Cliveden and the National Trust
Cliveden has delighted visitors for over 300 years. Today the gardens and grounds are open throughout most of the year and hundred of thousands National Trust visitors come to relax and unwind in the grandest of settings.
A gift to the nation
Given to the National Trust in 1942 by the 2nd Viscount Astor, Cliveden remained the family home until 1966. The scandal of the Profumo affair in the early 1960s and the death of the 3rd Viscount shortly after hastened the Astors decision to leave the house.
Cliveden entered a new period in its history as a tenant was sought for the house and the gardens were opened to the public. In 1969, Stanford University of California made Cliveden one of its overseas campuses. Stanford encouraged its American students to spend six months of their undergraduate course living and studying in Europe. Some 2000 students stayed at Cliveden, taking lectures in the former billiard room and studying in the former Drawing Room, before the campus was moved to Oxford.
The lease of the house was advertised again in 1984 and the proposal that was finally accepted was to convert the house into a hotel. The ground floor rooms have become spectacular public spaces while the sensitive conversion of the upper floors and wings has created 38 unique bedrooms and suites.
To the future
Life at Cliveden has never stood still. Following in the footsteps of many great families, Cliveden continues to be the perfect place to relax, whether whilst exploring the glorious gardens or in the luxurious surroundings of the hotel.
In recent years we have been working to restore the gardens and woodlands to their former glory and capture the spirit of times gone by. We’re re-creating seasonal bedding displays on the Parterre, designing colourful displays for the Long Garden, opening up long lost vistas and walks and in 2011 re-planted the Maze.
Whether you love formal gardens, long country walks or are just looking for a special place to play, there's lots to see and do. We look forward to welcoming you soon.