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Once an ordinary house in an ordinary street, Talliston House & Gardens has been transformed into ‘Britain's Most Extraordinary Home’ (The Times). Each of the thirteen locations is set in a different moment in time and space, allowing guests to be transported to a magical world where time has no power...
PLEASE NOTE: Talliston is a private house & gardens and not open to the public. Pre-booking is essential for all visits.
At midday on 6th October 1990 John Tarrow stepped into a three-bedroomed, semi-detached, ex-council house in Essex and started a personal journey that grew into a twenty-five-year project: To take a the UK's most ordinary house and transform it into a wonderland of inspirational locations, each set in a different time and place.
Using traditional techniques and authentic items sourced from around the globe, John and his team have created something from nothing, or perhaps more accurately, something incredible from nothing special. It is Talliston’s outward normality that is its magic; it is truly somewhere extraordinary within the ordinary.
By walking from room to room, you find yourself leaving the present, and entering the past (and even at one point entering the future). So you can step from a Moorish bedchamber into a 1920s study, from a New Orleans kitchen into a Victorian tower – all just by opening the house’s many doors and seeing what lies behind them.
And after the house came the book... The Stranger's Guide To Talliston is set, like the house, in Great Dunmow; the first fiction to ever have the town as its primary location. Equal parts His Dark Materials, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and The Lion, Witch And The Wardrobe, the novel is a classic tale of adventure that introduces readers to an otherworld hiding in plain sight, cloaked in magic and steeped in imagined history.
The story follows the adventures of thirteen-year-old Joe, whose world is shattered when he enters a deserted council house and becomes trapped within a labyrinth protecting the last magical places on earth. There, Joe discovers The Stranger’s Guide, a cryptic book charting this immense no-man’s land and his only map through its dark and dangerous puzzle of doors and rooms. Hunted by sinister foes, Joe is forced ever deeper into both the maze and the mystery of his missing parents. What lies at the labyrinth’s centre and will it reunite him with the family he so desperately needs?
"Talliston is an incredible example of what can be accomplished with the power of pure imagination. And I wanted the novel to capture what it’s like to step from the ordinary world into the extraordinary. I wish when I was thirteen I could have discovered Talliston and read this book – Because at its heart is the idea that built the entire house: that with inner belief, we can all achieve extraordinary things.”
John Tarrow Author and creative director at Talliston
Historic Houses Invitation To View tours
Last weekend of every month (mid-month in December)
£20.00 per person
Afternoon Teas: Weekdays Wednesday to Friday
Enchanted Evening Tours: Weekdays Wednesday and Thursday
Author & Creator John Tarrow Tours: Every Wednesday afternoon & evening
Faerie Tale Christmas: Annually December – mid-January
Halloween Tours: Annually last two weeks in October
For 2 Guests @ £39.99 per person
For 3-4 Guests @ £29.99 per person
For 5-6 Guests @ £24.99 per person
Luxury Bed & Breakfast
The Haunted Bedroom
The Room of Dreams
Weekends Friday to Monday with extended check-in dates at Hallowe’en & Christmas
Per night from £100+
Booking & Payment Details
- Credit cards accepted (no fee)
- On-site catering
- On-site light refreshments
- Facilities for groups
- Guided tours for groups
Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities
- Free broadband internet in bedrooms
- Mobile phone coverage
- Sole use of venue
- Free Parking
- Dogs not accepted (except guidedogs)
- Gift shop
- Guided tours for individuals
- Guided tours mandatory
- Onsite Catering
- Smoking not allowed
- WiFi or internet access
- Accepts groups
Map & Directions
Talliston is located 9 miles from Bishops Stortford, 4 miles from the M11 and 1 mile northwest from the A120. From the M11, take the A120 and turn off at the Great Dunmow exit (watch for Ancient Flitch Town brown tourist signs). Go over four small roundabouts and at the fifth, turn left into Dunmow. Almost straight away, you will see the Queen Victoria pub on your right. Opposite this is Green Lane, leading to Newton Green.
Public Transport Directions
An hour from London Liverpool Street to Bishops Stortford, then 15 minutes by taxi. 7 miles from London Stansted and 35 miles from London City airport.