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Chatsworth - One of the finest stately homes and parklands in England

Chatsworth is a Stately Home located in the Peak District, Derbyshire; The house is surrounded by acres of luscious parkland, beautiful gardens and picture perfect water features. The house has been the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and the Cavendish family since 1549 and annually draws thousands of visitors from around the country and world. I have visited Chatsworth several times and discover something new during each foray - It is a place with so much to offer and so much variety to feast your eyes on, I can't imagine visiting Chatsworth and feeling bored as I still have much to see of this wondrous place.

How to get there

The Chatsworth Estate is located within the heart of the Peak District, east of Bakewell (The Peak District is a national park in the Midlands of England). As it is in central England, travelling distance from various parts of the country would be no more than 4 hours depending on where you are based.

Chatsworth Road Map

Driving - Driving to Chatsworth is fairly straight forward, once you are in the peak district, you need to get onto the A619 and then turn off onto the B6012 – This winding road will take you into the Chatsworth estate and from there, car parking and the various parts of the estate are clearly labeled. At the time of this article (July 2014) parking per car is £3 for the whole day.

The main Car park is literally right next to the House and Garden entrance – Attendants will guide you and sell parking tickets

Other Methods - I have only ever driven to Chatsworth so I don't want to give out false information regarding trains and buses – For detailed info on the train and bus services for Chatsworth I would recommend checking out their find us page on the official website.

Tickets - The current ticket prices (Correct as of July 2014) are listed below: The prices may seem expensive but I maintain that the price is warranted – There really is a great deal to see and experience at Chatsworth. Tickets can be brought from stalls at the entrance to the Gardens.

TypeAdultSeniorChildStudentFamily
Discovery£21.00£19.00£19.00£15.00£65.00
House & Garden£18.00£16.00£16.00£10.00£49.00
Garden Only£12.00£9.00£7.00£9.00£32.00
Farmyard & Adventure Playground£6.00£6.00£6.00£6.00£22.00

Adult: 18-59, Senior: 60+, Student: 16+ in full-time education, Child: 4-16, Family: 2 adults and 3 children

What is there to do at Chatsworth?

I have by no means explored all of Chatsworth so my "what to do" list is incomplete – The main attraction that I havn't visited is the stately home itself – Chatsworth House is open to visitors and it has often been voted as the finest example of a stately home in England. I have family members who have been inside and have said how decadent, unusual and stylish the interior is – It is an amalgamation of various different time periods and styles from the line of Duke's that have inhabited the house.

If visiting the house itself, you will need to allow several hours to explore it thoroughly

First Dukes Greenhouse - As stated in my "Don't miss out on" section, the First Dukes Greenhouse and Rose garden is magnificent – the whole design, layout and variety of flowers is just a pleasure to look at and also makes for some interesting photographs.

The First Dukes Greenhouse and Rose Garden

The Cottage and Sensory Gardens - These two small gardens are bursting with various flowers, plants and trees, but were built for two different reasons. The Cottage garden is where trainees learn to plant items and is also a tribute to the events of World War two, while the sensory garden (as the name suggests) hosts plants and flowers that have an impact on our senses of Sight, Smell, Touch, hearing and taste.

The Cottage Garden

Morton's Pond - This was one of my favorite areas - Morton's pond is located in a quiet corner towards the back of the gardens. What captured my imagination here was the dark colour of the water and reflection of the trees - The water almost looked black and created such an amazing effect, while the surrounding trees and plants were mirrored perfectly. Not many people visit Morton's pond so it is a perfect place to just sit and relax and immerse yourself in nature.

Morton's Pond - Bliss

The Rock Garden - This is another beautiful area, the Rock Garden is meant to be a tribute to the 6th Duke's time in the Alps and is full of rock formations surrounded by trees, flowers and plants. The whole scene for me created an idyllic picture of what a park should look like and the photos I took here really show the colour and variety of Chatsworth. Make sure you climb up to the top of the rockery for great views across to the circular pond.

Rocks... in the rockery... obviously!

Outside the grounds in the park - Chatsworth is set in hundreds of acres of parkland, all of which are accessible, so don't feel you are simply confined to the gardens and house. South of the main car park is the river Derwent - Cross this and you can walk through the open, rolling fields and explore the countryside. Sheep, Deer and Cattle graze the land, while elaborate bridges cross the river and old ruins from times gone by blend in with the scenery.

Bridge spanning the River Derwent

The Canal Pond - For me, and for many people who know Chatsworth, this is the iconic masterpiece that is most recognizable. The canal pond stretches out in front of Chatsworth gracefully and when viewed straight on, gives the impression that the house is rising from the water. The reflections this body of water create are just amazing when the water is still and the sky is clear - I was lucky enough to visit on a perfect day and the photos I took of the pond and house really show the defining reflection.

Amazing reflection in the water of the canal pond

As I mentioned earlier, I have not covered all the sights of the Chatsworth estate - Just my favorite. My best advice to you, is to go and experience it for yourself; fall in love with the park, the gardens and the house, enjoy a home-made ice-cream (made from ingredients at the Chatsworth farm shop), walk through the endless acres of stunning greenery, have a splash in the cascading fountain, lounge on the lawns and watch the world go by, just enjoy what this corner of the Peak District has to offer.

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I heart this place because

Chatsworth is such a beautiful place – The Gardens are expansive with such an exotic variety of plants, trees and flowers; it is so easy to spend hours walking through the various gardens, forests and features, especially on a warm summer's day where everything looks that little bit more vivid and bright.

Dont miss out on

1st Dukes Greenhouse – This small greenhouse and garden is located close to the display greenhouses; The greenhouse itself a beautiful old building with tall framed windows and sculptures on the roof – Inside is a range of plants and flowers, and I loved how it was slightly overgrown and crowded. Outside the front is a small garden containing some statues and flower arrangements – The whole place is just nice to look around, extremely aesthetical and pretty.

Beautiful flowers outside the Greenhouse

Flower arrangement outside the greenhouse

Information and resources for the Chatsworth Estate - links will open in a new page

Chatsworth on Wikipedia

General info about Chatsworth House and the estate - Link

Official Chatsworth

Official site including ticket prices and maps - Link

The Peak District

Official site for the Peak District in Derbyshire - Link

Bakewell

Info for the town of Bakwell - Only a short drive from Chatsworth - Link

Photos taken using a Canon EOS-M with 18-55mm EF Lens

I went to Chatsworth with the specific aim of getting some great photos - I would like to think I achieved this! Firstly there is so much to see and photograph in the gardens, it has so many possibilities, angle, colours and little nooks. Secondly the weather was perfect - The sun was out and it was warm, however there was s nice amount of cloud cover to give those perfect photogenic skies. Finally the gardens were not overwhelmed with people so I didn't have to wait much or work particularly hard to avoid them.

Statue in the 1st Duke's Greenhouse Flowers in the 1st Duke's Greenhouse garden Maze outside the Cottage Garden The Cottage Garden Flowers in the Cottage Garden Flowers in the Cottage Garden The Cottage Garden A hidden stream surrounded by woodlands A far off view of Chatsworth House Statue of a Warthog at Morton's Pond Rock formations outside the Grotto Pond The Iconic Canal pond and Emperor Fountain The Emperor fountain and water god statue Rock formations in Paxton's rock garden Statue in Paxton's rock garden A waterfall in the Rockery Paxton's Rock Garden - A tribute to the Alps Paxton's Rock Garden and the circle Pond Rock formations in the Rockery Statue next to the cascading fountains Flowers outside the 1st Duke's Greenhouse Statue outside the "Case" greenhouse Dog statue near Flora's temple Three Arch bridge by James Paine
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