Waddesdon Manor is set to welcome the public again into its splendid interiors from Wednesday 16 September, with a special, free, Covid-safe ground-floor route.
This not only allows visitors to reacquaint themselves with friends from the collections, but also highlights lesser-known aspects of the life of the house – including its long career starring on both big and small screens.
Starting with Carry On, Don’t Lose Your Head in 1966, Waddesdon – built in the 19th-century in the Buckinghamshire countryside in the style of a French château – has hosted stellar directors including Ridley Scott (The Counselor, 2012), Stephen Frears (The Queen, 2006) and Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, 2011) and been the backdrop for scenes from the classic James Bond Never Say Never Again (1983), to Downton Abbey and The Crown.
This is the first opportunity to visit the Manor in 2020. When lockdown happened, the house was in the midst of being prepared for reopening from its winter closure, during which the Collections are
‘put to bed’. In the intervening months a small team worked to ensure that the works of art remained safe and secure in their seclusion.
In planning the new route, staff had to consider a one-way flow, avoiding pinch points and narrow doorways – so an unexpected bonus is that visitors can now have closer encounters with objects in the
collection than they usually do.
Waddesdon Manor is managed by the Rothschild Foundation (charitable trust) on behalf of the National Trust. National Trust members have free admission to the gardens and house but are advised to pre-book house tickets as there are limited numbers and often sell-out. Pre-book online or by phone 01296 820414. All proceeds from Waddesdon’s restaurants and shops is invested in the care of the gardens, house and collections.
Photo Credit: Mike Fear