Houghton Hall, Gardens and Sculpture Park
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Houghton Hall, Gardens and Sculpture Park

Houghton Hall, Gardens and Sculpture Park
4.5
Art GalleriesHistoric SitesArchitectural BuildingsGardens
Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
About
Open spring through autumn (2024 dates tbc), Houghton Hall in Norfolk was built in the 1720s for Britain's First Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. A fine example of Palladian architecture and interiors by William Kent, it is home to the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, Walpole's descendant, and his family. Situated in expansive parkland, the hall is surrounded by white fallow deer. An award-winning five-acre Walled Garden includes a spectacular double-sided herbaceous border, a kitchen garden with arches and espaliers of apples and pears and formal rose parterre. An impressive collection of contemporary sculpture and works by world-renowned artists such as Richard Long, Anya Gallaccio, Stephen Cox, Jeppe Hein, Rachel Whiteread, Phillip King, and James Turrell are displayed in the grounds. There is a model soldier museum housing the biggest private collection in the world, gift shop and cafe. A major contemporary art exhibition is planned for 2024 - details will be released soon.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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4.5
537 reviews
Excellent
324
Very good
124
Average
50
Poor
26
Terrible
13

Greg G
Tallinn, Estonia66 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
One of England's Treasure Houses that is a must see for any serious architecture enthusiast. Pictures alone do not convey the stately dignity of the house. The proportions are excellent. It is large but not overwhelming. The interiors are exceptional not only for the craftsmanship and design but also the preservation.

Unfortunately, much of the best art was sold over 200 years ago, but the remaining pieces are beautiful. I personally do not care for the modern art, which to me distracts from the harmonious original design. But the furniture is generally intact and of the highest quality.

As a structure, you have the opportunity to study a complete work. It is not built upon an earlier structure, nor has it been modified. There is also more preservation than restoration. Patina, not deterioration.

The toy soldier exhibit is huge! It offers an interesting opportunity to study continental wars in the 1700s and 1800s. In the stables, you will see virtually every riding accessory imaginable from the past to present.

The stable block itself offers an interesting contrast to the house. It follows the same classical proportions but with less opulent materials. (Although the horses did live in wood-paneled luxury!)

Another must see is the fantastic walled garden. Be sure to find the water flame fountain - one of two in the world. Wandering around the park is very relaxing.

There is also a nice café and gift shop.
Written 7 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

markaaronc
Tamworth, UK205 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Initially dubious about paying £20 per head but did it anyway.
Things to know. Parking is ‘free’. The car park is well managed and a
Reasonable walk to the house.
Café is superb. Food excellent with a larger choice and better presented than the typical National Trust property(Long time NT members)

The gardens are amazing. So well cared for and so much to see. Very impressed.

The main house itself was beyond expectations. Each room had a ‘wow’ factor surpassing anything we had seen before (including Blenheim Palace).

The Members of staff in each room were genuinely friendly and informative without being pushy. Loved it.

Photographers such as ourselves will have an amazing time. The grounds currently host arts exhibition.

We also encountered a young stag resting under a
tree. Something of a highlight for me.

In all. Don’t have doubts about visiting. It’s simply superb.
A massive thank you from myself and
My wife
Written 19 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
This is such an informative review - thank you for taking the time to post. There is indeed so much to enjoy and discover here at Houghton Hall and it's not unusual for visitors to arrive when we open the gates at 11 and stay until we close at 5! We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you both back one day. Thank you again!
Written 27 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

