Address: Off London Road, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JF
We’re frequent visitors to Audley End. The kids absolutely love it, and now we have English Heritage Membership, so entry is free for us. (Prices here) There is enough to do to last a whole day, and loads of space to run around. I’d totally recommend it to families with kids of all ages.
The House itself is a Jacobean Mansion, with an impressive Great Hall, and loads to look at and lots of readily available info. The staff in each room seem to genuinely love discussing the House with visitors, and encourage the kids to get involved. It’s the opposite of the stuffy, hands-off approach that so many places are let down by. Here are my two being encouraged by a staff member to lie back on this chair and spot fairies decoratively carved on the ceiling!
The best part of the house for children is unsurprisingly the Nursery, where the eight Braybrooke children lived and played. It’s set out how it would have been in the 1830s, complete with costumes to dress up in, toys of the time to play with, and a replica of the children’s dollhouse (displayed in a glass cabinet) for visiting children to enjoy.
The beautiful gardens and children’s play area are well kept and great fun. Another highlight is the Victorian Stable Yard where you can meet the real horses and see the exhibition before dressing up and grooming the pretend horses in the adjoining stables. Brilliant fun, and really gets the children involved.
Audley End run lots of different events throughout the year, from craft activities to outdoor exhibitions to “Meet the Staff” character events.
The reason we love it so much is because it’s so laid back. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff and the facilities are family friendly and well maintained. A fun-filled and interesting visit, combining a slice of history with a whole heap of entertainment.
Have you visited Audley End? Let me know what you thought!