Things to see and do

Gardens at Audley End

Explore the glorious gardens that were among the largest and most opulent in Jacobean England (1603-1625). Discover the views that were originally created by Capability Brown, one of the most English famous landscape architects, Take in the beautifully restored parterre and enjoy watching our Kitchen Gardens flourish with bountiful produce.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite green spaces, so you can make the most of every season.

 

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Parterre

Wander through to the back of the house to enjoy our intricately designed Parterre. A treat for the senses and designed by the fashionable William Sawry Gilpin and 3rd Lord Braybrook in 1832, the colourful display is a favourite amongst our visitors.

Combining a mix of shrubs, herbaceous perennials and annuals, our Parterre is a unique delight. See if you can spot the 182 beds cut into the lawn, all neatly edged by our Gardens team.

 

Organic Walled Kitchen Gardens

There is never a dull moment in our walled Kitchen Gardens. Throughout the seasons visitors can see how our bountiful produce is grown and maintained.

Run entirely on Soil Association organic principles, all of the organic food grown at Audley End is put to use, either in the menu created by our catering team, through sales to visitors or sold to a local organic box scheme. 

Take a moment to admire our glorious grape vines in our glasshouses and the delicious array of fruits and vegetables growing throughout the seasons.

More to explore

Parklands

With the idyllic countryside landscapes as a backdrop, our many acres of parklands around the House are a great place to enjoy a walk. The park has an impressive collection of mature trees including a Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) planted in 1762 and many other beautiful trees from the late 18th century.

The Elysian Garden

If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, stroll over to our relaxing Elysian Garden. Inspired by Greek mythology, this stunning spot is a remnant of a flower garden created in the early 1780s.

With the gentle sound of the River Cam flowing, this is the perfect place to sit or read a book. Enjoy wandering across the Tea House Bridge, designed by Robert Adams, and, if you’re lucky, you may even spot a brightly coloured kingfisher hunting for fish in the River Cam. 

The Pond Garden

Take a break in our peaceful Pond Garden. Created in the 1860s, this quiet oasis was designed to emulate the rugged alpine scenery of the Lake District, France and Switzerland.

Don’t miss our beautiful bedding displays which our expert gardeners create twice a year, including elaborate carpet bedding plantings.

The Lime Avenue

To make the most of the beautiful landscape, take a meander through the Lime Tree Avenue, dotted with cheerful snowdrops in winter. From here, visitors can enjoy views of the impressive Temple of Concord.

Top Tips from Our Gardeners

We have a dedicated team of expert Gardeners who look after our beautiful gardens. Hear a top tip from our Head Gardener below.

"Did you know that the damask shrub roses planted on our Parterre can grow to a staggering six feet tall?

In order to enjoy more flowers at a taller height, the Gardens Team carefully bend the stems over a framework so that they are horizontal. This forces the shrub to send out flowering shoots along the length of the stem.

If you don't have a framework that you can train your rose over, try pegging down the ends of the stems so that they arch towards the ground."

Louise, Head Gardener.

Seasonal Highlights

Spring

Enjoy a riot of colour as our over 16,000 bedding plants and 19,000 bulbs start to bloom. The show begins with naturalised daffodils across the parkland followed by vibrant bedding in the Parterre and Pond Garden, finishing with an impressive display of fruit blossom in the Kitchen Garden. It will surely put a spring in your step!

Summer

See the fruits of our Gardeners’ labour during the summer months when the bedding is at its most vibrant and The Kitchen Garden is bursting with delicious fruit and vegetables. Admire our show-stopping Parterre and look out for our beautiful mature trees across the parkland as they begin to flower.

Autumn

In autumn, visitors to Audley End are greeted by the sight of strikingly beautiful trees, many from the late 18th century, displaying their autumnal hues of yellow, orange, red and bronze. A large variety of pumpkins and squashes are grown in the Kitchen Garden making a colourful and interesting spectacle.

Winter

Weekend visitors to Audley End find much to delight them in winter. There is something for everyone here, whatever the weather. A stunning show of Snowdrops and winter aconites meander through the Lime Tree Walk and early daffodils cheerfully appear around the parkland.

More to Explore

  • Things to See and Do

    Explore all there is to see and do at Audley End, including our stunning stables, glorious grounds and magnificent mansion house.

  • What's On

    Enjoy relaxing days spent enjoying our Blooming Gardens events, go on fun adventure quests and get spooky at Halloween.

  • History and Stories

    Discover the history behind Audley End, from once being owned by Charles II to becoming one of England's grandest Victorian mansions.

'step into englands story