A day out at Houghton Hall, an Historic Houses Association property, offers something quite a bit different from the usual mix of Sandringham and Holkham. Without doubt, Houghton is the best for a mix of gardens, house and art. The estate is probably made even more impressive by the fact it was closed for around 100 years and so has been largely untouched inside in terms of modernisation.
One of the finest examples of architecture from the Palladian era
Built in the 1720s, it was home once to Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister. It is one of the finest examples of architecture from the Palladian era. Both Sir Robert and his son, Horace, are buried in the church of St. Martin’s in the grounds of the hall, although there is no memorial.
Open vistas, tree panoramas and hedge-lined walks
A day out at Houghton Hall will inevitably take in a stroll through the parkland to admire white fallow and other exotic deer, together with the award-winning five-acre Walled Garden and its glorious double-sided herbaceous border. The gardens are truly glorious and extremely well-kept. The open vistas, tree panoramas and hedge-lined walks, a spectacular flaming fountain and other features in the extensive gardens, all add up to a fine example of everything to be admired about the classic English estate. There is a fine collection of more contemporary sculptures by world-renowned artists such as Rachel Whiteread as well.
A throne that has to be transported to Westminster for State occasions
Art lovers can admire the interior by William Kent with its magnificent stone hall in the style of the Maritime museum in Greenwich, and amazing decoration, particularly the ceilings. This perfectly proportioned Georgian gem showcases some fine state rooms lined with vibrant tapestries and other ornate detail to admire. The staircase and Chinese bed chamber are well worth seeing. Other rooms include dining and sitting rooms with furniture to match including a throne that has to be transported to Westminster for State occasions.
Children can explore the model soldier museum allowing them to learn about British and Colonial history with battle formations involving thousands of troops. There’s a gift shop, licensed cafe located in the stables, picnic area and playground for all the family to enjoy.
Dogs are only allowed in the car park.