World War II Event at Audley End House and Gardens

My son has to complete a World War II project over the summer, which can include an educational visit, so after doing some research (last minute, of course!) we found an event at Audley End House and Gardens.
We are English Heritage members, but this event required extra tickets which we bought in advance. If we hadn’t already bought them I think we would have changed our minds this morning after having a late night and being woken several times by a restless baby. Probably because the sun is back. Finally! And perfect for a bank holiday Monday (but please leave again now so my baby can sleep).

We arrived just as a grenade demonstration was starting. So we sat in the shade of a tree and ate our picnic whilst watching the demonstration. They showed us the different types of grenades and the effects they had – smoke, bangs, fire. The older children enjoyed it. The baby jumped in my arms at every bang but didn’t cry.

Afterwards we walked around the different tents that were set up. The children were able to touch some weapons, and sit in vehicles. I must admit I freaked out a little bit, especially watching my son look down the barrel of a gun!

The house was open so we were able to look around (but not take photos!) We were told that usually the children can go into the nursery and play with the toys (but it was closed today), and downstairs in the basement they have cooking demonstrations. Normally it is Victorian, but today was ration book cooking, and somehow we missed it. We only looked around upstairs and it was very well presented, but very busy today.

The children were interested in the library, the taxidermy birds and the ceiling in the downstairs hall. There were also pieces on display that caught their attention on the way round.

We ended the day with some tree climbing (which surprised me considering the bad fall from a tree my daughter had earlier this week) and my husband took some of the children for a walk around the garden, while I sat with the children who were complaining of sore feet.

5 things to see and do at Audley End House and Gardens

  1. View the Braybrooke’s Natural History collection.
  2. See how the nursery would have looked in the 1830s.
  3. Visit the horses in the Victorian stable yard. The horses timetable is on the English Heritage website.
  4. Go into the servants wing and watch Victorian cooking demonstrations.
  5. There is a children’s play area next to the cafe.

If you would like to visit Audley End House and Gardens, more info can be found on the English Heritage website.

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