Travel the world without leaving East Anglia

Are you planning a European getaway or travelling somewhere more exotic for your next holiday? Roll the clock back a couple of centuries and you might have been heading off on a Grand Tour. Well, now you can travel the world without leaving the country!

Picture of Dining Room complete with vaulted ceiling

Anglesey's American dream 

Anglesey Abbey was the vision of one man, Lord Fairhaven, who was born in the United States. His grandfather was the extremely wealthy American industrialist Henry Huttleston Rogers and it was his inherited fortune, that he energetically deployed into the rich collection of works of art, furniture and objects you see today.

Rotunda and Italianate Garden at Ickworth

Suffolk's little Italy 

See how one eccentric man's passion for Italy, art and having a party led to the creation of this remarkable house and its renowned collection. Inspired by the monuments of Rome, Ickworth was built with the intention not to be comfortable family home but to display treasures gathered by Frederick, 4th Earl of Bristol during his 30 years of continental travel. Italian influences can be seen throughout the Italianate garden too, one of the earliest of its kind in the country.

Close up of the chinese wallpaper at Felbrigg

Asian heirlooms at Felbrigg 

The Chinese Bedroom at Felbrigg Hall was created in the early 1750s, when William Windham II was remodelling the house. Here you’ll find that he combined the newly fashionable hand-painted Chinese wallpaper, with his family’s older Asian heirlooms.

The staircase at Melford

Melford’s Spanish treasure 

You might be surprised to find treasure at Melford Hall in Suffolk that you’d normally expect to see in the Royal Palaces of Spain! The reason for this is that back in 1762, Captain Sir Hyde Parker captured a Spanish Galleon, the ‘Santissima Trinidad’. It was laden with treasures from the Emperor of Peking to the King of Spain, which he brought home as prize booty.

Lavenham Guildhall front in market square in the sunshine

Lavenham is quintessentially English 

Lavenham Guildhall reveals the story of one of the best-preserved towns in Tudor England. When you step inside this fine timber-framed building, you'll feel the centuries melt away, as you learn more about the people who have shaped this picturesque village.

Visitors standing by the parterre in bloom

Oxburgh’s French connection 

The Parterre at Oxburgh Hall was transformed by the Bedingfield family in 1848, following an inspirational trip to Versailles. Referred to by the family as the French Garden, it was turned over to growing potatoes during the Second World War. Today, it’s planted with 7,000 bedding plants each year, each lovingly grown by the garden team in greenhouses on the Estate.

Anglo-Saxon King Raedwald brandishes his spear at Sutton Hoo

Scandinavian influence at Sutton Hoo 

Little did archaeologist Basil Brown know, his discovery at Sutton Hoo would turn out to be one of the most important Anglo-Saxon finds of the century! Ship burials for this period were also common in Scandinavia, which is where there are more similarities between the craftsmanship and type of grave goods unearthed here in 1939.

Rhododendrons in flower along the main drive in May.

Plant hunting in China  

Behind many of the plants at Sheringham Park are stories of intrepid and adventurous plant hunters who brought them back to our shores from distant lands. Seeds of various types of rhododendron, which the park is known for, were obtained around the turn of the 20th century from the plant collector Ernest ‘Chinese’ Wilson. He also brought the Handkerchief Tree here.