KarenKew
Portishead, UK647 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
The grounds are magnificent with the ghostly white deer meandering around under mature trees. Sadly wet weather prevented us walking far but we saw a number of the outdoor sculptures. The cafe is very pleasant and reasonably priced. It's a shame there isn't more information about the model soldier museum - who collected them, why, when etc.
Similarly there is a dearth of information about the family in the house, although the room guides were chatty about the contents. Just the one floor of public rooms...
We were underwhelmed by the heavily promoted exhibition by Sean Scully.... The rain prevented us fully exploring the huge walled garden...which looks enticing.
A good day out which would be even better in better weather
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Karen - we're glad you had a good day in spite of the wet weather! There are information leaflets to pick up at the Model Soldier Museum (the largest private collection in the world, started in 1928 by the 6th Marquess) which go into lots of detail, and we're sorry that for some reason it seems perhaps you didn't get one. Again, there is information in each room of the house and, as you rightly say, the guides are also very happy to tell our visitors about the wealth of history and answer all their questions. The Walled Garden is indeed enticing - perhaps we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back another time when you can fully enjoy all the breath-taking aspects that make it so special.
Written 27 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cressida88
London, UK8 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
Spectacular Sean scully show in utterly beautiful surroundings. Houghton is staggeringly well kept and a joy to behold. Walk across smooth green lawns and turn a corner to be met with a superb piece of art. The coloured glass Venice stack in the hall made me weep with joy. What a feat of engineering to put on this marvellous exhibition.
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Cressida - thank you! This is such a lovely review which reflects the hard work of everyone here and we appreciate you taking the time to post.
Written 27 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Louise
Stafford, UK20 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Despite the time of year the walled garden was definitely worth a visit, still lots of colour and interest including the fire fountain. Signage could be better and the rest of the park / house we also thought poor value for money. Little information about Sir Robert Walpole and only a little about the Chalmondley family. Sculptures are definitely in the"modern" category. On the plus side guides were very friendly.
Written 13 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for posting. The Walled Garden receives many well-deserved comments - the team works tirelessly to keep it looking its best and we're glad you enjoyed it (including Jeppe Hein's iconic Water Flame). Regarding directions - visitors are given a comprehensive four-page map leaflet and the attendants are on hand to provide further assistance to help visitors find their way around - we do try not to have too much signage, as it can be considered a little intrusive. All the rooms in the house contain information sheets and again the guides are extremely knowledgeable and very willing to answer questions. An optional extra is the 66-page fully illustrated guide book (just £5) which makes a lovely souvenir too.
Written 27 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

RunnerB
Bromley, UK57 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
We enjoyed the whole experience. The history and interior of the house; the commemorative garden (with the flaming fountain); the grounds and (some of) the art works found around the estate. The model soldiers exhibition was unusual and instructive and the cafe provided a lift when required. At the time of our visit, there was also an interesting exhibition of art by contemporary artists. We arrived at opening time and left after about four hours so plenty to see.
Written 13 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We appreciate your post and are very pleased you enjoyed your time here at Houghton. Thank you.
Written 27 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gibcrack
Chelmsford69 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
This is a first rate stately home that ticks all of the boxes . The interior is most impressive from the sculptures to the model soldiers and the staff are very informative. We had a pleasant lunch in the stables and walked among the art installations in the grounds . The ornamental gardens are immaculate. At the days end I found that I had a flat battery which is not ideal as Houghton is quite remote and it was a Sunday but the staff rallied round and a member appeared with jump leads to save the day .

We had a memorable visit
Written 7 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for posting about your visit and we're delighted it was memorable for all the right reasons. We have a lovely team here who go out of their way to assist our visitors, and we were glad to help with your onward journey.
Written 11 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ray N
Bury St. Edmunds, UK1,132 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
This was my annual visit to Houghton Hall to see the outdoor sculptures mainly but I always visit the gardens and the house itself. This year the artist was Sean Scully who I must admit, I was not familiar with his work. The sculptures themselves were vrey interesting and well situated through the hall grounds with one or two inside the house. They also have a very good cafe and small gift shop. And I always visit the Soldier museum to see the battle dioramas and militaria there.
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
It's always a pleasure to welcome back regular visitors and we do find people - like you - appreciate having new art to discover each year. We're so pleased you enjoyed another interesting day here; many thanks for taking the time to post a review.
Written 11 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Robert C
1 contribution
Sep 2023 • Couples
What an amazing day we had, arriving at 11 as the gates opened and one of the last to leave as the gates closed at 5. Every element, house, stables and gardens were outstanding. The Walled Garden in particular took our breath away. The staff were amazing, informative, passionate and super friendly, how delightful to hear from them that they all felt appreciated by the family which clearly showed in the way they dealt with visitors.
Written 23 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
This is such a lovely review summing up a happy day at Houghton. It is particularly lovely when reviews mention our staff, as everyone works so hard to welcome our visitors and give them the best visit possible. Thank you!
Written 28 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ramblergirl2016
Chichester, UK15 contributions
Sep 2023 • Friends
There is so much to see here! Sculpture Trail , but be prepared to walk and sometimes hunt for the sculptures. Lovely House and well informed guides in most rooms. Art exhibition was great, currently Sean Scully. I was surprised at the detail of the toy soldier display. Many famous battles depicted. The walled garden is a delight and very well laid out.
Written 21 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
There is indeed plenty to explore and discover here - the incredible Model Soldier Museum being one of the most surprising features. We're so glad you enjoyed your day and hope to welcome you again! Meanwhile, thank you for leaving this review.
Written 28 September 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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HOUGHTON HALL, GARDENS AND SCULPTURE PARK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Houghton Hall, Gardens and Sculpture Park

Houghton Hall, Gardens and Sculpture Park is open:
  • Sun - Sun 11:00 - 17:00
  • Wed - Thu 11:00 - 17:00


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