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…
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!
The facade of Audley End House is stunning however I’m not sure what is going on with this bobbly bush.
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.
I did find the staff in the nursery to be extremely helpful and providing loads of information about the toys and furnishings.
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!
The coal gallery is the only one left of it’s kind in England and well…what can I say…it was bloody boring…
…so I took photos of candles….mmmm I was bored, can you tell!
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.
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.
I thought the window looked pretty….is that bad? Maybe my Historic Houses Association Membership has ruined me and I just expect more now!
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….
…okay maybe I took more than a few!
Yeah I know, I have no self control!
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?