Bradenham Estate surrounds the seventeenth century manor house (not open to the public) and scenic village of Bradenham, a cluster of brick and flint cottages around a village green and cricket pitch.
The wider estate consists of farmland and woodland including Bradenham Woods and The Coppice, an extensive area of ancient beech wood which is considered among the best in the Chilterns. The woods contain archaeological evidence of people using the woodland over hundreds of years, such as charcoal burning and field boundaries.
Park Wood is another area of beech woodland on an ancient site and used to be the deer park for the medieval manor house. Grimm's Ditch, running through the north-east corner of the wood, is one of the few intact parts of this Iron Age boundary feature that can be seen across the Chilterns. The woodland is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation.
Beech trees have been the predominant species on the estate for many years. We're now encouraging other tree species typical to the Chilterns, such as oak, whitebeam, wild cherry and ash, to grow here as well.
The woodland floor is covered in flowers such as dog's mercury, primrose, sweet woodruff, wood anemone and bluebells.
There are some pockets of good quality chalk grassland along the south-facing valley slope below the woodland edge. Chalk grassland is a nationally threatened habitat, and having it here allows some scarce plants to grow, including juniper and fragrant, bee and fly orchids. There is also a rich butterfly fauna, notably attracting the small blue and the Duke of Burgundy.
The 450-acre farmland is mainly arable with good quality hedgerows and wild flower margins, where you can often see hares and hear Skylarks singing high above you.
Things to do when you visit
The Bradenham Estate is blessed with a network of footpaths and permitted bridleways for you to explore the property by foot, on horseback and by mountain bike, accessible all year round. You may even want to try trail running the bridleways.
If you're visiting with a family, there are a number of geocaches hidden around the estate. Alternately, stop for lunch at the Red Lion or bring a picnic and fly a kite on the fields behind the village.
Planning your visit
- Free parking is available in Bradenham village opposite cricket pavilion and a small NT car park is located on Smalldean Lane (HP27 0PR) 1.5 miles north of Bradenham village.
- OS Map grid reference for parking in the village: SU82590.
- Bradenham is 4 miles north-west of High Wycombe, off A4010. For SatNavs, please use postcode HP14 4HF for the village.
- The nearest railway station is Saunderton, on the Chiltern line, 1 mile from the village.
- Arriva buses 21A, 321 stop on the A4010 road through the village.