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Things to do at the Buscot and Coleshill Estates

A view over the gabled grey slate roof of the old covered well and the village hall at Buscot in Oxfordshire at dusk with the moon appearing in the sky above
The village hall at Buscot | © National Trust Images/John Miller

The traditionally farmed estates of Buscot and Coleshill are criss-crossed by miles of circular walks and family trails. Visit Buscot to admire the 18th-century manor house, or picnic by a tranquil stretch of the Thames and spot wildlife. Stroll around Coleshill to uncover the village’s long history, including the secrets it guarded during the Second World War.

Café and welcome centre at the Old Carpenters Yard

Renovated and reopened in 2019, the Old Carpenters Yard acts as a handy welcome area, with maps and information, as well as a café and toilet facilities.

Visit Buscot Park

Dating from the late 18th century, Buscot Park was bought in 1850 by Australian gold prospector Robert Tertius Campbell. His ambitious plans to turn the estate into the most progressive farm of its time are still etched into the fabric of the village.

Buscot Park today

Now the family home of Lord Faringdon, both the house and grounds remain intimate and idiosyncratic despite their grand scale.

Outside, there’s a modern water feature, Faux Fall, by David Harber. Inside is the Faringdon art collection and contemporary glassware by Colin Reid and Sally Fawkes.

A view of the sunrise taken through some green foliage across fields at Badbury Clump on the Buscot and Coleshill Estate in Oxfordshire
Sunrise from Badbury Clump on the Buscot and Coleshill Estate | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Discover Coleshill’s secret history

Recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, the manor of Coleshill has witnessed plenty of history. This includes the building of the architecturally pioneering Coleshill House during the Stuart period, and its destruction in a fire 300 years later, in 1952.

Look out for the village’s Victorian model farm buildings and delve into the secrets of the Second World War underground network known as the Auxiliers.

Walking trails around Coleshill

Set out on one of the many walking trails across Coleshill, which take in farm tracks, landscaped parkland and sections of the River Thames or reveal the history of the village’s first family and some of its Second World War history.

Coleshill's red walk and green walk both start in the estate yard (where you can park your car) and both are flat, circular routes that take about two hours. Just follow the coloured way markers.

See a historic watermill in action

See first-hand how flour is produced by a working watermill on a visit to Coleshill Mill.

A mill has stood on this site since at least 1086 when the Domesday Book was completed. The current mill was last used commercially in the 1920s but restored to working order by the National Trust in 2005.

When to visit Coleshill Mill

Coleshill Mill is open every second Sunday of the month – 2pm-5pm from April to October (except April, when it is open on Sunday 16th) – and will be in use when water levels permit.

A summery image of the river and weir with water cascading through it at Buscot and Coleshill Estate in Oxfordshire. An octagonal building with a cone-shaped roof and spire is to the left.
Buscot weir on the Buscot and Coleshill Estate | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

Wartime history walks

During the Second World War, Coleshill was the location for the training of a secret underground network known as the Auxiliers. They were destined to form the British Resistance should Germany invade.

This guided walk takes in the landscape used for the Auxiliers training. It also takes in a working replica operational bunker reconstructed with the help of the Heritage Lottery Funding, a team of archaeologists and our experts and volunteers.

History walk update

The wartime history walk is currently once a month. Please see our events page to book yourself a space.

Explore Badbury Hill

Visit the beechwoods at Badbury clump, the site of a former Iron Age hillfort known for its springtime bluebells. Walk down the hillside to explore the adjacent woods, which are perfect for family adventures and dog walking, or bring your mountain bikes for some mud-spattered action.

Picnic by Buscot Weir and Lock

Enjoy the rushing waters of the weir then sit down for a picnic by the tranquil stretch of the Thames at Buscot Lock. Wander upstream to Brandy Island, the site of a late 19th-century distillery and a haven for wildlife.

A view of the sunrise taken through some green foliage across fields at Badbury Clump on the Buscot and Coleshill Estate in Oxfordshire

Discover more at Buscot and Coleshill Estates

Find out how to get to Buscot and Coleshill Estates, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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