Last weekend found us in the lovely british countryside, guest of wonderful Chicheley Hall, a huge estate in Buckinghamshire. We were there with 3 more families traveling with us from Athens, part of the first Dreamista Trip!
Chicheley Hall Location
Chicheley hall is located 35 away from Luton airport, 1 hour drive away from Heathrow, 1+ away from Oxford airport and a bit more than 1,5 hours drive away from Standsted airport. The nearest city is Milton Keynes and it’s just 15 minutes away, the nearest town, Newport Pagnel is 10 minutes away and there is a village just 30 minutes walk away, North Crawley.
It is pretty isolated, so much that the area it’s situated at is actually named after it!
Chicheley Hall Inside and Out
Chicheley Hall is a mansion that is now used as a boutique hotel (it has 48 rooms). Tucked away in 80 acres of beautifully kept grounds, Chicheley Hall boasts its own π shaped pond along with ducks, geese and peacocks. There are 4 separate buildings here, the central one, the restaurant, north wing and south wing, as well as a cool medieval church on site. Chicheley Hall is regarded as one of the finest examples of early 18th Century architecture. Its current hall dates back to the 1700’s and is truly impressive for any event. No wonder that Chicheley Hall has been used as a location for such film and television projects as Pride and Prejudice, The Meaning of Life, and Black Beauty.
It is also ideal for families who are looking for privacy, a touch of nature, fresh air and garden games.
We stayed for 4 nights at Chicheley Hall. We arrived early afternoon of Friday and left at noon on Tuesday. We all stayed in guest rooms of the South and North Wings, with great views to the gardens. Our stay cost 120 pounds/per night, and included free wifi, traditional english breakfast and a 3 course dinner every day.
There are 48 rooms at the estate. The superior rooms are located in the main building and the guest rooms in the South and North Wings. The superior rooms boast some impressive traditional 18th century decor with modern amenities. While the guest rooms are decorated in a modern manner and some may feature their own private fireplace. They all have many windows, tall windows, for great views.
Every morning, at the main building ground floor hall, traditional english breakfast is served: porridge, tea, toasted bread, bean, roasted tomatoes and mushrooms, fried eggs and omelettes, sausages, bacon and hash browns. Yogurt with fruits, cereal and nuts is also an option, as well as pastries.
At noon, you can enjoy traditional english tea with desserts and small sandwiches, as well as several snacks or salads.
Dinner is served from 19:00-22:00 at several dinner halls in the main building. We had our own hall, where we dined every night, enjoying a 3 course meal (starter, main dish, dessert) in awesome quality, huge quantities (so much so we didn’t need lunch) and great variety (salads, selection of cheese, soup of the day for starters, fish, pasta, red meat or poultry for main, sorbets, ice cream, pecan pie, brownies, lemon cake for dessert). Service was so good, that we were even given toys for the kids! Any family that wasn’t available to dine with us at the specific time, could enjoy room service of course.
Family Activities near Chicheley Hall
At Chicheley Hall: Chicheley Hall itself is ideal for walks in the fresh air and near the pond, as well as games at the North Wing garden.
Strolling: North Crawley is a small cute village that can be reached after a 30 minute walk through public footpaths.
Newport Pagnel: It apparently has nothing of interest for kids. It’s a 10 minute drive away.
Μilton Keynes: It’s the city closest to Chicheley Hall, just 15 minutes drive away.
Theme Park Gulliver’s Land: with 85 pounds/4 member family, you can actually enjoy all rides as long as you’re 90 centimeters or taller! If you’re shorter, there is a small soft play area, while the theme park is also perfect for strolling. There’s even a restaurant and several smaller diners. If your kids are older though, I would recommend against a stroller, as you will enter a ride every 2 to 5 minutes. We actually took every ride was in use and not scary/vomity, had the time of our lives and the twins got so tired, they slept for 3 hours. We actually had to wake them to go to
MK Safari: a soft play area with a separate toddler area and baby play rooms. It only cost like 17 pounds to get it. You can actually enjoy coffee, smoothies and healthy snacks, or even get your picky eaters some junk food (pizza and fries) that is made of organic ingredients. It was pretty neat!
Zoo: It’s said to be great for families. Due to personal beliefs concerning animals in captivity, we skipped this one.
Day Trips From Chicheley Hall
Cambridge: It’s a 1,5 hour drive away. It was a tough call, but we chose to go to
Oxford: which is also a 1,5 hour drive away. This bicycle city, university city, medieval city, student city, Harry Potter city wowed us for good! Read the article about Oxford with kids.
Instead of visiting another city, we thought it’d be great if we enjoyed the quintessential english country side. So we took a day trip to
The Cotswolds: It’s 2 hours away and the drive and back was pretty weary. But totally worth it! We spent an hour at lake village Bourton on the Water, and the rest of the day at quaint Bibury. Read the article!
Chicheley Hall is pretty isolated and only accessible via car. The nearest train station is at Milton Keynes and the nearest bus stop is like 10 minutes walk away. For our rides from and to the airport as well as for our local transfers, we opted for mini vans/taxis. And for the day trips, we had a 16 seats van with driver. If you’re visiting Chicheley Hall alone, I recommend having your own car for flexibility and to save money of course.
When will this trip be organized again?
Soon! We all had a great time thanks to our lovely hosts at Chicheley Hall. And now that I’ve been there and have an eye-witness experience of the area, I can organize this even better!
* This article is written following our complimentary stay at Chicheley Hall. All opinions are of course my own.