We visited Audley End early last summer, before we started Essex Days Out, and made a return visit today. It’s over to the west of Essex, and we drove along the A120 and then headed up the B1084 through the delightful village of Thaxted.
Audley End House and Gardens are English Heritage, and there is an official website here. It’s a place you can spend several hours at! The house has a long and chequered history, and walking through the rooms gives you an insight into the life of the ultra wealthy of bygone years.
A recent addition has been the opening of the service wing, which shows how the servants themselves lived, with some excellent use of audio-visual technology, enabling you to see the domestic servants talking about life at Audley End. That impressed us last year, and this year there is a newly renovated stable block, which includes a couple of horses who have recently arrived and who are seeing out their retirement at Audley End.
And there is the cottage garden – somewhere for keen gardeners to spend a lot of time admiring the fruit and veg, and the central greenhouse containing vines, peppers and tomatoes.
The rest of the grounds can take time to explore, the main green had a cricket match taking place when we were there, and English Heritage arrange a large number of special events, which help to make it even more child-friendly. So a hearty recommendation from us. Here’s a number of photos from our visit :
We’ll be visiting next year. If you’re not a member of English Heritage, get yourself signed up and head over to Audley End before the summer is out!