• Jana Puisa

Audley End House and Gardens – English Heritage Site

I remember being a teenager and my dad (whom I get my love for history from) dragging us around all sorts of castles and ruins around Latvia. Pretty sure there are still photos of me looking incredibly grumpy. So it is pretty ironic that in April we have signed up for membership with English Heritage while visiting, you guessed it, a ruined castle in Devon. Is this a sign of finally becoming an adult?

Anyway, we have decided to visit as many English Heritage sites as we can at the weekends, that are a driving distance away from London. So after this very long introduction, that’s how we ended up visiting Audley End House and Gardens.

It was one of April’s Bank Holiday weekends and we got so lucky because the weather was beautiful.  We have arrived pretty early so it wasn’t too crowded to begin with. If you never been to UK and planning on visiting, please come here in spring – it is stunning! Literally everything is blooming and blossoming, and the weather, sometimes, I have to add, is fantastic!

We spent the first hour walking around the gardens as the actual house doesn’t open till later.  There is so much to see – gardens, stables, mansion house, service wing and so much more.

The house has a very long history dating back to the 17th century, it got changed and rebuilt a few times since then but still looks incredibly impressive. Quite a big part of the house is open for visitors and there are very extensive collections of books and relics. Embarrassingly we walked around it in record breaking 20 minutes as it was getting really busy…but it was amazing!

There were tons of activities happening in the gardens that day, theatrical performances, horse racing and little market stalls. Such a brilliant day out for the whole family.

On our way back to London we visited another two English Heritage sites – Duxford Chapel and Prior’s Hall Barn. Both are free to visit and have some historical significance, but probably not wroth a trip on its own, unless you are really into barns and tiny chapels. Still enjoyed seeing them.

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