Enjoy England’s beautiful autumn colours

Posted on: 29 September 2011 by Mark O'haire

As summer waves farewell and autumn arrives, we’ve compiled a list of the top five places to enjoy England’s beautiful autumn colours.

English country houseAudley End House & Gardens, Essex

Fine Victorian gardens restored to their former glory

The doors of the restored historic stables recently opened, complete with resident horses and a Victorian groom. The stables experience includes an exhibition where you can find out about the workers who lived on the estate in the 19th century, the tack house and the Audley End fire engine. 

Much has been done to restore Audley End’s park and fine Victorian gardens to their former glory, making for a spectacularly beautiful autumn visit. With magnificent trees, and features like Robert Adam’s ornamental garden buildings and the Elysian garden cascade, you are sure to be delighted by all there is to discover within the 18th-century parkland.

audleyenBackground: Audley End House is largely an early 17th-century house that was once a palace in all but name, and renowned as one of the finest Jacobean houses in England. Audley End is now only one-third of its original size, but still a significant property, with much to enjoy in its architectural features and varied collections.

To make for an extra special weekend visit, visitors can stay at the Audley End holiday cottage, Cambridge Lodge, which overlooks the grounds of the main house.

Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

WrestHouseOne of the UK’s largest ‘Secret Gardens’

Wrest Park is one of the most magnificent gardens in England – yet one of the least well-known. Escape the crowds and explore the stunning autumnal scenery within the 18th-century layout of wooded walks and canals, and pretend it’s all yours.

As the temperature gets cool, what better way to lift the spirits than to visit to the countryside and experience the bursts of gorgeous colour?

Background: Wrest Park was the home of the De Grey family from the 13th-century until 1917. The formal gardens are inspired by the great gardens of Versailles in France; provide a fascinating history of garden styles over the past 150 years.

Brodsworth Hall, South Yorkshire

brodsworth-hall-doncaster-gA collection of grand gardens in miniature

In contrast to the house, the extensive gardens of Brodsworth Hall have been wonderfully restored to their original splendour. Brilliant autumn colours in the acre dell contrast with the clipped evergreen foliage of the formal gardens, making this an ideal time to see the garden structure at its best.

Background: Built in the Italianate style of the 1860’s, Brodsworth Hall has been frozen in its original grandeur and opulence. The house was occupied by the Thellusson family for 120 years, and the ‘grand rooms’ on the ground floor recall its Victorian heyday.

Witley Court & Gardens, Worcestershire

Magnificent landscaped gardens and rambling woods

Witley Court is surrounded by some of the most spectacular landscaped gardens in the region, and with a major restoration programme coming to completion, there has never been a better time to discover the vast and rambling remains of this palatial 19th-century mansion. Discover the stunning ornamental walks and wrap-up warm for a stroll along the newly laid paths through the woodland glades, and marvel at the autumn coats of many colours.

Background: One hundred years ago, Witley Court was one of England’s great country houses, grand and palatial, and surrounded by spectacular landscaped gardens. Then in 1937, disaster struck with a devastating fire and the house and vast gardens fell into a long decline. Today, however, Witley’s fortunes have turned, with a long-term restoration programme to bring the magnificent gardens back to life.

Turn your visit into a special weekend away with a stay at Pool House at Whitley Court, located a short walk away from the romantic ruins of the property.

Framlingham Castle, Suffolk

framA noble castle with spectacular surroundings

Embark on a self-guided tour of discovery around the site of Framlingham Castle, and explore the castle’s outer courts and the wall walk with its spectacular views over the surrounding landscape – the perfect position for the keen photographer to capture the glorious autumn colours, reflecting off Framlingham Mere.

Background: Framlingham is a magnificent example of a late 12th-century castle, and was built by the Earl of Norfolk. Architecturally, the castle was designed as both a stronghold and symbol of power and status, and the fortress is noble for its curtain wall with regular mural towers, being an early example of this style.

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