Chatsworth House: An Opulent Day Out in Derbyshire
Chatsworth House is a spectacular mansion house and estate located in the Peak District of England. The home has seen its share of famous personalities. Mary Queen of Scots was held as a prisoner at Chatsworth numerous times between 1568 and 1572, and the house’s owners, Bess of Hardwick and Sir William Cavendish, were entrusted by Queen Elizabeth I as the Scottish monarch’s jailors. Other famous visitors to the house were Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who were entertained there in 1843. Chatsworth was also the filming location for] the 2015 version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley, and the 2013 TV version of Death Comes to Pemberley. Experts believe that Jane Austen actually based descriptions of Pemberley on her visits to Chatsworth House. You can see a photo of me and Mr. Darcy (well, his statue!) below. The 2008 film the Duchess (also starring Keira Knightley), based on a biography of Georgiana Cavendish, wife of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, was also filmed at Chatsworth. The fascinating tour of the state rooms introduces you to all of these personalities and gives us “common people” a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the ultra rich upper crust.
Chatsworth is located on a 35,000 acre estate that contains a plethora of gardens and landscapes to explore. The Cascade at Chatsworth House was voted best water feature in England by a panel of experts. Originally built in 1696 by a French hydraulic engineer who worked for Louis XIV, it was redesigned and doubled in size in 1708. The Cascade is a set of 24 stone steps over which water flows from a set of fountains at the top, where Cascade House, a faux Baroque Temple is located. The Cascade is one of many water features in Chatsworth’s 105 acres of gardens. Be sure to allocated some time during your visit to explore them. Some of my favorites were the Grotto House and Pond, the maze, the rock garden, and the Ravine. There’s also an adventure playground and a farmyard for the children. As a nice break in your day out, have a bite to eat in one of the estate’s restaurants, located in the former stables, and browse through the lovely gift shop. You and your family can enjoy an entire day out at Chatsworth Estate!
Location of Chatsworth House
Chatsworth is located in Derbyshire, England, about 1.5 hours outside of Manchester, in an area known as the Peak District. The mansion and gardens can get very busy, so I would advise purchasing your tickets online and arriving when they open. Then take the earliest tour of the house and explore the gardens and grounds after. Click the map below for directions to Chatsworth House and Estate.
After visiting Chatsworth, consider a side trip to Haddon Hall. It’s only 20 minutes from Chatsworth. We combined both into a lovely day out. For more on Haddon Hall, see my post “Haddon Hall: The Finest Example of a Medieval and Tudor Manor House in Britain”.