History is vividly brought to life once again at Audley End House and Gardens in Saffron Walden, Essex, for the new season.
There is something for everyone to enjoy with friends and family with a whole array of historical adventures at the dazzling English Heritage site.
One of the top sights of East Anglia, Audley End is an eye-catching stately home, based in astonishing grounds. Visitors throughout the year cannot only see the grand house and estate, complete with the beautifully structured Walled Organic Kitchen Garden with wonderful apple espaliers, but are also welcome to explore the service wing, stables and nursery as costumed characters allow people to experience Life Above and Below Stairs every weekend from May to October. Mrs Crocombe will be preparing meals in the kitchen and Miss Dormer will be organising the children in the nursery, whilst new for this year – the groom and stable-hands will be inviting visitors to experience a day in the life of a busy Victorian stable yard complete with horses, crafts, dressing up and games.
Entertaining Elizabeth: Jousts Jesters and Music is a brand new event falling on Sunday 24 and Monday 25 May. Visitors should allow enough time for preparing their bow and perfecting that curtsey. This event will include an action packed medieval sporting contest as knights on horseback, complete with lances will battle in a thrilling joust tournament.
Audley in Bloom on Saturday 13 June is a fantastic opportunity for green-fingered guests to join the garden team for the day and explore the wonders of the blossoming Great British garden. Workshops will be led by expert team members and visitors can ask them questions at a special Gardeners Question Time. Plus, enjoyable music, lots of cream teas available and crafts for the kids.
There are plenty of events throughout the year to keep the young ones entertained starting with Fool School from Tuesday 26 to Friday 29 May. Children will be excited to learn about some of the skills and tricks used by court fools to entertain royalty.
Children can treat dads for Fathers Day at the charming Classic Cars display on Sunday 21 June where they can admire a range of vintage vehicles in a spectacular setting.
Discoveries and Inventions from Monday 27 to Friday 31 July will take visitors through history’s most exciting inventions followed by Ugly Bug Safari on Monday 3 to Friday 7 August allowing children to grab magnifying glasses and join the big hunt for some mini beasts and a discovery of a bug’s life.
A chance to impress royalty arrives Monday 10 to Friday 14 August, at the popular Kings and Queens event. Children will uncover the crucial curtsey, bow like a pro and be able to amuse without being a fool. Then they have the opportunity to play like a Georgian, from battledores to shuttlecocks at Georgian Games Galore commencing Monday 17 to Friday 21 August.
An irresistible big event takes place on bank holiday Sunday 30 to Monday 31 August. World War II: Soldiers & Spies an explosive action packed weekend drives visitors into wartime Britain, from the trooper of the D-Day landings to the kitchen maid dishing out meagre wartime rations, this remarkable event will show life of the battlefield to the lifestyle of the home-front.
This is followed by another large event, Apple Festival on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September. From bobbing and weaving to tasting and trapping, apples have never been so tempting. Visitors can taste the delicious treats in the tea room and see how the Victorians would have cooked a Pink Lady or a Granny Smith in the service wing. Guests can even get hands on in the walled garden with archery and pottery.
Families can be spooked out this Halloween on Monday 26 to Friday 30 October at Frightening Fairytales and Spooky Stories. A family adventure to dress up and give staff a fright to remember. Visitors will also need to steady their nerves while hearing the terrifying tales. Additionally Victorian Ghost Stories for over 16s will be featuring on Friday 30 to Saturday 31 October. Visitors can join the Halloween excitement for a thrilling adventure and discover deep, dark secrets of the Victorians.
Completing the 2015 events the next programme is, A Victorian Christmas on Saturday 28 to 29 November and Saturday 5 to 6 December. Visitors can take a step back in time and immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional, magical Victorian Christmas. English Heritage really does have it all wrapped at Audley End House and Gardens!