For most of my life I lived less than hour away from Chatsworth House, yet I had never visited. I brushed it off as ‘just another stately house’ and as it is not part of National Trust, I felt a little loathed to pay extra for entry (I joined National Trust as a member earlier in the year).
Chatsworth House is located in the North West of England, in Bakewell, Derbyshire – approximately 40 minutes from Sheffield.
I finally decided to visit Chatsworth when I was home in summer 2016, and I couldn’t have been more wrong in my initial judgements. Chatsworth House is well worth the entry fee and I wish I hadn’t put off visiting for so long.
Chatsworth House is one of the few stately houses of this size which is still lived in (although the actual living quarters remain private), and is currently occupied by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
We bought a ticket to the house and gardens (cost £19.90 as at time of writing/March 2017), and set out exploring the gardens first.
The house has the most extensive gardens and you could easily spend a full day exploring them, but unfortunately we only had a couple of hours.
The gardens are on a hill and flat areas are carved out for the different sections of the garden, so there is a section that feels like a true ‘English country garden’ with heaps of colourful flowers.
There is also an extensive and well maintained vegetable garden, it gave me some great ideas for my vegetable garden back in New Zealand – I just wish mine was as big as the one at Chatsworth. Vegetables lie in neat rows, including these red onions (below) that are planted out in a circular raised bed.
We discovered this traditional style ice cream cart on one of the pathways and couldn’t help but try one of their delicious ’99s’ as we wandered around the gardens.
We then headed over to the house and were ‘wowed’ from the moment we walked in, to the moment we left. My photos of the interior don’t do Chatsworth House justice, as like most stately homes it is rather dark inside and my camera lens wasn’t up to the job.
The ceilings and walls in alot of the rooms had such skillfully painted artwork on them and everything had been preserved very well.
I visited Chatsworth House with my mum and as we were walking around she started telling me about how my Great Grandma used to work at Chatsworth House. When we got to the big dining room I couldn’t help but imagine her serving food to the Devonshire family.
If you are able to stay for a while, then the Peak District is a great area to be based to explore everything this area has to offer, including more stately homes, halls and castles. For starters, take a look at Visit Peak District and National Trust, then book your stay in a country cottage so you can rest your feet after a busy day, or curl up and relax in front of a roaring cottage fire.