Days Out in Derbyshire: Chatsworth House

9 May 2014

Days Out in Derbyshire: Chatsworth House

Resting in the beautifully scenic Derbyshire Dales, Chatsworth House is a glorious example of an English stately home, surrounded by acres of open parkland and picturesque views. Located just 9 miles to the west of Chesterfield, Chatsworth makes for the perfect family day out in the county of Derbyshire.

A Brief History of Chatsworth House

The history of Chatsworth House dates back to the 16th century when the grounds on which it stands were bought by Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, and her second husband Sir William Cavendish. Over the centuries Chatsworth has undergone many alterations and has passed through sixteen generations of the Cavendish family. As lovers of art the family have amassed a wealth of works over their time, the remaining collection now under the ownership of Peregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire. This extensive collection, ranging from ancient Egyptian artefacts to modern sculpture, is available to visitors along with the impressive architecture of the house itself, in Chatsworth’s 30 plus public viewing rooms.

Reasons to Visit

Open from the 16th March to the 23rd December, there are many great reasons to visit Chatsworth House. One of the largest private collections in the UK, Chatsworth’s art exhibits are an eclectic tour through the ages. Displays of classic paintings, photography, Old Master Drawings, sculpture, jewellery and textiles are on display year round, along with visiting exhibitions and loan items. Guests are also welcome to explore the 105 acre gardens, with over 5 miles of walks on which to discover the beauty of nature. The gardens are also home to stunning permanent water features including the 300 year old Cascade. Fun for all the family, the Farmyard and Woodland Adventure Playground offer animal demonstrations and a giant climbing forest.

Highlights for 2014

2014 plays host to a range of specialist exhibitions and events. Particular highlights include Florabundance, a spring flower festival held from 9 – 13 May, transforming the house and its grounds into a floral wonderland that explores the relationship between flowers and art. From the 5 – 8 June Chatsworth becomes a gourmet delight with its Food and Drink Fair offering over 60 stalls of the best the region has to offer. August sees a celebration of music, with a Proms Spectacular on the evening of the 1st, delighting with the best of classical, opera and film music. This is followed on the 2nd by Party in the Garden, a night of classic pop, soul and disco hits performed by a live 10 piece band. An annual highlight, the Chatsworth Country Fair takes place from the 29 – 31 August. A programme of activities and displays will include military bands, vintage car parades, sheep dog trials, parachuting and hot air balloons alongside some 300 trade stalls offering arts, crafts and local produce. A major tourist attraction for Chatsworth House, the country fair makes for a great day out for all the family.

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