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St Paul’s Walden Bury

A notable landscape garden laid out in the early 18th-century and the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

St Paul's Walden Bury, Hitchin SG4 8BP

St Paul's Walden Bury
Free for members
Facilities
  • Accessible loos
  • Accessible parking
  • Free parking
  • Mostly wheelchair accessible
  • Pet friendly
  • Picnic area
for the latest information.
Accessibility

House tours suitable for wheel chairs, except not very heavy electric. Single step up into the house. No disabled toilets.
Visitors can sit down on some chairs during tour.

Part of garden suitable for wheel chairs, but there are steep grass slopes. For weddings, arrangements can be made so wheel chairs can exit garden without being pushed up hill.

Does our information need updating?
Let us know here

This charming small stately home was the childhood home of Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, later to become Queen Elizabeth. See the beautiful 18th century hall and drawing rooms, used for concerts and weddings. You may be interested in an idiosyncratic collection of pictures and ceramics, as well as 18C scandals. Exquisite embroidery (around 1900) by Queen Marie of Romania is on display.

There is a collection of royal family childhood memorabilia, such as Queen Elizabeth’s school essays and letters to her brother from early 1900’s.

The spectacular landscape garden, covering over 50 acres, is based on a classical formal design: long avenues of clipped beech hedges lead to temples, statues, lake and ponds. It was laid out about 1720 when the house was built, and the original patte d’oie (goose foot) architecture has been retained.

There is also a woodland garden with interesting plants, including rhododendrons and magnolias that have grown up over the last 80 years. Wild flowers (notably spotted orchids) are left to spread. Carpets of snowdrops and bluebells cover the glades. There are banks of daffodils followed by drifts of cowslips and other wildflowers in season.

Dogs on leads welcome. Picnics in designated places in the garden or in “Dining barn”.

Opening Times

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.

View website

See the property’s own website for the latest opening times, which are set on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Visit to garden most Sundays 2-5pm in winter, 2-7pm in summer
Visit to garden most Wednesdays in summer 2-7pm

When house and garden open days are timetabled, Historic Houses members wishing to redeem their offer of free admission are asked to email to reserve their place on specific date and time.

Non-members can buy tickets from Eventbrite.

Admission

Guided tour of the house and visit to the garden: £16 , children 6-16 half price (max 2 per adult)

Visit to garden only: £8, children up to 16 free (up to two children per adult)

Non-members can buy tickets from Eventbrite.

When house and garden open days are timetabled, Historic Houses members wishing to redeem their offer of free admission are asked to email to reserve their place on specific date and time.

 

Group Visits

House tours can be tailored to special interests such as architecture, furnishings, pictures, ceramics and Royal memorabilia – as well as 18C scandals.

Parking for coaches is available.

Entry price is £16 per person for guided tour of the house, payable 4 weeks in advance by bank transfer.

Please email to discuss pre-arranged group visits.

Educational Visits

For information on educational visits to garden or the adjacent farm please contact Frances Bowes Lyon at francesharris100@hotmail.com

for the latest information.
Accessibility

House tours suitable for wheel chairs, except not very heavy electric. Single step up into the house. No disabled toilets.
Visitors can sit down on some chairs during tour.

Part of garden suitable for wheel chairs, but there are steep grass slopes. For weddings, arrangements can be made so wheel chairs can exit garden without being pushed up hill.

Does our information need updating?
Let us know here

Getting here

St Paul's Walden Bury, Hitchin SG4 8BP

30 miles north of London, 5 miles south of Hitchin, on B651, near Whitwell village.

By public transport, take the train to Hitchin, then 304 bus towards St Albans. Or train to St Albans then 304 bus towards Hitchin. Alight at Whitwell or St Paul’s Walden.

The Bowes Lyon family

The Bowes Lyon family live in the house and Simon does much of the gardening. Fergus runs the estate. The beautiful state rooms at the front of the house are used for concerts and weddings.

St Paul's Walden Bury lake

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