Skip to content

The estate at Hughenden

Bluebells in a wood with a view of Echo Valley beyond, at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
Bluebells overlooking Echo Valley, at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust / Hugh Mothersole

Explore the parkland with its carefully designed views, rare chalk stream and medieval church. In the 18th century, limes, horse chestnuts, walnuts and sycamore were carefully planted to enhance the setting of the manor and create a landscape which reflects the setting of the estate in the Chiltern Hills. Wander further and take in 680 acres of countryside on a waymarked walk.

Countryside walks

Three colour-coded waymarked walks can help you discover more of the estate, from a gentle one-mile stroll to a four-mile hike, beginning from the visitor welcome kiosk.

They are a great way to start exploring and our café in the stableyard makes a good start or finish point. Hughenden’s codename during the war was Hillside for good reason: most walks will include a slope or two but the reward for climbing higher is a spectacular view.

Woodcock Wood walk at Hughenden | Bucks | National Trust

Monument walk at Hughenden | National Trust

German Forest walk at Hughenden | Bucks | National Trust

Winter in the Estate

The Disraeli’s love of trees assures a winter treasure at Hughenden, as he planted many evergreen trees and established walkways to enjoy them. The treescape is particularly magnificent across the Hughenden estate with architectural trees showing off their skeletal shapes and the dense woodlands creating sheltered areas for walking even in the windiest or wettest weather.

Walking trails – we have four waymarked walks at Hughenden which range from the short to the extensive and take in the traditional beech woods of the Chilterns to the Disraeli-created German Forest walk, inspired by the couple’s visits to the Bavarian forests.

Visitors should watch for overwintering birds like Fieldfares and Redwings, or try to spot Bracket Fungi on the trees.

We'd love to see your winter estate photos! Be sure to tag us on Instagram and Facebook.

Hughenden's tree-lined parkland

First created in the early 1700s, today’s formal parkland was originally set out in the 1820s and featured limes, horse chestnuts, walnuts and sycamore. Disraeli added significant trees from around the world, with styles and silhouettes carefully chosen to contribute to the landscape and views of the beautiful sweeping hills across the valley.

A champion tree

One of the veteran trees on the Hughenden estate has been named the largest horse chestnut tree in the country and given the accolade of Champion Tree by the National Tree Register. It has a girth measurement of 7.33 metres (just over 24 feet) and it’s this enormous trunk that clinched its championship status.

While it's impossible to date precisely, the horse chestnut is likely to be over 300 years old, pre-dating many of the other trees at Hughenden which were planted by Benjamin Disraeli in the 19th century. It produces an abundance of conkers every year.

St Michael and All Angels church at Hughenden in Buckinghamshire
St Michael and All Angels church at Hughenden in Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole

Medieval church

Early records show that a church has existed on this site since the early 12th century. Today it has a Victorian Gothic appearance following restoration and extension works in 1874-5 by Disraeli. Unusually for a Prime Minister he is buried here as he left instructions that he wanted to be buried quietly at Hughenden alongside his wife Mary Anne.

Inside the church, behind the pulpit, is the monument erected by Queen Victoria to Disraeli. It is the only known example of a memorial by a reigning English monarch to a subject. Royal protocol did not permit the monarch to attend the private funeral, but Victoria visited the tomb a few days later to pay her respects to her favourite prime minister.

St Michael and All Angels is still used today as the parish church for the village of Hughenden Valley.

Rare chalk stream

The Hughenden estate stream rises from springs in Hughenden Valley and flows through the parkland before it joins the River Wye in the centre of High Wycombe.

Chalk streams are very rare habitats, with only 3% of streams in the UK on chalk. They are unique because they flow on top of an aquifer, so the water table needs to be above ground level for water to be present in the stream. This is known as a ‘winterborne’ as the rainfall during winter dictates whether the stream flows in the summer.

There is still evidence of modifications made by Disraeli, including weirs to provide pools for trout fishing, and a small lake to accommodate his two swans named Hero and Leander, after the Greek tragedy.

Chalk stream on the estate at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire
Chalk stream on the estate at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust Images/Hugh Mothersole
View of the house from the parkland at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Discover more at Hughenden

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

You might also be interested in

Visitor walking dogs at Haresfield Beacon and Standish Wood, Gloucestershire
Article
Article

Visiting Hughenden with your dog 

Hughenden is a two pawprint rated place. Discover where your dog can join you while you enjoy your visit, including the garden, parkland walks, woods and Stableyard Café.

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.

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

Walking 

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.

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.