Skip to content

The parkland at Basildon Park

Buttercups and daisies cover the fields in the Holies at Basildon Park, Berkshire
Buttercups and daisies in the Holies at Basildon Park, Berkshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

The Basildon Park estate spans 162 hectares (400 acres) of historic parkland surrounding the house and garden. Discover the diversity of the flora and fauna in the historic parkland and enjoy the changing colours of the surrounding landscape.

Walking trails

There are four waymarked walks around the parkland that are easy to follow and vary in length and terrain. Choose from a short 20-minute stroll to a two-hour trek across the landscape.

Views and vistas

Take in the views of the 18th-century Bath-stone house as it glows in the distance. The best viewpoint of the house is from the woodland on the green, blue and orange walking routes, where the trees and landscape frame the building.

The view is particularly striking in May where buttercups transform the parkland into a sea of yellow, or on a cold winter’s morning, where frost makes the grounds sparkle.

Summer in the parkland

A variety of trees start to show their summer colours throughout May and June, such as hawthorns, Norway maple and copper beech. Rest under their branches on days where you need to find a shady spot.

The blue walk in the parkland takes you through the hidden valley, where the common spotted orchid blooms at this time of year. This precious stretch of land has a high standard of biodiversity, meaning it is specially conserved to allow plants to flourish and wildlife to thrive.

Common spotted orchid wild flower at Whipsnade Down, Bedfordshire
Common spotted orchid in bloom | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman

Trees to look out for

There are a number of venerable oak and sweet chestnut trees on the parkland. Over the centuries their crowns have died, leaving the remaining the dead branches looking like a stag's antlers.

You might also notice unusually shaped trees dotted across the parkland. These are mostly likely to be lapsed pollards. Pollarding is an ancient form of tree management and trees grown within grazed pastures had their crowns regularly cut at around eight feet high, to keep them well above the browsing height of the livestock below. This allowed the land to be used for grazing animals and to provide useful material from the trees.

Trees in summer surrounded by long grasses in the parkland at Basildon Park, Berkshire
Trees in summer at Basildon Park, Berkshire | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Military foundations

The parkland was used for tank training during the Second World War and Nissen huts were built to hold prisoners of war. You can still spot the foundations of some of the Nissen huts today in the main park and along the green walking route.

Family-friendly things to do in the parkland

Walk, play and picnic

There are many areas of the parkland for children to explore and play in, plus many spaces to enjoy a picnic.

Take the waymarked route in pink to discover Basil Den and see how many of the '50 things to do before you're 11¾' your kids can tick off their list, including den-building (No. 4) and hunting for bugs (No. 31).

While you're walking, try to spot a red kite or the many butterflies that flutter past. If you're really lucky you might see the native English orchids that pop up in the parkland to share their pretty flowers with us.

For those days in summer when it's simply too hot, speak to staff at the welcome point who can tell you where to enjoy the most shade.

Two visitors on a garden tour with the head gardener, standing on a lawn with pink roses in the foreground and the house in the background, at Basildon Park, Berkshire

Discover more at Basildon Park

Find out when Basildon Park is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

Thatched umbrello in the garden at Basildon Park, Berkshire

The garden at Basildon Park 

Discover the beautifully laid out, restored grounds that surround the house at Basildon Park. Take in the views from the terrace and pause awhile under the thatched Umbrello seat.

Walking through the parkland at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

Visiting Basildon Park with your dog 

Basildon Park is a two pawprint rated place. There’s plenty of space to walk and trails to explore. Dogs are welcome on leads in the garden and parkland year-round.

Visitors in the Angkor Wat room in the cafe at Basildon Park, Berkshire

Eating and shopping at Basildon Park 

Enjoy food and drink and buy a reminder of your day out on your visit to Basildon Park. Pick up a tasty treat in the tea-room or grab a gardening must-have in the shop.

Basildon Park exterior view

The house at Basildon Park 

Discover the opulent styling and artistic treasures that make the house at Basildon Park a signature 18th-century Palladian mansion, including some quirky details.

Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’ 

Fancy running free in the fresh air, learning new skills and trying new things? Grab your gear and start your adventure.

Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.

Path leading to the Boer War memorial at Coombe Hill, against a blue sky

Countryside and woodland in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire 

From dappled beech woodlands to wildflower-rich chalk grasslands in The Chilterns, a wide variety of countryside landscapes awaits you across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.

Walkers climbing rocks against a bright blue sky with the mountains in the distance at Sugarloaf, Monmouthshire


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.