You'll find Basildon Park, just 10 minutes' drive from the M4, amongst the fields and woodlands of rural Berkshire. An ideal attraction for those with an interest in history, Basildon Park is a Georgian Mansion set in beautiful grounds. It's something of a survivor too; at one point it was almost rendered derelict, and then it faced the prospect of being moved, brick by brick, to America. After undergoing careful renovation in 2009, Basildon Park now welcomes visitors in their droves. There's plenty of accommodation nearby, ranging from intimate guesthouses and budget hotels to upmarket, sophisticated establishments.
The History of Basildon Park
Basildon Park was built in the 1700s for a Mr Francis Sykes, before changing hands several times. In 1929, the then-owner, Mr Ferdinando, decided to try and replicate the process that had seen London Bridge moved to the United States. However, his plan fell apart and, by the 1950s, after being requisitioned during the Second World War as a military station for troops, Basildon Park fell into serious disrepair. It was salvaged by Lord and Lady Illiffe, who oversaw its restoration before donating it to the National Trust.
Hotels near Basildon Park
While Basildon Park enjoys a superbly pastoral setting, there is a good number of hotels nearby - particularly in neighbouring Bracknell. Many are equally historic, such as the Fines Bayliwick Hotel, which was once a Victorian house and now welcomes family and couples alike. Similarly, the Winning Post is an inn set in a timber-beamed building, still sporting its original stone fire and virtually crackling with personality.
Your Downtime Your Way
However, if you'd prefer to enjoy your downtime according to your own schedule, the Beneficial House - House of Fisher offers serviced rooms and stunning apartments. While these are often used by businessmen, they are equally convenient for those with families who don't want to be restricted by the parameters set out by a traditional hotel.
Gargoyles and a Famous Vampire!
If your trip to Basildon Park is part of a special occasion, Oakley Court, set on the outskirts of Windsor, is a unique and special venue. Much like Basildon Park, it has served its time as a film location, most notably as the exterior of Dracula's castle and the interior of St. Trinian's. Look carefully and you'll see gargoyles lining the roof, left there in the 1970s by the Hammer film company.
Basildon Park is a stunning attraction, offering a superb day out for couples, families and those with an interest in history. Booking a room in a hotel nearby can make your visit convenient and something to remember.