Days Out at Valentines

February 6th 2019
By: Melanie Hollidge

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon have you heard of Valentines Mansion & Gardens
Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA, UK? Not far from Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford there is an opportunity to step back in time and enjoy tours, exhibitions, special events and creative workshops.

Valentine's Mansion is open from Mid-February - End October (from Sunday 11 February, on Tuesday and Sunday 11 am - 4 pm, Bank holiday Monday 11 am - 4 pm and School holidays: Monday - Wednesday 11 am - 4 pm. Admission is free for an experience where you can step back in time and explore the recreated Victorian kitchen and Georgian rooms. There are also guided tours and walks that cost £4.50 per person and must be pre-booked. For the family, there are games, activities and discovery trails all capped off with a visit to the Gardener’s Cottage Café.

Valentine's Mansion is an outstanding property that is more than 300 years old. The house was built in around 1696 for Elizabeth Tillotson and her family, after the death of her husband, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Back then the new brick house stood in open countryside, several miles from the edge of London.

It has changed hands many times since then and it was the city merchant and banker Robert Surman who bought the estate in the 1720s and created the walled gardens, dovecote and grottoes. Making the property part of what it is now. But it was Sir Charles Raymond who spent part of his fortune renovating Valentines in the 1760s, giving the house its Georgian appearance.

If you are looking for a special event at Valentines Mansion don’t miss Made with Love - Arts & Crafts Fair on Sunday, February 10th from 10am-4pm. Its suitable for all ages entry is free and it offers a celebration of unique handmade crafts, from homeware and jewellery to food and drink and gorgeous gifts for loved ones, just in time to celebrate your Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford Valentines Day.