Discover Attractions Near Us – Audley End House and Gardens

Just 12 miles up the M11 from The Handmade Kitchen Company is Audley End House and Gardens. This Essex Jacobean mansion in Saffron Walden captivates England’s rich history and is managed by English Heritage – renowned for its architectural splendour, expansive gardens, and fascinating historical significance.

Audley End has something to offer for everyone, a great day out for those history enthusiasts, gardening aficionados, and people simply looking for a picturesque day out with their family. You’ll discover what life was like above and below stairs at a Victorian country house.

Enjoy a superb day out at one of England’s finest country houses – a mansion with a difference!

A Little History on Audley End House

Audley End House dates back to the early 17th century when it was originally built on the site of the medieval Walden Abbey for Thomas Howard, the 1st Earl of Suffolk. The mansion is one of the largest and most opulent homes in England and is set in an outstanding landscaped park.

Over the centuries, it has undergone various transformations. In the 18th century, Robert Adam (a renowned architect), remodelled parts of the house, and the gardens were redesigned by the famous landscape architect Capability Brown. Something else interesting about the house is that it served as a military hospital during World War II, adding another layer to its rich historical tapestry.

To this date, it is now just a third of its original size.

Audley End’s Architecture

As previously mentioned it is a prime example of Jacobean architecture, characterised by its symmetrical layout, classical proportions, and elaborate ornamentation. The house features an impressive great hall, a magnificent library, and opulent state apartments, all adorned with exquisite period furnishings and artworks.

When visiting you can explore the house’s numerous rooms, each offering a unique glimpse into the lives of its former inhabitants. Take a step into the Victorian Service Wing, including the kitchen, laundry, and dairy, providing you with insights into how the grand country house worked and the daily life of the servants who kept it running smoothly.

Explore The Gardens

One of the major highlights at Audley End is the gardens, they are simply a natural wonderland, a perfect blend of formal and informal landscapes. The grounds designed by Capability Brown, feature sweeping lawns, serene lakes, and meticulously maintained flower beds. There is also a walled kitchen garden that has been restored to its Victorian glory, showcasing an array of heritage vegetables, fruits, and flowers.

Take a stroll through the gardens to learn about the variety of delightful features it has to offer. From the parterre with its intricate patterns to the beautifully restored Elysin Garden, to the whimsical Organic Kitchen Garden, all gardens are a haven for plant lovers and a testament to the art of English garden design.

Come across the stable yard to meet the friendly horses and then top up your energy with a delicious treat in the cafe.

There’s Attractions For The Whole Family

Not just for adults, Audley End offers plenty of activities for families and children. The miniature railway is a particular favourite, providing a scenic ride through the estate’s woodland. The enchanting journey into the forest sees charming displays featuring beloved fairy tales that will excite the children, as a play area and a summer outdoor theatre. There is also a Victorian nursery where children can learn and play with historical toys and games.

Plenty Of Special Events & Activities Throughout The Year

Every year and throughout the opening times, Audley End hosts a range of events that bring history to life. From historical reenactments and guided tours to craft fairs and concerts, there’s always something happening at the estate.

Visiting Information

  • Opening Times: Open to the public from March to October, with limited access during the winter months.
  • Amenities: Cafe, Gift Shop & Picnic Areas.
  • Tours: Guided Tours are available, providing deeper insights into the history and architecture of the house and gardens.

Visiting Audley End & Gardens is a journey through time for you and the whole family, offering an enriching experience that combines history, architecture and natural beauty. Create a memorable day out and immerse yourself in the splendour of one of England’s most magnificent stately homes.

For over 25 years, The Handmade Kitchen Company has been crafting truly bespoke kitchens for discerning clients. Our extensive expertise, honed through decades of professional experience, is evident in every aspect of the business we are passionate about. Contact us today for more information – we look forward to hearing from you and delivering custom solutions tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

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