One of England’s most imposing stately homes, Chatsworth is a vast estate, with the main house dating back to the late 17th century. Owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and passed down through sixteen generations of the Cavendish family, many rooms in the house are open to visitors.
The estate house is surrounded by a 1,000-acre park that includes more than 100 acres of landscaped garden with a huge maze, rockery and kitchen garden – and five miles of wonderful walks. Kids will love the working farm, with the chance to get up close with some of the smaller animals, and the adventure playground.
Getting there & doing it
The nearest station to Chatsworth is Chesterfield; trains from London St Pancras take about 2.5 hours, with a change at Derby. By car, the house is on the eastern edge of the Peak District, most easily accessible from the M1, approximately 3 hours’ drive from London. There’s plenty of parking.
It’s recommended to purchase tickets before you go (also gets you free parking). Also download the house guide to your mobile device, which has simple but helpful summaries of each room you visit in turn. There will also be guides in each room to explain the exhibits and answer questions, and for the real keen beans, there are guidebooks available for purchase when you arrive.
There are four places to eat at Chatsworth, including the Cavendish Rooms, set in a beautiful, vaulted stable block dating back to the 18th century, which serves excellent lunches, and the wonderfully-named Flying Childers, housed in the old stables, offering indulgent cream teas.
When to do it
The house is open from March to December, seven days a week. The grounds are open all year round.
Chatsworth gets busy – arrive when the estate opens for an hour of quieter time, and see the manor house first.