Chatsworth is indisputably the jewel in the crown of the Peak District. Home to the Cavendish family since the 16th Century, Chatsworth House is a magnificent English country house set in over 1,000 acres of parkland, with over 100 acres of stunning formal gardens, a Farmyard and children’s Adventure Playground, as well as cafés and gift shops.
Chatsworth is deservedly top of the list of attractions for visitors to the Peak District National Park, and there is more than enough to keep the whole family occupied for a full day here.
What is there to do at Chatsworth?
Chatsworth House is a complete feast for the senses! The ancestral seat of the Dukes of Devonshire, it was built in the 1550-60s under the instruction of the formidable Bess of Hardwick, in the English Baroque style.
Standing proudly in the landscape with sweeping lawns to the front and wooded hills to the rear, it’s an imposing sight from the approach road. The honey-hued mellow stonework is intricately carved, and the bright gold leaf applied to each window frame shines in the Derbyshire sun.
Chatsworth House has more than thirty rooms open to the public, each with awe-inspiring interiors. Explore the magnificent Painted Hall, regal State Rooms, restored Sketch Galleries and beautiful Sculpture Gallery. You’ll find lavish furnishings on a scale rarely seen, as well as a world-famous collection of art that spans 4,000 years, from ancient Roman and Egyptian sculpture, and masterpieces by Rembrandt, Reynolds and Veronese, to work by outstanding modern artists, including Lucian Freud, Edmund de Waal and David Nash.
The Gardens and Parkland at Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House is beautifully situated on the banks of the River Derwent, surrounded by wooded hills and lush pastureland, on which graze herds of red and fallow deer, as well as flocks of hardy sheep. Much of the grounds are open to the public free of charge and feature beautiful woodland and riverside walks through the Derbyshire countryside.
There are also 105 acres of formal gardens designed by the renowned Capability Brown, the product of nearly 500 years of careful cultivation. Although some points of interest have been replaced to make way for new fashions, the garden retains many early features, including the Canal Pond, the Cascade and the 1st Duke’s Greenhouse.
Visitors of all ages can’t fail to be impressed by the sheer scale of the gardens, from extravagant water features, outdoor sculptures and monumental Victorian rock gardens, to kitchen gardens, sensory trails, and a maze that will stump even the most adventurous explorer. Access to the gardens is by ticket only.
Chatsworth for Kids
There’s plenty to keep younger visitors happy at Chatsworth. The large woodland Adventure Playground has a rope park, climbing frames, a trampoline, slides, swings and a zip wire, as well as water and sand play. There are toilets within the Adventure Playground, as well as a refreshments kiosk and First Aid station.
The beautiful Farmyard at Chatsworth has been a favourite day out for the whole family since 1973. Here children can get up close and personal with the farm animals, including horses, donkeys, pigs, cows, sheep and goats. There’s also a large Guinea Pig Village where children can pet the inhabitants! There are regular animal handling sessions, animal care talks and demonstrations, plus trailer rides through the surrounding landscape.
Eating and Shopping at Chatsworth
When you’ve worked up an appetite walking around the Estate, or just as a treat on a day out, there are a number of restaurants, cafés and tea shops throughout the Chatsworth Estate. You can find everything here from luxury fine dining to takeaway picnic food.
And for retail therapy, you can purchase beautiful gifts, souvenirs, homeware, books, toys, greetings cards and a range of country clothing in the two large gift shops. There’s also a farm- and animal-themed shop in the Farmyard.
Chatsworth Farm Shop
No trip is complete without a visit to the award-winning Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop, located a short distance from the house in the pretty village of Pilsley. You’ll find a huge selection of quality food and drink products, many from local producers and suppliers.
Butcher’s and fresh fish counters
Fresh fruit and vegetables
Excellent range of wines, beers and soft drinks
Events at Chatsworth
Chatsworth is renowned for its programme of lively events throughout the year, all of which are eagerly-anticipated by visitors.
The Dodson & Horrell Chatsworth International Horse Trials take place every year in May. This world-class competition boasts everything from elegant dressage and exciting show jumping to gripping cross-country events.
In July Chatsworth hosts a stunning outdoor cinema, where you can enjoy a movie under the stars in the spectacular open-air setting of the garden.
Look out for the renowned Chatsworth Country Fair every September, featuring spectacular grand ring displays in the air and on land, demonstrations from celebrity chefs and entertainment for all the family. There’s also a large shopping village with over 100 trade stands, including catering outlets.
Christmas at Chatsworth
Chatsworth is transformed at Christmas every year in a celebrated festive spectacular.
From November to December each year Chatsworth hosts a wonderful Christmas market, with more than 100 stalls offering a wide range of Christmas gifts and decorations, as well as traditional music and entertainment. It’s the perfect way to get into the festive spirit and find unique presents for all the family. Top tip: visit in the late afternoon later to experience the market at dusk with a magical feel.
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Chatsworth House is always beautifully dressed for Christmas from November to January, with a different theme each year. Many of the rooms are open with stunning displays, and enormous, twinkling Christmas decorations. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a visit to Chatsworth for a huge amount of people!
How Do I Get to Chatsworth?
The address is:
Chatsworth Bakewell Derbyshire DE45 1PP
If you are travelling using a satnav system, please use the postcode DE45 1PN.
The main car park at Chatsworth is located next to the House, Garden, Stables and Farmyard, postcode DE45 1PN. There is a further car park at Calton Lees, at the southern end of the park, postcode DE4 2NX. Both car parks are open from 9am to 6pm and tickets are £4 per vehicle.
By Public Transport
A number of local bus services come to Chatsworth and stop at Chatsworth House. The bus stop is located a short walk from the House, Garden and Farmyard entrances. Buses are available from Bakewell (218), Buxton (58), Chesterfield (170 and x70), Manchester (199), Matlock (217) and Sheffield (218). Click HERE for more information.
Passengers arriving by bus into Baslow village are able to access Chatsworth via a public footpath. From the bus stop at Nether End, Baslow, walk over the single track bridge and follow the path to your right. It is then a pleasant 2km walk to the house and attractions.
The nearest train station to Chatsworth is in Matlock, from where buses run directly to Chatsworth (see above). The closest major train station to Chatsworth is Chesterfield. From there, visitors can take a bus to Nether End, Baslow, which is 2km from Chatsworth (see above). It’s also possible to access Chatsworth via train from Sheffield. Take a bus from the Sheffield Interchange (across the road from the train station) directly to Chatsworth (see above).