Days out: Audley End House and Gardens
As part of the English Heritage, this great Jacobean house is a lovely place to enjoy a picnic and indulge yourself in history. If you're like me, you'll fantasize daily about 18th century grandeur and feasts in a great hall. Audley End House boasts a vast collection of original textiles, art, taxidermy and furniture to compliment some of the best ceilings I've ever seen in England (we cannot compare to the rest of Europe's spectacular frivolity).
Even away from the great house, you're immersed into the history of the working class people of the house - being able to see the reconstructed kitchens, laundry and dairy. The kitchen gardens were immaculate and so pretty - blooming in the un-seasonal hot weather. The girl in me got excited about the huge glasshouses - thank god there were no stones.
For all the green fans, the palatial 'Capability' Brown gardens, typically informal, include a very rare species of oak tree - only 1 of 2 in England. The formal gardens were also excavated and recreated and are full of colour this time of year.
If you are an Art Fund or English Heritage member, it's completely free. Otherwise adults will expect to pay £17.50 and children are to pay £10.50.
To find out more about Audley End House and find more places to go, please visit: www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/audley-end-house-and-gardens