Thursday, 16 June 2016

Derbyshire - Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House has to be, by far, one of my favourite places in Derbyshire. The grandeur, the expansive grounds, the events they hold. As a child my parents would take my sister and I up to play on the adventure playground and see the farm yard animals after a walk through the house. For me, it's history and mine, like many others I imagine, are intertwined.

Without even going to Chatsworth House it should be recogniseable to film goers as its rooms and grounds have played home to many sets, the most notable being 'Pride and Prejudice' as it became Pemberley estate, home to Mr Darcy and real life home to the inhabitants of the house in 'The Duchess'. 

The house has had a few alterations over the years but always been true to its Tudor foundations, so it is worth taking the time to absorb every intricate detail added in the 450 years since its first brick was laid. Remember to look up in the painted hall and take in the breathtaking painted ceiling from one of the large, comfortable, red leather chairs.
The best times, though the busiest to visit, is for the country fair held in early September for hundreds of stalls in the grounds with local wares and shows in the main arena and at Christmas when the house itself is turned into a fairy tale Christmas set. The Christmas display is based on a story or theme through 13-14 separate rooms, with games for kids to play and characters to interact with. My favourite so far has to be when they did a walk through 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe' book starting in 1940's London and ending in tree lined rooms decorated with snow and hidden lion toys.

The grounds are best viewed in spring when the flowers blossom and the barn yard animals are having their young and Autumn when the leaves change colour and cool breeze blows across the grounds in the September sun, it is a completely magical feeling wandering the grounds and uncovering new areas, hidden statues artworks and buildings. You might even be lucky enough to find the centre of the maze.

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