Chatsworth, 'The Palace of the Peak' was named Britain's Best Stately Home in Period Living and Traditional Homes magazine's Best of British Awards 2004-2005. Over 200,000 votes were cast, when readers of the market leading magazine were asked to nominate the aspects of traditional British life that they love best.
Chatsworth house. © Bridget Flemming and the Chatsworth House Trust
The first house at Chatsworth was built by 'Bess of Hardwick' and her second husband Sir William Cavendish. Building began in 1552 and the work was completed by his widow after Sir William died in 1557. Today, Chatsworth is one of the Treasure Houses of England with fine furniture, sculpture, tapestry, paintings and other works of art. Set in beautiful surroundings in the heart of the Peak District National Park, it attracts admiring visitors from all over the world.
The gardens at Chatsworth which can be visited separately to the house extend to 105 acres with five miles of footpaths to explore. Apart from rare trees, shrubs, formal hedges, temples, sculptures old and new, streams and ponds it is probably the famous waterworks that most catch the eye.
For many years visitors have gazed in awe at the Emperor Fountain, built in 1844 to impress Czar Nicholas of Russia. Unfortunately the Czar was detained elsewhere and failed to visit Chatsworth. The fountain's single gravity fed high spout, rises to 290 feet and is the tallest in Britain. Behind the house are The Cascades, built to a French design, water has continually flowed down the ornamental steps, since 1696.
The Cascade. © Bridget Flemming and The Chatsworth House Trust
The 1,000 acre park was laid out by 'Capability' Brown in the 1760s and most of it is open to the public free of charge throughout the year. The grass is grazed by sheep and cattle and a large herd of deer which can usually be seen on a walk through the park. The road that winds its way through the parkland provides a magnificent view of Chatsworth House. You look across the River Derwent to the west and south front, with its neat lawns sloping up the bank to the woods that provide a superb backcloth.
Every year a number of prestigious events are held in the park, including the International Horse Trials in May and the Country Fair in August/September (a three day event from 2007). The house now remains open to visitors until just before Christmas. From early November the house takes on a magical appearance with fairy lights and candles and part of the garden floodlit. The shops and restaurants are transformed to offer the best seasonal food and gifts and the farmyard plays host to Father Christmas.
The Painted Hall. © Simon Wharton, Westside magazine
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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Open for visitors daily until 23rd December 2010.
2010 - EVENTS IN CHATSWORTH PARK
Chatsworth International Horse
Trials with HSBC FEI World Cup Eventing -
Take place on the 15 & 16 May 2010.
Contact telephone number 01298
Chatsworth Three Day Country Fair - Takes place from 3 to 5 September 2010. For more information: Website
FARMYARD AND ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND
Popular with children and adults alike it provides a contrasting attraction to the house and gardens. For more information click below.
Chatsworth is easily accessible from major roads and railways. Public transport links to the estate are also improving. There is a free car park at the southern end of the park, open all year round, and charged parking near the house during the visitor season.
Chatsworth is 8 miles north of Matlock off the B6012. It is 16 miles from the M1 Junction 29, signposted via Chesterfield (follow brown signs), 42 miles from the M6 Junction 19 and 30 minutes from Chesterfield Railway Station.
For further information on the above events and to find out what else is available ring - (01246 565300) or visit the Chatsworth Website at:
THE ESTATE VILLAGES
The estate villages of Beeley, Edensor and Pilsley, are without doubt three of the most attractive villages in the Peak National Park. To learn more about the villages and to discover some superb walks through Chatsworth Park, click the links below.
WALKING IN THE PARK
For walking throughout the year, there is a free car park at Calton Lees, off the B 6012.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.