Greys Court in Henley-on-Thames is a Tudor country house and gardens now owned by the National Trust. We took advantage of a break in the rain, popped on our wellies and made the 20 minute trip from Maidenhead. I’m not sure how I’ve managed to miss visiting before, it’s a little gem of a day out. I’m a huge fan of the National Trust since having children, and this exceeded all my expectations.
Greys Court is more compact and intimate than somewhere like Cliveden, making it easier for the little ones to manage, and ensuring you don’t miss anything while you’re there. It sits in the Southern Chiltern Hills so the landscape and views are stunning, the children loved the inquisitive cows on the way up the drive. When you pass the entrance pop in to the office and grab some bits for the kiddies (they have worksheets, stickers and maps to help keep them happy). There’s a nice play area in the woods known as The Fort, with a climbing frame, slide, rope wall, spiders climbing web and more. But the bit that all four of the kiddies loved was the den making and just messing around in the woods! It’s really well set up so there’s loads of branches and sticks of varying shapes and sizes to make dens and campfires and they all busied themselves building, role playing and searching for bugs – Bliss for us mummies with our hot chocolates.
We also visited the stunning walled gardens while we were there, which are a series of gardens all linked by doors or gates and each with a different theme. The children loved exploring and especially spotting newts in the little pond. There’s a maze through the other side of the gardens that provided a lot of entertainment.
We took a picnic (which of course was enough to tempt a downpour), there are loads of areas you can picnic as well as some tables by the car park. There’s also a small restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, serving things like hot and cold drinks (you can get a takeaway cup for your coffee, winner), cakes, snacks, a selection of hot meals and children’s picnic boxes.
This gets a really big thumbs up from us, I think I found a new hangout spot.
Address: Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 4PG
Free with National Trust membership. Or, Adult £12.50, Child £6.50
Anyone arriving by public transport, bike or on foot gets a free cup of tea!
Opens at 10am daily, closing time varies depending on the time of year.
*Prices and times correct as of August 2017, always check online before visiting.
For more information see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greys-court
For ideas on other days out in Berkshire and the surrounding areas, click here.