If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to stay overnight in mansion, head to Chicheley Hall. It’s a stunning 18th century property in Buckinghamshire. The bedrooms are quaint and very English, but it’s the gorgeous grounds that really make this property.
Chicheley Hall is a popular wedding venue, so as you can probably imagine, it’s be-au-ti-ful. A sweeping staircase and huge windows dominate the inside, whilst outside the pretty lawns and gorgeous façade really make your heart sing.
We went to Chicheley Hall for a family staycation. It’s 20-minute drive from our house, so it was a super easy trip for us. Based in Newport Pagnell, Chicheley Hall is just a 15-minute drive from Milton Keynes station. The fast train from London to Milton Keynes is 30-minutes, so it really is a very accessible place.
During our visit we loved the wide open spaces because selfishly it meant that we could really wear our little ones out. As soon as Nova heard the peacocks (it was impossible not to!) he set about trying to find them, collecting feathers as he darted about. Kit has just started to walk, so she was keen to join in. She wobbled about after him, pausing every now and then to point and shout at where she wanted to go. Occasionally she’d revert to crawling in an effort to speed up.
We explored every inch of the grounds, finishing in the courtyard garden with a game of oversized Jenga and Nova’s version of croquet. By the time 5pm rolled round our mini-explorers were exhausted and so we headed inside for some food.
Dinner at Chicheley Hall
Dinner is served in the restaurant from 7pm, but the bar serves hot food from 5pm. Unfortunately, young children and late dinners just don’t work for our family. However, during our stay the restaurant and bar shared the same menu and the staff were kind enough to let us order at 5pm, but to still sit in the historical restaurant. They provided Kit with a wooden highchair and Nova with a booster seat, and even had a children’s menu.
Our littles ones enjoyed a starter of cheesy garlic bread. Nova then had sausages and mash, whilst Kit had cheese and tomato pasta. Jay went for smoked mackerel pate for his starter and a burger for his main. The burger arrived with delicious chunky chips that both Kit and I stole! I went for the tomato and lentil soup, followed by pea, spinach, courgette and feta gnocchi. Both had quite a sweet floral taste and looked very pretty.
Afternoon Tea at Chicheley Hall
If you don’t have the time to stay overnight, you could try afternoon tea at Chicheley Hall. We didn’t, but it sounds lovely and you’d still get to enjoy the beautiful grounds. It only costs £16.95 per person.
Staying at Chicheley Hall in Born
A little bit of background for you – in 2010 the Royal Society acquired Chicheley Hall with support from The Kavli Foundation. The Foundation is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, and supporting scientists and their work. A lot of the rooms at Chicheley Hall are named after notable figures and you’ll find a big picture of the founder of the foundation, Fred Kavli, on the ground floor.
We stayed in a superior room named Born (after someone’s surname) and it was huge, which was lucky as all four of us were staying in the same room. I don’t think it’s particularly geared up for family travel as it was expected that we’d bring a cot for Kit and that Nova would sleep in our bed with us. It’s the first time Nova has slept with us and we weren’t sure how easily he’d go down or how well he’d sleep, but all the running about in the day paid off – phew! We put Kit’s cot in the bathroom as we didn’t want our little ones to wake each other. The bathroom is so big it could be another bedroom!
We always joke that our mini-explorers have had some epic baths and this stay proved no different. Before bed they splashed about in the big bath that overlooked the impressive driveway, whilst we listened to the sounds of the peacocks. I have a feeling we may be setting the bar too high for them…!
We enjoyed a cooked breakfast in the morning and then had one last walk in the grounds. Nova waved goodbye to the ‘holiday house’ and before we knew it our staycation was over.
Would I recommend Chicheley Hall?
We enjoyed our family staycation. If you’re after a stylish, quintessentially English stay Chicheley Hall ticks the boxes. In all honesty though, if you have the choice of visiting for a parent escape or a family break, I’d go for the parent escape. The high ceilings and shiny floors don’t create the best acoustics for excited children..!
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Big thanks to Chicheley Hall for hosting my stay.