Christmas at Chatsworth.

Visiting Chatsworth at Christmas was something we’d wanted to do for a long time. This year we made it and we’re so glad we did. The house was an absolute delight and although I didn’t photograph every room, I hope these pictures show how beautifully decorated it was.

We decided to stay nearby for a couple days and found a good pub with a B&B nearby. The Chequers Inn at Froggatt Edge was a great choice. Reasonably priced rooms and excellent food with several choices of real ales. Breakfast was included and so we went for the ‘full English’ which set us up for the day. It’s well placed for Chatsworth, Haddon Hall and Eyam Hall, also Buxton and Bakewell and is right in the heart of the Peak District National Park fabulous for walking, climbing and sightseeing. On the way there we’d stopped off to look around the market town of Bakewell and although we didn’t have one of the famous puddings we did go to a tea shop which served huge portions of cake. We needed to have a browse around the town to walk it off.

The Chequers pub and the river Wye nearby.

After a substantial breakfast we decided to explore the area. We hadn’t got very far from The Chequers, half a mile down the road in fact, when we stopped by a bridge to take a few pictures and walk down to the weir. The reflections were stunning and right at the top of the ridge we could make out people walking along. Hardy souls! Unfortunately due to the trees at the side of the river and private land I couldn’t get a clear shot of the weir.

Monsal Edge

Our next stop en route to Chatsworth was to Monsal Head. You can probably tell that it was bitterly cold, far too chilly to stop for long! On the left of the picture you can just see part of the Monsal Dale Headstone Viaduct.

The famous Sheep Wash Bridge.

One more stop before we got to Chatsworth, this time at Ashford in the Water. The bridge is spectacular and apparently is the most photographed bridge in Britain. The river Wye runs underneath and sheep were washed in the clear waters before chemical dips were introduced. We didn’t have time to look inside the church which has relics dating back to the 1200s as our visit to the house was booked for 1.30 and time was getting on. There are lots of picturesque cottages here and so this little village is very popular with tourists. We were the only ones around that morning braving the icy weather!

When it comes to stately homes, Chatsworth has to be one of the greatest. It has the most fabulous drive which takes you through the estate and then runs parallel to the house so you get a clear view of it.

Our first stop was to find the loos which are in the old stable block. There’s an interesting water feature in the centre of the courtyard and for Christmas only, there was a Christmas tree erected over it. (The last picture in the Blog shows it all lit up). There’s also a very large gift shop (of course), a cafe and the Chatsworth restaurant. We just had time to grab a hot drink before going to the House.

Let the tour begin!

Rather than write lots about the House which you can check out on the website, I’ve added captions to the pictures. The only other thing to mention is that Chatsworth is home to the Devonshire family and has been passed down 16 generations. Buy a ticket before your visit as it’s timed entry and allow plenty of time to wander round to enjoy it.

Christmas decorations hanging on the windows along the hallway and a view of the courtyard.
The Chapel decorated with two large Christmas trees. The statue in the alcove is by Damien Hirst.
The mystical forest of the far north.
The main hallway.
The Magnificent Painted Hall.
Paper-crafted snowflakes hanging from the ceiling of one of the passage-ways. Main picture is the library and top right is a sculpted wooden decoration complete with a Christmas tree. This was hanging over the main staircase – a wonderful feature.
Top picture of presents and house on top of a very grand piano was in another library adjacent to the decorated dining room. Loved the Victorian theme to this room which felt very Chrismassy. There are two people in the bottom r.h. picture sat at a tall table drinking fizz. Intriguing!
It’s just getting dusk and as you can see from the picture of the fountain, the sun is setting behind the hills.

And then we reached the end of our visit to the house. It was about an hour before it was due to get dark so we wandered around the garden and then bought a mulled wine from the kiosk outside and a sausage roll before wandering round the other gift shop. A useful look round as my man bought me a handbag in there which I absolutely love.

Just caught the golden sun on the house.
Here we go on the Festive illuminated walk. Love the colours in the sky.
The Fountain just after sunset.
This was so effective. The colours changed as you walked along.
Another beautifully lit path.
The Cascade illuminated.
The trees were lit by the coloured lights along The Cascade.

As we left the Illuminated Walk we walked up to the Stable Block to take a picture of the tree lit up over the water feature.

Such a clever and effective idea.

If this Blog on our visit to Chatsworth has inspired you to go, you need to get your skates on. Christmas at Chatsworth runs until 8 January 2023. Of course there’s always another year.

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