Just a short drive from Bakewell you’ll find one of my favourite places to visit and a prized jewel in the crown of the Peak District Chatsworth House and park. I love a visit to Chatsworth. It has something for everyone from the impressive appearance and grandeur of the 16th Century stately home. To the history of the art collections and splendour of the many rooms that are open to the public. The House is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. Many generations have had a love for Chatsworth and put their mark on the house over the years.
Visiting the house gives you the opportunity to take walk through the impressive gardens. Here you’ll find a Victorian greenhouse also an amazing rock garden from the same era.
One of the most popular features in the garden and another photo opportunity on my favourites list is the wonderful water cascade leading down towards the amazing sight of the Emperor fountain. The once record breaking fountain is gravity-fed and recorded a height of 90m (300ft). Nowadays thanks to a new debris grid and a smaller nozzle the height of 60m is achieved.
Just outside the main building is a courtyard where you can purchase souvenirs and gifts from the gift shop. You’ll also find a restaurant and cafeteria where you can treat yourself to something to eat and drink.
The courtyard is another place on my favourite list and is somewhere to sit with a coffee, relax and people watch. For anyone wishing to stretch their legs there are some lovely country walks, for an easy walk you can walk along the banks of the river Derwent as it meanders in the beautiful parkland at the front of the house. There’s a steady walk I like to take across the park to the quaint little village of Edensor ( pronounced Ensor ) with its lovely tea room it was specially commissioned behind a hill by the 6th Duke. The original village was demolished as it spoilt his view of the park from the House.
If you’re up for something a little more challenging there is Stand Wood which rises up behind the house. If you can do steps and have the stamina there are shortcuts to the top otherwise the gentle slope of the graded pathway is a fairly easy walk and is wheelchair friendly. If you take the full looped walk it’s around 3.5 miles and a steady 1 and 1/2 hours. The reward at the top is well worth the effort it’s also where you’ll find the Hunting Tower completed in 1582 standing 400 feet above the house where the views are wonderful.
To the north side of Chatsworth House you’ll find a garden centre with another cafeteria to take afternoon tea/coffee and cake as well as substantial meal menu.
Finally on the way back to Bakewell you’ll find the Chatsworth farm shop ideal to pick up fresh bread, meats, cheese, fruit and vegetables plus much much more. After a Day at Chatsworth one thing for sure is you’ll want to visit this beautiful jewel of the Peak District again and again.
Parking is available in the grounds of the House ( pre booking online is currently required whilst covid -19 restrictions are in place ) alternatively if like me you don’t mind a little walk you will find a pay to park car park or free street parking at nearby Baslow from there it’s a nice 20 to 30 minute walk across the bridge into Chatsworth park and up to the House.
During normal years you will find a host of events going on at Chatsworth – Country Fair, Chatsworth Horse trials and Chatsworth Christmas markets, to name a few. Hopefully they will be back in the calendar very soon.
Information : If you wish to leave the car in Bakewell there is a bus service to Chatsworth House taking around 15 minutes.