This Christmas, as twilight falls across the historic Audley End House & Gardens near Saffron Walden, something magical new event will begin.
Enchanted Audley End
From Friday 15 – Saturday 23 December, the gardens of the stunning Jacobean mansion will be filled with lights, colours and sounds as part of English Heritage’s brand new ‘Enchanted’ season.
From lanterns strung through the boughs of ancient trees, to fairy lights that lead visitors into an enchanted wonderland, Audley End is all set to become the scene of a dreamlike winter fairy-tale.
The Christmastime event will celebrate the mansion’s rich history using light trails and projections that will captivate visitors of all ages.
Little ones will be able to unleash their imaginations with the shadow puppet theatre, while adults might appreciate the connection between the ornate chandeliers and the celebrated Edwardian parties which were once thrown at the house.
Audley’s vast collection of taxidermy will also be represented by illuminating the landscape and tree tops with models of ‘escaped wildlife’. And the event will explore the past of the property’s old nursery and the lives of the eight Braybrooke children who lived there, with miniature scenes recreated using dolls house-sized characters.
Medieval scenes will reflect the De Mandeville period of the estate’s history, while angelic choral music and soft lantern light will nod towards the Benedictine priory which once stood in the same spot as the mighty mansion.
The event will also include fire pits, inspired by the former owner, Thomas Howard, and his involvement in foiling of the infamous Gunpowder plot.
After finishing the illuminated trail, visitors can finish off their evening with the traditional fairground, mince pies, mulled wine and Christmas shopping at the stable yard. What better way to kick off your December festivities?
Enchanted Audley End runs from 4.30 – 9.00pm, Friday 15 – Saturday 23 December 2017. It is one of six Enchanted events taking place at English Heritage properties this Christmas.
Non-English Heritage members: £12.00 (Adults), £7.50 (Children), £31.60 (Family).
English Heritage members: £10.00 (Adults), £6.00 (Children), £26.00 (Family).
Pre-booking is advised. Visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/enchanted for more details and to book.