Haddon Hall is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful medieval manor houses in the whole of England, and rightly so. With more than 900 years of history, it’s one of the oldest houses in the country and one of the few to have remained in the ownership of the same family for its entire existence; it is still the family home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners and their children.
Inside, its perfectly preserved rooms are a time capsule, with much of the contents unchanged for centuries. Outside, Haddon Hall’s castellated stone walls are covered with climbing roses, and its perfect setting on a hillside overlooking the Derbyshire River Wye is straight out of a romantic fairytale.
Here you can step back in time to appreciate the fine craftsmanship and living history in its remarkable rooms, or while away the hours in the exquisite Elizabethan terraced gardens. Enjoy lunch in the restaurant, shop in the Gatehouse gift shop showcasing local artists and craftspeople, or join in any of the special events that take place throughout the year.
Haddon Hall is a hidden gem that’s an absolute must-see for any visitor to the Peak District.
One of the secrets to Haddon Hall’s wonderful preservation is that the house was locked up and all but abandoned from the early 1700s to the early 1900s. This meant that it escaped the reforming Georgian and Victorian periods; it was never modernised, nor was its surrounding parkland landscaped.
The awe-inspiring Banqueting Hall dates from 1370 and remains furnished with its original Dais table and a French tapestry gifted to the family by visiting Henry VIII. In the summer, light floods through its Gothic arched windows, and in the winter a fire crackles in the great fireplace.
The Tudor kitchens are also remarkable, cool and dark. They also date from the late 14th Century, and are preserved today much as they would have been 600 years ago. There are three separate areas for butchery, baking and cooking, and visitors can still see the stone bread ovens, chopping blocks and water troughs that would have been used in Tudor times, still bearing the cuts and scratches from centuries of food preparation.
Upstairs, the airy Elizabethan rooms include the spectacular Long Gallery, designed by Robert Smythson and described as one of the most beautiful rooms in England.
Tucked away in a corner of the cobbled courtyard, the Chapel at Haddon Hall is dedicated to St Nicholas, and was originally the parish church for Nether Haddon. It has beautifully preserved 15th Century fresco-secco paintings covering many of its walls. The nave is dominated by a moving monument to Robert Manners, who died aged 9 in 1894, which was designed by his mother, Violet, Duchess of Rutland.
It’s no small wonder that Haddon Hall has featured in the works of countless artists and writers through the centuries. More recently it has also been a favourite location for film-makers, featuring in Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth, The Princess Bride and The Other Boleyn Girl, to name but a few.
The Gardens at Haddon Hall
The Gardens at Haddon Hall are justifiably famous and breathtakingly beautiful.
A series of five terraces cascade down to the river and provide wonderful views of the parkland and the Peak District countryside beyond. Their structure dates back to Elizabethan times. Filled with flowers, they offer plenty of spots in which to relax and enjoy the birdsong. In the summer months the walls of the Hall and garden are covered in trailing roses, creating a spectacular sight – and scent.
The Fountain Terrace was redesigned recently by Chelsea award-winning garden designer Arne Maynard. It blooms in shades of pink and purple throughout Spring and Summer, and includes a wildflower border that’s filled with bees and butterflies on warm days.
Events at Haddon Hall
Haddon Hall hosts a number of exciting and highly-anticipated events throughout the year, from the spooky spectacle of the Little School of Sorcery, when every room in the Hall is turned into an enchanted, mysterious marvel, to the lively Mercatum Artisan Christmas Market, with hundreds of stalls throughout the Hall, courtyards and gardens, selling the finest, curated handcrafted products and art.
Throughout the Summer months there are regular choral events, with choirs singing in the Hall each Sunday (included in the price of your admission ticket), as well as Archery events for children in the grounds.
Each Christmas the Hall is open for Candlelight Tours, offering the chance to see its medieval finery by flickering candlelight, dressed exquisitely for Christmas.
For more information and the latest list of Events at Haddon Hall, please click HERE.
Just as Haddon Hall was undisturbed for centuries, so the beautiful parkland that surrounds it was also left to nature, escaping landscaping, building or agriculture. Once the deer park for the Hall, created in 1330, these wild acres of open wood pasture, shady woodlands, wildflower meadows and river banks flourished and grew without the interference of man. This has resulted in an incredible mosaic of different ecosystems all offering a continuity of habitat for centuries and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Haddon Medieval Park is home to a huge variety of wildlife and plant life species, many of which are rare or endangered.
Since 2009 Haddon Medieval Park has been managed by Lord and Lady Edward Manners as an organic regeneration project. The land is private and protected, and the wildlife that lives there has a safe haven in which to thrive. The intention is to restore the Haddon Medieval Park to its original 14th Century boundary, replant native trees, remove fences and artificial divides, and work hand in hand with nature to create a haven of continued biodiversity.
Haddon Medieval Park was opened to the public for the first time in 2021. Since then, visitors have been able to experience its undisturbed peace through a series of guided wildlife walks, parkland tours and photography workshops. Events include River Walks along the peaceful banks of the Derbyshire River Wye, as well as Dawn Chorus Mornings, Bat Watching Evenings, Meadow Life Walks and Photography Workshops. They are led by renowned wildlife experts and scientists, all of whom have a deep affection for Haddon Medieval Park and a great understanding of its many and varied habitats. There are also ever-popular Parkland Tours, which cover the park’s ecology as well as its history and importance to Haddon Hall in medieval times.
For more information about Haddon Medieval Park and its programme of events, please click HERE.
The Restaurant at Haddon Hall
When you’ve worked up an appetite exploring Haddon Hall, don’t forget to visit the licensed restaurant in the 17th Century stable block adjacent to the Hall. It provides wonderful views of the estate and has an extensive menu with a selection of speciality dishes, lunchtime specials, light bites, sandwiches and cakes, all of which are prepared using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices are available.
The Restaurant is open to visitors to Haddon Hall and to the general public (there is no admission charge for those wishing to use the restaurant only).
Haddon Hall is located just outside the pretty Peak District town of Bakewell (postcode DE45 1LA).
Haddon Hall is open to the public 7 days a week, 10.30am-4.30pm, from April to October. It is also open for Autumn and Christmas events in late November early December. Please check opening times before visiting.
Haddon Hall offers a 30% discount on admission prices for Derbyshire residents. Please enquire at the Ticket Office for more information.
Adult (16 and over)
Concessions (60 and over)
Student (with valid ID)
Children (aged up to 15)
£3.80 per car
Haddon Hall welcomes all visitors, but due to the age and nature of the site there are many uneven floors and steps within the site. Unfortunately access for visitors with disabilities, particularly wheelchair users, is very restricted. For further information contact the Estate Office on 01629 812855.
Please note that large bags, prams, pushchairs and mobility scooters are not permitted into Haddon Hall. They offer safe bag storage at the entrance.
Dogs are not permitted, other than Guide and Support dogs.