Houghton Hall & Gardens
World-class house with exceptional contents and grounds.
King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 6UE
- Cafe / restaurant
- Facilities for children
- Picnic area
Houghton Hall is one of the grandest survivors of the Palladian era, built in the 1720s for Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.
It is a showcase of the work of architects James Gibbs and Colen Campbell, complemented by the richly ornamented interiors of William Kent, and furnished to reflect Walpole’s wealth and power. The Hall is the home of the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, Walpole’s descendent, and his family.
Surrounded by traditional parkland, Houghton has a spectacular herd of white fallow deer. The award winning five acre Walled Garden includes a breath-taking double-sided herbaceous border, a formal rose parterre, and a rustic temple designed by Julian and Isabel Bannerman.
Time Horizon, one of Sir Antony Gormley’s most spectacular large-scale installations, is being shown throughout the 2024 season. The show features 100 life-size sculptures installed at the same datum level – some partially buried, some on columns – to create a single horizontal plane across the 300-acre parkland.
From 12 May – 29 September, one of the world’s most revered ceramic artists, Dame Magdalene Odundo, presents an exhibition of sculptures made and sited in response to the state rooms. The group of new works will be positioned in the great Stone Hall, while early works create resonant dialogues with the William Kent-designed interiors.
Other contemporary sculptures on display in the grounds include works by Sean Scully, Rachel Whiteread, Stephen Cox, Phillip King, Anish Kapoor, Anya Gallaccio, James Turrell, Jeppe Hein, and Richard Long.
The interior of the imposing stables building was as carefully considered as the house, with superbly constructed brick vault ceilings supported on timber pillars. The Stables were planned to house eighty horses of different qualities, the most valuable having their own stalls, whilst the coach horses would share.
The stable block also houses the Model Soldier Museum, which holds The Cholmondeley Collection of Soldiers, one of the largest private collections in the world, the gift shop and the café.
Please note: The information on the Historic Houses website is advisory, but please always check the website of the house or garden you intend to visit before travelling.
April: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday
May: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, plus Bank Holiday Mondays 6 and 27
June: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday
July and August: Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, plus Bank Holiday Monday 26 August
September and October: Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday.
Antony Gormley, Time Horizon, opens on 21 April and closes on 31 October.
Magdalene Odundo’s exhibition opens on 12 May and closes on 29 September.
11am – gates open for access to the Walled Garden, Model Soldier Museum, old stables, deer park, sculpture park, exhibition room, shop and café
12pm – House opens
4pm – last entry at the gates, last entry to the house
4.30pm – house closes
5pm – Walled Garden, Café, and outside areas close
Historic Houses members visit the Walled Garden, Model Soldier Museum and old stables for free (pre-booked ticket worth £10). Entry to the art exhibitions, the Hall itself, the Sculpture Park, and Deer Park (where the church is located) is £22 when pre-booked. Historic Houses members can simply pay the difference for full admission (£12).
Pre-booking is recommended. Members should input their Historic Houses membership numbers at the time of purchase and take their cards with them.
Historic Houses free entry does not apply to groups. However, pre-booked groups of 15 or more are entitled to a free place for the organiser/courier and coach driver.
Private guided tours can be arranged and must be pre-booked.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01485 528569.
Houghton Hall provides opportunities for schools, colleges and universities to use the inspiring landscape for self-guided programmes to learn, discover and explore. These limited-availability visits usually take place on a Tuesday at no charge.
For more information or to enquire about an educational visit, kindly contact email@example.com
Become a Historic Houses member
Explore the nation’s heritage from just £68 per year.
Hundreds of the most beautiful historic houses, castles, and gardens across Britain offer our members free entry.
Also: receive a quarterly magazine, enjoy monthly online lectures, get exclusive invitations to buy tickets for behind-the-scenes tours, and take up a range of special offers on holidays, books, and other products you might like.