A cottage where the head gardener of one of England's grandest mansions once lived is available to rent on Airbnb.
The Head Gardener's House at Audley End House, in Essex, has been transformed by English Heritage, with the help of a £1.25 million donation from Airbnb.
Guests checking in to the three-bedroom holiday home have unlimited access to the spectacular grounds of the country estate, near Saffron Walden and just a short drive from Cambridge.
The Jacobean mansion, dubbed a royal palace in all but name, featured in the third series of The Crown, with its interior used to portray parts of Balmoral, Windsor Castle and Eton College. The 17th-century building's great hall and library were chosen as the filming locations for the Netflix drama.
Audley End House was built by Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, the grandson of Henry VIII’s Lord Chancellor and former Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Thomas Audley.
Sleeping up to six people, the dog-friendly Airbnb in Audley End's grounds has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious lounge and a family kitchen. Its interior is modern, with a floral theme throughout.
Guests staying in the house, which is available for staycations from April, will benefit from after-hours access to the historic gardens, featuring a parterre and Capability Brown parkland.
Built in 1875 as a family home for Audley End’s head gardener, the red-brick house signalled their status as one of the estate's most senior servants.
After remaining empty for several years, the Head Gardener's House is now a cosy and energy-efficient holiday cottage with views over the walled kitchen garden and stable courtyard.
Meanwhile, Audley End itself is one of the largest and most opulent houses in Jacobean England, with impressive spaces to explore. The interiors span opulent state rooms and a sprawling servant’s wing, while outside there are working stables, elegant garden buildings and delightful planting.
Capability Brown created expansive views, a serpentine lake and natural planting by sweeping away the remnants of the formal garden. The spectacularly restored parterre and organic walled kitchen garden add to the charm.
Stays at the Head Gardener's House start from £736 for a three-night weekend break.
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