Days Out in England: Audley End House and Gardens

Having an English Heritage membership is definitely getting me out of the house and exploring more of the English countryside and the next property on my list to visit was Audley End House and Gardens in Essex.  So on a drizzly Sunday morning I went for a little tiki tour to Essex…

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I was astonished to find that the entry fee is £16.00 per adult without gift aid for the property (but free if you are an English Heritage member) so I had extremely high expectations as I think most folks would.

I have a fear of birds and let’s just say I had a stand off with a couple of ducks in the car park whom wouldn’t move even after I beeped a few times….so I reeved my engine and gave them the death look and they hastily moved on…Kelly 1 Ducks 0!

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The facade of Audley End House is stunning however I’m not sure what is going on with this bobbly bush.

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Unfortunately photos aren’t allowed in most of the rooms (a bloggers nightmare) however you can take photos in the nursery, coal gallery and kitchens.

Wandering through the house I was really underwhelmed with everything; from the staff to the information provided and don’t get me started about the bad lighting – there were points when I thought I might have to turn my phone torch on!  All I kept thinking was….this property charges £16.00 per adult to enter…what the….!

The nursery is interactive and it’s there to keep the kiddies entertained…including the big kids as well.

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I did find the staff in the nursery to be extremely helpful and providing loads of information about the toys and furnishings.

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Of course this Goldilocks tried out the bed….I’ve always thought it would have been great to live in the times of Mr Darcy and Jane Austen…however that bed convinced me otherwise!

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The coal gallery is the only one left of it’s kind in England and well…what can I say…it was bloody boring…

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…so I took photos of candles….mmmm I was bored, can you tell!

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Thinking that I possibly needed a little perk me up via a cup of tea and some English Heritage Gluten Free Ginger Bites, I was once again underwhelmed by the cafe…everything was just sticky!  It had the stickiness you find at a Slug and Lettuce Pub after England loses the football; definitely not what you expect from an English Heritage property.

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The gift shop was full of little treasures like passionfruit curd (which I purchased and then scoffed all by myself within a week!) and the staff were great.  I managed to even start my Christmas shopping in the gift shop; check me out!

For me the kitchens were fun and I’m sure kids would enjoy watching the ladies bake away from the golden oldie recipes.  I’m sure I would have been laughed out of Audley End House and Gardens if I asked if there was a gluten free cake recipe from yesteryear.

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I thought the window looked pretty….is that bad?  Maybe my Historic Houses Association Membership has ruined me and I just expect more now!

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Taking a wander outside into the gardens seemed the thing to do but the clouds were looking awfully mean and thundery so after taking a few snaps….

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…okay maybe I took more than a few!

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Yeah I know, I have no self control!

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As I walked back to the car park making sure those bloody ducks had waddled off for some afternoon tea sarnies, the heavens opened up meaning it was time to race home in the smurf mobile.

I became an English Heritage member last year; the membership costs £50 per person and I’m hoping that I will be able to recoup the cost back by visiting a few properties over the year.  So far I visited Wrest Park, Kirby Hall, Wellington Arch plus this property, meaning I only have £14.20 to go to recoup the total price of my membership.

If anyone is looking at joining English Heritage please let me know as I have a code that gets you £10 off the price of the membership!

So I’m interested to hear from anyone who has visited Audley End House and Gardens; did you enjoy this English Heritage property?  Would you be happy to pay £16 pp to visit Audley End House and Gardens?

xx

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13 Comments

    • June 21, 2015 / 3:58 PM

      I’m lucky that I could use my membership and it was free entry however I would have been disappointed with the property if I was paying £16pp! Trust me I’m not that organised Lauren, the present probably won’t get to the person in time for christmas hehe x

    • June 21, 2015 / 3:57 PM

      It does look impressive from the outside and the kitchens are wonderful however everything else was just so underwhelming; maybe its just me but I kept thinking…this costs £16pp to enter, I would feel ripped off! If you can enter free, then definitely check it out Stacey as would love to hear your thoughts xx

  1. June 21, 2015 / 5:36 PM

    What a pain! I do find some stately homes so much better than others, usually if they have a good audio guide! So pricey too, I will definitely be going to Blenheim Palace instead! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • June 22, 2015 / 5:55 PM

      Blenheim Palace is wonderful isn’t it! I think my Historic Houses Association card has ruined me; I need slightly lower expectations when entering an English Heritage property next time however I was astounded of the price of entry if you weren’t a member! xx

  2. June 22, 2015 / 6:42 AM

    I love the photographs you took in the garden! The weather and the greenery is so picturesque! :D
    Rachayita Giri recently posted…A day from her diaryMy Profile

  3. Cara
    June 22, 2015 / 10:57 AM

    I love that first picture where you took it with the postcard. Such a cool idea! I may have to ‘borrow’ that idea sometime for a couple snaps! x
    Cara recently posted…Tasteclub – Souk MedinaMy Profile

  4. June 23, 2015 / 3:25 PM

    I find that more and more of these kinds of places have pretty high entry – it’s sad really as it probably puts a lot of people off visiting, but I guess they feel they need to charge this month in order to look after upkeep and repairs of all their properties?

    I hadn’t visited and not sure if I will now – it doesn’t sound that impressive, especially after some of the National Trust places I’ve visited recently. I did have a right chuckle at the bobbly bush though!
    Keri recently posted…A visit to Hanbury Hall and GardensMy Profile

    • June 27, 2015 / 3:13 PM

      I know and the memberships are getting more expensive, I totally understand that the money goes towards restoring the buildings and gardens however I think they are pricing themselves out of the market, surely a cheaper membership would mean more people would actually sign up.

      What National Trust properties have you visited recently? I have their membership but haven’t used it so am thinking of getting rid of it and sticking to the HHA and EH memberships x

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