This was our first visit to Grey’s Court and even though a number of areas were closed we enjoyed a lovely few hours there and found it very toddler friendly. Anywhere with baby lambs and calves gets her vote of approval and I really enjoyed the beautiful views and how peaceful and quiet it was.
The gardens are fairly small at Greys Court but beautiful and easy enough for little legs to walk around without needing a pushchair. As they are working with a reduced team of gardeners at the moment there are warnings that they aren’t up to their usual standards, but we still enjoyed them.
They’ve implemented a one-way route around the gardens so this, combined with the overall lack of other people there makes it incredibly easy to social distance from others.
Grey’s Court is located in the beautiful Chiltern Hills and surrounded by incredible views. There are a couple of walks you can take around the estate which take you across the parkland and woods. The estate walk is 1.75 miles (they suggest it takes 60 mins) and Sir Felix’s gentle path is 1.5 miles (suggested time of 40 mins). You can pick up a map on entry which shows you the routes.
We didn’t do either of the walks this time as I just fancied a wander round and a nice spot for a picnic without having to carry her in the backpack.
In the surrounding fields there are sheep and cows and we were lucky enough to be there at a time when there were absolutely loads of baby lambs and calves, much to her delight! We sat there for a while watching them grazing and saw the entire heard of cows move past us with the calves skipping and running along.
There are a few picnic areas located around the estate. Our favourite was located up on the front lawn overlooking the house and the Chiltern Hills. There are a couple of benches to sit and admire the views and lots of space to run around. It was so peaceful we probably ended up sat there for over an hour having our picnic and watching the animals in the field behind.
More to explore
Due to Covid-19 the mansion, shop, tea-room and children’s play area were closed when we visited, so it’s worth checking their website to see what the current situation is when you visit.
It’s one of the smaller National Trust properties we’ve visited and if you have older children there isn’t loads there for them to do, but it was perfect for us.
Oh so quiet
We’re enjoying National Trust properties even more than usual as they are all so quiet. This is due to them limiting entry numbers and making all visitors pre-book tickets for timed entry slots. At Grey’s Court we can’t have seen more than 10 other families there during our visit, which is perfect when you have a toddler that wants to run free!
Best bits: If you’re looking for somewhere quiet and picturesque to go for a picnic with small gardens to let your tiny human have a run around in then this is perfect.
Worst bits: There isn’t loads to do here, especially with the playground and tea-room being closed. So if you have older children or are looking to spend the full day then you might be a bit bored.
Pram friendly: Yes & No – if you’re just looking to wander round the gardens then it’s fine with a pram, but to do the walks around the estate you’d be better with a carrier.
Bike & scooter friendly: Yes – but again just around the house. There are much better places you could go to with your bike/scooter as this place isn’t huge.
Location & parking: Grey’s Court is located near Henley-on-Thames. There is parking onsite and the car park is right next to the gardens.
Sat nav: Rotherfield Greys, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 4PG
Cost: Free entry for National Trust members (for non-members it’s £8 for adults and £4 for children, or there are discounted family prices)
Baby in Bucks Tips
- If you are doing one of the walks then leave your picnic in the car and collect it after the walk. It’s only a short walk from the car park to the picnic spots (one of them is right next to the car park).
- To make a full day out then you could combine it with a trip to Henley-on-Thames and a walk along the Thames.