A day out at Basildon Park, Berkshire

by Jan

Located in Lower Beeding near Reading, Basildon Park is an impressive 18th century mansion set in 400-acres of gorgeous parkland.  It is an elegant Georgian house on a country estate, which is now managed by the National Trust.  You may recognise it as the filming location for many popular films and period dramas, including Bridgerton and Pride & Prejudice.

Having visited most of the National Trust properties in Surrey, we took a drive across the border for a day out in the Berkshire countryside.  It was one of the first glimpses of blue sky this year, so seemed like the perfect opportunity for a spring walk across the estate and a chance to poke around this fabulous stately home.

Read on to see what you can expect on a day out at Basildon House in Berkshire.

Exploring Basildon Park House

For such a large property, the car park is relatively small and since the sun was out, we weren’t the only ones who thought Basildon Park was a good idea.  However, after just a short wait, we had a space.

Exiting the car park, it is a short stroll to the ticket office.  You’ll then walk across the courtyard (with access to toilets and a gift shop), under the archway and up to Basildon Park House.  From here, you could do a walk around the estate, but we started by exploring the house.

Stately home with large tree and lawn in foreground

As the stately home comes into view, you’ll be impressed by the magnificence of the Italian Renaissance style architecture.  An imposing portico entrance with grand columns and a stone balcony contribute to the grandeur.

Basildon Park House was designed for Francis Skyes after he made his fortunes in the East India Company.  It was passed down through several families, before being gifted to the National Trust in 1978.

Four poster bed with red bedding and carpets, red rug and red chair

During the war, Basildon House had suffered extensive damage and fallen into disrepair.  Luckily, its fortunes changed in 1952 when Lord and Lady Iliffe bought the house and lovingly restored each of the rooms to their former splendour.

The couple scoured auction houses across the country to find antiques from other mansions.  Then, they used the treasures to revive each room to how it might have looked in its glory days.

Basildon Park filming locations

Basildon Park provides the perfect setting for any 18th century costume drama.

Thanks to Lady Iliffe’s careful renovations, the interiors are very opulent and it’s easy to see why Basildon Park House is such a popular filming location.

Formal dining rom laid for dinner in stately home. Exquisite paintings on ceiling.

The current dining room is an amazing room with stunning décor on the ceilings.  This was the filming location for the Netherfield Ball in Pride & Prejudice.  Later, in 2013, it became the Crawley family’s London home in Downton Abbey.

Drawing room in stately home, with red walls, high ceilings, sofa, chandelier and paintings on walls

More recently, Basildon Park House was the filming location for the glamorous ball in the popular Netflix series, Bridgerton.   For this drama, the Bridgerton ball was held in the Garden Room and Parterre.

In 2019, Basildon Park became the on-screen home of Lord Charles Pressfield in the 2019 Guy Ritchie film, The Gentlemen.  A year later, it provided the elegant setting for the Trenchard’s London home in the TV drama, Belgravia.

Using historic properties for filming provides a lucrative income for the National Trust, which is vital for maintenance and conservation work.

Walks at Basildon Park

Bushes and trees with blossom and blue sky with fluffy white clouds

After our tour of the house, we headed off to explore the rest of the estate.

There are four waymarked parkland walks at Basildon Park, of different lengths and terrain.  They range from the pushchair-friendly Pheasant Park walk, which is only half a mile to the full Boundary walk.  We opted for the longest walk, a 3-mile trail, which navigates its way through the woods.  If you’re walking with kids, there’s several natural play areas along the way.

Rear of stately home, Basildon house, and formal gardens

It was a beautiful, tranquil circular walk, with lovely views over the estate.  It looks like it would be even more stunning in April, when the bluebells come into flower.

The walk led back to the rear of the house, where you can see the formal gardens.  We headed back inside to the café for lunch, before leaving for home.  It’s a beautiful property and we’d recommend it for a day out.

Dogs on leads are welcome at Basildon Park, but not allowed in the house.

Useful Information for your visit to Basildon Park

Opening times

The opening times at Basildon Park are from 10am to 5pm.  The house is open from 11am.

Getting to Basildon Park

Basildon Park is located in Lower Basildon, near Reading in Berkshire.  The postcode is RG8 9NR.  It is only about 1 hour from London by car or train.

By car

We took the car from Surrey, using the M4/A320.   As you get closer, there are sign posts from Pangbourne.  If you’re coming from Reading direction, use the A329.

Enter through the entrance gates, where you’ll find a small car park.  We had a short wait to find a space.

By train

The nearest station to Basildon Park is Pangbourne.  Regular trains run from St Pancras International station in London.  From here you can take a taxi, which takes about 5 minutes.  It is advisable to pre-book your taxi.

Admission prices

Admission to Basildon Park is free for National Trust members.  Non-members can find the current prices here on their website.

Eating at Basildon Park

As with all National Trust properties, they have a small café, which serves light refreshments.  We opted for a sandwich, which we ate in the courtyard.  On a warm day, it would be an ideal place for a picnic.

Open door looking out onto estate at Basildon Park

We’d love to hear from you

Have you been to Basildon Park, or do you recognise it from the big screen?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

Pin for later: A day out at Basildon Park, Berkshire

Pinterest: A day out at Basildon Park,

All rights reserved © Chimptrips. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, links, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More