Stay in a National Trust House in Buckinghamshire

November 12, 2018

Grade I listed Hartwell House has a remarkable history, once home to Louis XVIII

10 years ago, Hartwell House was given to the National Trust and is open to all



More than 24 million people visit a National Trust property every year but hardly any of these properties are operated as hotels. In fact, there are just three hotels part of the National Trust and Hartwell House is one of these Historic House Hotels. Guests can combine truly unique experiences of both visiting and staying at one of England’s finest stately homes while enjoying the overall National Trust experience. Ten years ago, Hartwell House was given to the National Trust along with its two companion hotels. To this day, it is the largest gift the National Trust has ever received.


In its varied history, Hartwell has had many different owners and visitors including Kings of England and of France as well as a long line of Buckinghamshire baronets. There is much to explore both outside and inside at Hartwell House and every visit and stay benefits the National Trust and its ongoing work.


Head outside at Hartwell House and explore:

  • Statue of Frederick, Prince of Wales which dates to 1757

  • St Mary’s church which was rebuilt in 1753 and a fine example of early Gothic Revival style

  • The Gothic Tower which is a romantic battlemented turret

  • Statue of Hercules within the 90 acres of gardens

  • The Bridge which comprises the central arch of James Paine’s Kew Bridge 1783-9

  • The Lime Avenue; a mile-long double avenue of limes runs north from the house

  • The Rusticated Arch now re-erected to provide a grand entrance to SE corner of the grounds

Head inside at Hartwell House and discover:

  • The House dating back to the early 17th century with a Jacobean style with oriel windows

  • The Great Hall changed little since it was transformed in 1739 by James Gibbs

  • The Stairs combining original Jacobean woodwork and 18th-century pastiche by Keene

  • The Vestibule; a top-lit, semi-elliptical space in the style of Sir John Soane

  • The Library which still has Rococo frieze and Chimneypiece and original bookcases

  • The Morning Room with a Rococo plasterwork ceiling and a matching chimneypiece

  • The Dining Room designed in the style of Sir John Soane and open daily to non-residents also


From the late 15th century the estate belonged to the Hampdens, an old Buckinghamshire family. Its most famous member was John Hampden, who led the Parliamentary opposition to Charles I in the 1640s. The estate then passed to the Lee family over two generations. In 1809, Hartwell House was leased to the exiled King Louis XVIII of France and his court. King Louis remained at Hartwell until 1814 when the constitutional document, confirming his accession to the throne, was signed in the library by the King. In 1987 Hartwell House started work on being converted into a hotel with careful remodelling and restoration.


Today, the house has 32 superbly appointed bedrooms and suites, some named after the members of the Court of Louis XVIII. Hartwell Court, originally the eighteenth-century coach house and situated approximately 100 yards from the house, has been restored to provide 16 bedrooms and suites. All feature antique furniture and paintings and all have delightful views of the gardens.


Hartwell House's gardens were landscaped by a contemporary of Capability Brown. Hartwell House is the ideal base for a garden inspired break exploring over 90 acres. Guests can enjoy walks around the grounds with a copy of their Tree Map, to identify 10 prize specimens. Hartwell Spa resides in the grounds with a mosaic-lined indoor pool, sauna and steam room, gym and Hartwell Café overlooking the pool and opening out on to a terrace in summertime. All weather tennis courts are also available. The 2 AA Rosette restaurant is open daily and visitors and guests can also enjoy afternoon tea at Hartwell House in the various public rooms.


Enjoy pleasures past and present at Hartwell House. Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire, HP17 8NR

B&B priced from £240 per night based on two sharing a classic room

(National Trust Break: Dinner, bed & breakfast from £185 per room per night based on two guests - includes £15 allowance for dinner each. Valid Sunday - Thursday until 30th March 2019 -

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