If you are searching for a place to take the family where there are plenty of exciting things to do, then look no further. Chatsworth House attracts over 600,000 visitors per year who travel great distances to experience the historic house and surrounding estate’s wonder.
A Brief History of Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House has it all – sprawling gardens, a cafe, an adventure playground, a garden centre and most importantly, its rich history which spans hundreds of years. The grand house sits on the colossal 35,000 acre estate which to this day belongs to the Cavendish family. Chatsworth has been handed down through 16 generations of the family and is currently home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Peregrine and Amanda Cavendish.
Five interesting facts about Chatsworth House.
- There are 120 rooms, but only 30 are open to the public.
- The massive garden is currently managed by a team of 20 gardeners, 3 trainees and 50 volunteers.
- The house famously featured in the 2005 film Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley.
- Between 1838 to 1842, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish, had the village of Edensor moved over a hill because it disrupted the natural landscape.
- The original house and garden were first constructed by Sir William Cavendish and Bess of Hardwick in 1555.
- Mary, Queen of Scots was imprisoned at Chatsworth House a number of times between 1569 and 1584.
Things to do at Chatsworth House
Explore Chatsworth House
The house itself is the definition of the word grand. The Painted Hall in particular is truly breathtaking. The hall is the first opportunity to impress guests as they were welcomed to the house and it certainly does the trick! The room is lined with a balcony and the walls behind are adorned with splendid paintings commissioned by the first Duke of Devonshire. Chatsworth now houses artwork that covers over 4,000 years.
Inside the house, you will also find magnificent dining rooms still used to this day, grand oak staircases that are more akin to an art gallery, a chapel and a sculpture gallery. We recommend that you put aside at least a couple of hours to explore the house fully. It really is a country house like no other. In fact, some describe it to be more like a palace or a castle due to its splendour.
Chatsworth formal gardens and grounds
The grounds and gardens of Chatsworth Estate are almost as spectacular as the house itself. The 150 acre garden is rich with approximately 500 years of thoughtful cultivation and adjustment. The signature grassland and lake which sit in front of the house are the mark of the much revered Capability Brown. The famous landscape architect planned the grounds of Chatsworth carefully and attended to every detail at the request of the fourth Duke. As a result, Chatsworth has one of the most impressive approaches to a country house in England.
The gardens behind the house are particularly popular with visitors all year round. In the winter months, key features of the beautiful gardens are illuminated with fairy lights. The atmosphere is truly magical. You will also find a large maze that is particularly popular with younger visitors to Chatsworth. Challenge yourself and see how long it takes you to reach the middle of this intriguing maze, made up of an incredible 1,209 yew hedges! In the gardens you will also find several greenhouses packed full of impressive flora and fauna and various impressive fountains.
One of the most loved areas of the magnificent formal gardens is the Cascade, a large waterfall that runs over a long set of steps, which leads down towards the house. The first Cascade which was substantially smaller than the one that sits in Chatsworth gardens today, was completed in 1696. The current Cascade is twice as long as the original and is significantly wider. In the warmer months, thousands of visitors flock to the Cascade to paddle in the shallows and enjoy the stunning views across the Derwent Valley.
Chatsworth Garden Centre
Located within the vast estate, the garden centre offers a range of products for the home and garden. Whether you are looking for some new flowers for your garden or perhaps some new decor for your home, you are sure to find something suitable here! If you get peckish whilst you’re visiting, the Vines Restaurant is the ideal place to unwind and sip a cup of coffee whilst you admire your new purchases.
Afternoon Tea at Chatsworth
Experience the true English indulgence by having afternoon tea at Chatsworth House. Whether you are celebrating a special occasion with a loved one or simply craving cake and scones, Chatsworth’s afternoon tea experience at The Flying Childers restaurant will tantalize your taste buds. You will be warmly greeted with a sumptuous selection of hand cut sandwiches, freshly baked scones with homemade jam and other cakes and fancies to subdue your sweet tooth.
Chatsworth at Christmas
There is little that is more magical than Chatsworth House at Christmas time. In the true spirit of Christmas, you will find a range of exciting events for people of all ages and interests. If you are bringing your little ones, the Christmas crafts event may be just up their street. Head over to the marquee in the farmyard and playground area to help your children craft a festive friend that they can take home! Additionally, in the run up to Christmas, the formal gardens will be lit up in a stunning array of colours and fairy lights line the gardens’ many walkways. The illuminations are truly a sight to behold, you must see it for yourself!
