house at Cliveden


I thought Sophie might decide she’d had enough of walking as we headed back down the hill towards the car, but she was keen to keep going on to the Round Fruit Garden. It was a lovely place to finish off our day out. We were the only ones there and Sophie and Thomas loved running around there, under the arches laden with apples and pear. Thomas was tempted a few times by the fruit growing lower down, but chasing Sophie mostly kept him distracted from it!


Sophie and Thomas walking through the Round Fruit Garden at Cliveden


It was good to get out together in the sunshine for a walk and have so much space to explore. I suspect our summer adventures this year will stay much closer to home than usual. I’m glad we have places like this nearby to visit.


Visiting Cliveden – what you need to know:


Cliveden Road


Entrance to Cliveden is currently through pre-booked timed tickets. For more information and to book tickets, click here.


Country Kids linky

6 thoughts on “A walk around Cliveden

  1. Lovely post – we love Cliveden and went there the other week too 🙂 My two also enjoyed rolling down the hill 🙂 #countrykids

  2. A lovely looking day out. the views are beautiful and the children walking hand in hand must melt your heart. Loving the use you are getting from the Coombe Mill hats. #CountryKids

    1. Thank you Fiona, it is so lovely to watch them walking together. The Coombe Mill hats are certainly getting plenty of use! 🙂

  3. It’s lovely to get back out and about isn’t it. I love how National Trust are operating. I felt perfectly safe on our visit. #countrykids

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