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Christmas time at Audley End

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

  • CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS: Mrs Warwick puts a decoration on the tree at Audley End

  • GATHERING DECORATIONS: Labourer Mr Staffage brings in the holly and the ivy from the grounds at Audley End

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Audley End House and Gardens, Saffron Walden, Saturday and Sunday, November 24 and 25, Saturday and Sunday, December 1 and 2, between 9.30am and 4pm on both weekends

English Heritage invites you back to the 1800s to celebrate a traditional Victorian Christmas this festive season, in the impressive surroundings of Audley End House and Gardens.

Visitors will delight as Victorian costumed characters, including aristocratic owners the Braybrooke family and their dedicated staff, bring the yuletide celebration to life.

Experience how the stately home would have celebrated Christmas in the Victorian Era, explore the wonderfully decorated rooms and enjoy the centrepiece of the occasion – the beautifully decorated Christmas tree.

Sneak a peek at the beautiful wreaths and garlands created by the talented staff, and enjoy storytelling, carol singing and music as the Braybrookes would have done.

'Below stairs' in Audley End's fully functioning Victorian Service Wing, guests will witness a different side to the festivities, where the hard working staff, including the resident cook and kitchen maids, will be busily preparing a seasonal feast of grand proportions.

Mince pies, game, and a traditional Christmas beef dinner are all likely to be on the menu for the Braybrookes and their noble guests.

After discovering the splendour of the house and the bustling hive of activity in the Victorian Service Wing, step outside into the exquisite gardens and explore the festive fun trail, which runs through the grounds.

Father Christmas will also be paying a special visit to the Stable Yard, so be sure to take your young ones along for an extra special treat.

The Tea Rooms will be providing delicious refreshments and visitors will find a fantastic range of traditional gifts available in the shop – perfect for Christmas shopping.

Lucy Hutchings of English Heritage said: "This is always an exciting time of year at Audley End, with A Victorian Christmas being one of our biggest events.

"We're delighted to welcome visitors to the beautiful festive surroundings of Audley End to celebrate this special time of year, just as the Braybrooke family would have done in the Victorian era."

A Victorian Christmas at Audley End. Prices: Non-member: adults £15.00, concessions £13.50, children £9.20, family ticket £39.20. Members: Adults £2, concessions £1.80, children £1.40, family £5.40. Ticket price includes entry to: the main house, service wing, stables and grounds.

Visit www.english-heritage. org.uk/events.

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