Farmyard and Playground at Chatsworth House
One of the many reasons Chatsworth is popular with families is because of the unmissable farmyard and adventure playground. Children will be incredibly excited to discover that there is a range of farmyard friends to meet. Say hello to horses, donkeys, sheep, guinea pigs and goats; your little ones will get the opportunity to see the farmyard animals up close and learn more about them.
The farmyard is not the only area of Chatsworth that children enjoy. We think you will agree that there is nothing that kids love more than an adventure playground. Take the secret tunnel from the farmyard to the playground – how mysterious! Once you emerge from the tunnel, you will be met with zip lines, sandboxes, slides, swings, climbing ropes and much more. The adventure playground is a great way for your little ones to burn off some energy and enjoy the surrounding woodland.
Chatsworth House Estate Farm Shop
Chatsworth’s award winning farm shop is home to a sizable collection of unique products to excite the taste buds. Whether you are seeking fresh meat and fish, fruit and vegetables, delectable items from the delicatessen or patisserie, the shop will undoubtedly have something you will love!
Gift Shops at Chatsworth House
There are three gift shops at Chatsworth apart from the Estate Farm Shop – The Orangery, The Stables and The Farmyard shops. The Orangery has products and souvenirs influenced by Chatsworth and the Stables sells all types of accessories and gifts – handbags, jewellery, books etc. The Farmyard shop sells items unsurprisingly illustrating the farm to delight children, parents and grandparents alike. You can also find many ‘pocket money’ purchases to treat children.
Staying at Chatsworth House’s Accommodation
The Chatsworth Estate offers a variety of hotels, cottages and inns for you to stay in on and around the estate. Whether you want seclusion surrounded by stunning countryside or a minibreak in a picturesque village, Chatsworth’s accommodation offers it all. So, extend your visit to Chatsworth, soak up the relaxing atmosphere and enjoy a special time with loved ones.
Places to Visit Near Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House is close to a range of exciting locations such as Sheffield, Matlock, Bath, and Bakewell. If you feel like you want some excitement and adventure, Sheffield city centre is only a 35 minute drive from the house. If you want to explore somewhere calmer and quainter, the quiet towns of Matlock Bath and Bakewell are only a 21 minute and 12 minute drive away respectively.
We strongly encourage you to visit Chatsworth House in the near future. The estate has it all – a historic stately country house, endless gardens and grounds, an award-winning farmyard and shop, an adventure playground, beautiful accommodation and much, much more!
Chatsworth House Opening Times
Chatsworth House is open from 21st March – 4th March, 10am – 5.30pm daily. The last entry is half an hour before closing.
The car park is open from 9am – 6pm daily and the farm shop is open Monday – Saturday, 9am – 6pm and Sunday, 11am – 5pm.
For most up to date opening times, you visit the official page here – https://www.chatsworth.org/your-visit/opening-times/
Chatsworth House Ticket Prices
At the time of writing, only the garden and car parks are open, not the house itself, due to Covid-19. The prices for the garden are:
Child (aged 4-16): £5
Family (2 adults and upto 3 children): £24
Children aged 3 and under: Free
These tickets include a car park ticket so you do not need to pay for a separate one. For most up to date ticket prices for Chatsworth House, you can visit the official website here – https://www.chatsworth.org/book-tickets/
How to Get to Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House’s address is Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP.
How to Get to Chatsworth House by Car
The postcode to use in Sat Navs for the main car park is DE45 1PP. There is another car park at the southern end of Chatsworth House called Calton Lees car park and the postcode for this is DE4 2NX. You can follow the brown signs from Chesterfield on the B6012 to Chatsworth House. Both car parks are £4 per car.
How to Get to Chatsworth House by Bus
You can get bus number 218 (operated by TM Travel) to Chatsworth House from Sheffield and Bakewell. The bus stop is just a short walk from the main house, garden and farmyard.
From Matlock you can get bus number 217 (Stagecoach) and number 58 (High Peak) leaving from Buxton and Macclesfield.
From Chesterfield you can get bus 170 (Hulleys) and X70 (Hulleys) which stops close to Chatsworth, in Baslow. From The Nether End bus stop in Baslow, you’ll need to follow the public footpath by crossing the bridge and taking the path to the right. Chatsworth House is then a 2km walk from here, taking about 25 minutes.
It is advisable to check the bus operator’s timetables on their websites before you travel.
How to Get to Chatsworth House by Train
The nearest large train station to Chatsworth is Chesterfield which is a 30 minute drive away and the nearest local train station is Matlock. There are also trains to Sheffield which is a 40 minute drive away. Once in these areas, you can then get the bus to Chatsworth House (see above, How to get to Chatsworth House by Bus, for more details).