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Chatsworth House – Something to interest everyone!
Chatsworth House (Bakerwell)
Member Name: Flibble
Chatsworth House (Bakerwell)
Date: 02/08/01, updated on 02/08/01 (154 review reads)
Advantages: Plenty to see, Good Value For Money, Terrific architecture
We recently spent a long weekend in Derbyshire – our original reason was to go to Alton Towers and basically just ‘get away from it all’ for a few days.
Before we went on our trip I researched other things to see and do in the area (I can only handle roller coasters for so long – even the carousels terrify me. It’s even worse when I stood there like a gibbering nervous wreck waiting to go on the rides (after being dragged onto them by the other half) why do you always see little kids going on the rides without any problems – and there I am, a nervous wreck!)
Anyway – one thing I particularly like is architecture; I’m not some arty-type who can tell the difference between various styles of building, I just know what I like!
Taking a look on the web, I came across the website for Chatsworth House (http://www.chatsworth-house.co.uk) Looking on the website (which I strongly recommend you do) you can take a ‘virtual tour’ of the house. This is a very impressive (computer programmer talking here!) feature that shows you a picture of part of the house (you can select what to look at from a menu). By moving your mouse you can ‘look’ around the room, so if you move your mouse pointer to the right then the image scrolls round to the right. This is a great little feature as it gives you an idea about what to expect and whether or not it might be a place of interest to you.
Getting to Chatsworth house is just as enjoyable as looking around the place itself. The drive there takes you through some really beautiful countryside and past many a village pub (many of which do some cracking lunches!). My only tip would be when approaching the house, watch your speed, as there are loads of sheep who just wander aimlessly around the road either side of you!
When you arrive at the house you can take one of two ticket routes. You can either pay to look solely around
the vast gardens that exist, or you can pay to have a look around the house itself and also the gardens. Fans of the BBC’s production of ‘Pride & Prejudice’ may be interested to know that it was the gardens here used in the TV show.
So, what can you expect? Well the first thing that strikes you about Chatsworth is the size of the place – it’s absolutely huge. Each room contains some fabulous artwork and architecture and visitors are under no pressure to ‘move-along’. You can wander along at your own pace and there are tours guides situated throughout who were more than pleased to answer our questions.
One of the more famous inhabitants of Chatsworth was Mary Queen of Scots, and here you can view the rooms she stayed in. The rooms on show just amazed me, be it the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper or the quality of the furniture that you could take a look at.
Chatsworth also boasts a huge art collection by painters such as Rembrandt. Again, I know next to nothing about art too (dropped it at school as I hated the art teacher) but I think there was something for everyone really!
The really impressive features at Chatsworth however are the 40ft water fountain and a cascading waterfall (well, kind of, it’s a set of steps that has a continual flow of water coming down them)
Entry into the house was only £8 per adult, which I though was really good value for money when you consider just how much you got to look around at.
As it got nearer toward lunch we decided to get a bit to eat. There are a couple of small outlets where you can get a cup of tea and a sandwich, or, if you’ve got a bit more cash you can have a meal at the restaurant. We didn’t go to the restaurant for two reasons really – a) it was heaving and b) it was a bit pricey!
As with all places of this nature however there was a large shop where you could buy just about anything r
eally, ranging from home baking to posters, pictures and other assorted items. I bought my mum and dad some fudge, but, well, we scoffed it all in the car on the way back to our hotel – sorry mum!
However, via the website you can also browse the online shop, so if, like me, you scoff the souvenirs you’ve bought for other people then you can buy them again when you get back home and nobody will be non the wiser – result!
When we visited Chatsworth the weather was a bit off that day, which meant we never got to take a look around the gardens, which is a shame as they looked beautiful from the literature we’d seen before hand. If you’d rather take a picnic with you for a bite to eat then you’re more than welcome to do this too.
Small Children won’t have a chance to get bored either as they can visit the animal yard where they can feed calf and chickens, there’s also an adventure playground too that has lots of climbing frames and swings for them to play on!
All in all, if you’re visiting the area then I’d highly recommend paying it a visit, I think it was really good value for money and I’d quite happily go back to look at the same things again!