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“Another wonderful visit”
Review of Houghton Hall

Houghton Hall
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Houghton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Houghton Hall in Norfolk was built in the 1720s for Britain's First Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. A beautiful example of Palladian architecture with interiors by William Kent. Currently, Houghton Hall is home to the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, Walpole's descendant, and his family. Situated in traditional parkland, the house is surrounded by white fallow and other exotic deer. There is an award-winning five-acre Walled Garden which includes a spectacular double-sided herbaceous border, a kitchen garden with arches and espaliers of apples and pears as well as a formal rose parterre. An impressive collection of contemporary sculptures and other works by world-renowned artists such as Richard Long, Anya Gallaccio, Zhan Wang, Stephen Cox, Jeppe Hein, Rachel Whiteread and Phillip King are displayed in the grounds. There is a model soldier museum, a gift shop, a fully licensed cafe and picnic area and playground. In 2018 there is an exhibition of paintings & sculpture by Damien Hirst
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Stairs / lift
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

We love Houghton Hall. Third trip and first time in Spring. The Damien Hirst exhibition divided us - the kids enjoyed the floating eyeballs and I liked the spots. I thought they might get lost in the full on historical decor but actually thought that they added a levity to the rooms they were in.
The walled gardens were immaculate - the girls had previously loved the croquet lawn but there was now there. They are the gardens of my dreams!
The play ground and picnic area went down as well as usual but they really needed a bin in this area.
My highlight is always the sky space art/ house. So calming and reflective.
I always like the fact that the house and gardens aren’t massively overly touristy. It feels small scale and therefore kind of personal. For me this is a piece of norfolk perfection.

Date of experience: April 2018
2  Thank BbeforeC2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"prime minister"
in 21 reviews
"walled garden"
in 94 reviews
"sir robert"
in 15 reviews
"damien hurst"
in 5 reviews
"stately home"
in 21 reviews
"stable block"
in 11 reviews
"modern art"
in 12 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 32 reviews
"interesting sculptures"
in 4 reviews
"state rooms"
in 10 reviews
"water fountain"
in 7 reviews
"looked fabulous"
in 4 reviews
"room guides"
in 12 reviews
"temporary exhibition"
in 5 reviews
"venison sausage"
in 4 reviews
"extensive grounds"
in 10 reviews
"herbaceous borders"
in 5 reviews

52 - 56 of 369 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Went because of the Damien Hirst exhibition... in all fairness was expecting to dislike his sculptures... and I did! But had an open mind about the spotty paintings, and loved them! They looked fabulous in the beautiful setting, and whilst there may have been just a few too many I was pleasantly surprised! They made me smile and fitted surprisingly well into the magnificent rooms. It is a shame the weather was so bad, didn’t get to wander through the grounds as much as I’d hoped, but did spot some of the beautiful deer from the car on the way in. The food was great, but unfortunately there was a kitchen crisis of some sort today so there were lots of disappointed and frustrated people waiting a long time, but as we weren’t in a rush it was ok. Hats off to the extremely calm and polite young lady who kept trying to explain and apologise to people, well done!

Date of experience: April 2018
1  Thank LisaO634
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018

I echo what some others have commented. The price £18 is very steep. Under 17's do however go free which is a nice way to introduce them to a bit of culture! I'm glad I saw the DH exhibition - even to know I won't see one again ! - just numerous pictures with coloured spots on. Whilst the house is a lovely piece of architecture the number of rooms one is allowed to walk round is very limited - 5 I think.
The grounds however are lovely, especially the walled garden. Though one tip - wait for a dry period as the ground was ridiculously muddy making it very tricky to see all of the sculptures - perhaps Houghton could put something down for theses periods - not sure what.
Having said all this - it is lovely that the family open their house and grounds up and the staff were all very friendly.

The stables area is nice - cafe, small gift shop, soldiers. The Made in Norfolk Pop Up - a little pricy.
Summary - I would go on a sunny day; pick an artist you are really interested in; don't expect too many rooms in the house; wear good footwear and leave time to explore the grounds.

Date of experience: April 2018
2  Thank Doodleberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018

One Damien Hirst (spots) is much the same as another, and 8 in one room is too many! The Hall is such an interesting place with so much history, that another visit will be made when we return to Norfolk, and hopefully can appreciate it without Damien HIrst, though I am sure it will bring in many extra visitors. The room guides are full of interesting anecdotes about Sir Robert Walpole, and there is a lot to see, with beautiful ceilings, furniture and fittings. Somewhere to keep going back to as it is too much to take in on one visit. The military model museum would be worth a visit on its own as there is so much to see, with such a lot of detail in each battle scene, Our day was spent in pouring rain so we did not really get the full flavour of the gardens, more concentrating on staying upright in very squelchy, muddy conditions. The restaurant is very expensive with a limited selection on offer.

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank Sdg47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

My husband and myself visited on a rainy Saturday in March, admittedly not the best weather but I still thought our visit would be better than it was.

We chose the rather expensive £18 ticket which was for the Damien Hirst exhibition, house and grounds.

The house was a disappointment, that there wasn’t many rooms open to visit, certainly no bathrooms to see or the hall kitchen. When we had seen the rooms we both said ‘is that it’!

I also felt the Damian Hirst artwork was wasted in the house - mainly dots on a canvas and a hairdryer blowing a ping pong ball - really not my type of thing! Again in the grounds the sculptures on display were alright to have a look at but not for me.

We walked around some of the gardens and visited the church, which looks like it’s seen better days with a leaky roof and damp on one ceiling. We saw some ducks but none of the deer.

The stables is a nice area, the tack room was nicely laid out and the Model Soldier museum interesting.

We would have stayed for longer if the weather wasn’t so awful but we were too wet to walk about any more. The car park was on grass so it was muddy and the car wheel spun trying to get out. Surely a more suitable and hardy parking area would be more suitable given the amount of visitors.

I was not overly impressed with the house and personally would not recommend a visit here. I feel that there are better stately homes to visit in Norfolk that have more displays open for visitors.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Abbeylls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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