National Trust announces autumn activities at Aylesbury Vale beauty spots

A look at what’s on this autumn
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The National Trust is already preparing for the end of the summer and has released a series of activities nature lovers can enjoy this autumn.

Included in the long list of places to visit are a number of spectacular sites in Aylesbury Vale.

Here are the local areas the trust is encouraging people to visit in the coming months:

Visitors in the garden in autumn at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, photo from National Trust Images/Arnhel de SerraVisitors in the garden in autumn at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, photo from National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra
Visitors in the garden in autumn at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, photo from National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra


The trust says that the landscaped gardens of Stowe are aglow in autumn as trees across the garden and park burst into colour. Look out for the larch, a deciduous conifer turning bright orange in October, spindle trees which have red leaves and pink and orange seeds and liquidamber. The liquidambers kaleidoscope through a deep crimson red, amber and golden yellow. You can find them in the Grecian Valley and Elysian Fields. You get a double hit at Stowe as the autumn colour is reflected in the lakes, creating a fiery glow all around.

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-Gothic Temple Open Days

(16/17 September and 28/29 October - 10.30am-4.30pm)

A rare chance to see inside the Gothic Temple, usually a holiday cottage for the Landmark Trust. With scenic views from the top floor, take a look inside Gothic Temple which was modelled on medieval buildings.

-Heritage Open Day

(Sunday 17 September - 10am-5pm)

The trusts says this is a rare chance to see inside and explore the breadth of some of Stowe's most iconic temples. Visitors can explore 250 acres of landscape gardens, visit the Gothic Temple, take in the church and a taster tour of Stowe House. An archaeologist and a conservator at the New Inn will be around to discuss the venue.

-Monthly Dog Walk

(Third Wednesday of every month – 10.30am-12.30pm)

Meet your volunteer dog walk guide at the garden entrance along with other dog owners. Visitors get to explore different parts of the garden each visit.

-Knowledgeable volunteers and interpreters deliver a tour of Stowe Gardens.

-Gaia at Stowe House

(15-26 October)

Step into the magnificent Marble Saloon of Stowe House and take in the spectacle of the universe, the trust advises. Here is displayed the three-dimensional, six-metre floating sculpture of Gaia by internationally acclaimed artist, Luke Jerram. Visitors are given a chance to explore the eighteenth-century historic house during this multi-sensory experience.

-Men in Sheds

(22 October - 10am-5pm)

Pop-up stall featuring handmade, locally crafted gifts showcased at the New Inn courtyard

-Halloween Half Term at Stowe

(21-29 October – 10am-5pm)

Experience something spooky this October Half Term at Stowe. Do you dare enter the hidden depths of Lamport Garden?

-Harvest and Apple Weekend

(21/22 October)

Join the garden and parks team for harvest and apple themed activities in and around the New Inn.

-Book Fair

(27-29 October – 10am-5pm)

A display of donated books including: fiction, non-fiction, vintage and collectable books, as well as storytelling sessions in the Parlour Rooms.


The trusts describes Claydon as a wonderful house to explore with beautiful wood carvings, ornate plasterwork ceilings and an intriguing story of 400 years of history in the Verney family. Stating that the West Terrace and South Lawn are perfect spots for a picnic with far-reaching views on warm early autumn days.

-Heritage Open Days

(17 September 10-30am-3.30pm)

Explore this hidden gem for free as part of Heritage Open Days

-British Sign Language Tour of Claydon

(24 September 3-4pm)

Another tour that uses guides and interpreters


Waddesdon’s summer bedding plants last well into September, offering bright pops of colour on the Parterre and at the Aviary. Tropical planting in Tropical Mound and at Red Lion Steps will also keep colour and greenery in the gardens and be sure to visit the proud 3D pheasant at the Aviary. As October approaches, collect conkers from the magnificent horse chestnut trees and see the grounds transform as the trees blaze with magnificent hues of orange, gold and red.

-Chilli Fest

(1-3 September 10am-5pm)

Annual Chilli Festival with more than 70 artisan producers and independent traders. Live music, family fun and children’s activities.

-Catherine Goodman – Do you remember me…

(Until 29 October, Wed-Sun 11am-5pm)

New works by Catherine Goodman displayed in the Coach House Gallery, inspired by the island of Corfu.

-Alice’s Wonderlands

(Until 29 October)

Exhibition showing how Alice put her own stamp on Waddesdon both before and after she inherited the house from her brother Ferdinand. Don't miss the free talk with the exhibition's curators Dr Mia Jackson and Catherine Taylor taking place 11am, the trust says.

-Meet the Aviary Keeper

(Until 29 October, Wednesday-Friday 2pm)

Free 25-minute talk about the Aviary and its work. Join the birds up close at feeding time and meet the famous Rothschild Mynahs.

-Garden Walks

(Until 29 October, Wednesday-Sunday 11.30am and 2.30pm)

Guided walk around the gardens. Learn about the history of Waddesdon and Rothschild family and the seasonal highlights in the garden.

-Object handling

(Until 29 October, Wednesday-Sunday 11-11.30am)

Get up close with different items from the collection. Hear about their history and how the house was used and staff. You can also hear about Miss Alice’s housekeeping rules, which govern how the collection is cared for today.

-Haunted half term

21-29 October 10am-5pm

Free entry to children throughout half term. They can take part in a fact-filled Trick or Treat Skeleton Trail and collect a spooky prize. Join Zoolab for their Creepy Critters show on 21 and 22 October, or watch some classic family films in the Powerhouse. Face painters in residence on 28/29 October.