The Peak District and Derbyshire is arguably home to some of the most spectacular and stately homes, historic houses and castles in England. Truly beautiful places to visit at any time of the the year, many of our favourite historic houses and stately homes have now reopened after being closed due to the pandemic.
Here’s nine of our favourites, all within easy reach of Buxton. Let us know what you think if you’ve been, we’d love to see your photos…
1. Haddon Hall
Haddon Hall is a little understated than some other historic houses in the area and they don’t go all out to advertise because they prefer a more intimate experience for visitors – that’s what they told us when we visited last anyway; but you really do see that as soon as you step into the grounds, Haddon Hall is staggeringly beautiful there’s no doubt it and if you haven’t visited then it’s a must whether you’re a visitor here or live locally. It’s hard to know where to point your camera once inside the house and the ‘Long Gallery’ and the gardens are lovely. Present-day Haddon Hall dates from the 12th Century to the early 17th Century and undeniably a must see.
Re-opened on 21st July 2021 after 18 months of closure due to the pandemic. The house, restaurant and gardens are all open.
Entry / Cost: Adults £22, Concessions £20.50, Children 0 – 15 yrs FREE, Student (with ID card) £19.
2. Calke Abbey
Built in 1703, the Baroque style mansion is set in extensive parklands and was acquired by the National Trust in the 1980s. You will not see much restoration in the rooms – but in the state they were found by the National Trust in the 80s – so as to halt decay of the building as opposed to trying to reverse any wear and tear. The flower gardens are very pretty and the ancient deer park is a designated Site of Scientific Interest and national nature reserve. Generally open all year round.
Open every day and advance bookings are now no longer required. The parkland is open from 9am every day, including Calke Explore. The garden, restaurant, shop and second-hand bookshop are all open from 9.30am daily.
Entry / Cost: House: Adult £10.40, child £5.20, Family ticket £26, Park and Gardens: Adult £6.50, child £3.25, Family ticket £16.25
3. Kedleston Hall
Built by Robert Adam, Kedleston Hall was erected in the 1760’s by the first Baron Scarsdale, on the site of large buildings that had been occupied by the Curzon family for hundreds of years. The hall is one of the finest examples of Adams’ work and the grand Marble Hall and state rooms are wonderfully grand, as is the exterior though too. The restored gardens, also designed by Adam make for a lovely spring or summer walk amongst bluebells with various trails in the woodlands.
Advance bookings are not required at this time.
Entry / Cost: Standard entry – Adults £13.00, children £6.50, Family ticket £32.50
4. Peveril Castle
Peveril Castle located high above the picturesque village of Castleton and mentioned in the Domesday survey, is one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses was built by Henry II in 1176. Offering staggering views across the Peak District and of Mam Tor or the ‘Shivering Mountain’ as it’s sometimes known, a climb up to the castle is well worth it and there’s a visitors centre with interesting information on its history.
You do not need to book your ticket in advance, but you will always get the best price and guaranteed entry by booking online ahead of your visit.
Entry / Cost: Adults £7.40, children £4.40 (5 – 17 yrs), Concession £6.70 Family ticket £19.20
5. Hardwick Hall
Referred to as ‘an Elizabethan masterpiece’, Hardwick Hall is always a big favourite for visitors, filled with rich furnishings and tapestries preserved by successive generations of the Devonshire family. It was the formidable ‘Bess of Hardwick’ who first built the house and developed the surrounding estate in the late 1500s. Her descendants, the Dukes of Devonshire, treasured Hardwick, while lavishing much of their attention and money on nearby Chatsworth. Their success – intimately associated with empire over 400 years and across the globe – preserved Hardwick, and their interests elsewhere saved it from significant alternation. In the 20th century, keenly aware of Hardwick’s great significance and unique appeal, the Devonshires ensured that this remarkable building was passed on to the nation with its Elizabethan splendour intact.
The Hall (11am – 3.30pm) gardens, restaurant, shop and park at Hardwick are open and they no longer have a booking system in place for visits.
Entry / Cost: Adults £16, children £8, Family ticket £40
One of England’s best loved stately homes and certainly one of the finest and most spectacular to look at both inside and out. Chatsworth, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, has been in the Cavendish family since 1549 and set in extensive parklands and woodlands and the house contains a large collection of important paintings, furniture and other artefacts. The house is in itself fascinating and the ornamental gardens beautiful – which often feature sculpture exhibitions periodically as well as the permanent sculptures. There is the farmyard and adventure playground which all the family can enjoy too. Don’t miss the brilliant cafe and restaurant as well as the large gift shop, all located in the pretty courtyard.
Booking online is essential; tickets for the house, garden and farmyard will not be available to purchase on site.
Entry / Cost: Various ticket combinations are available – please refer to their website.
7. Renishaw Hall and Gardens
Renishaw Hall is a picturesque country house in Renishaw in the parish of Eckington in Derbyshire, England. The Grade I listed building and has been the home of the Sitwell family for over 350 years. The gardens are incredibly pretty with lawns, flower beds and lakes. Absolutely well worth a visit and likely to be much less busy than other places given that visiting the hall is via guided tour only as it is still very much a lived in family home. Public tours are available every Friday during the season at 1.00pm and 2.30pm. During the month of August they are also available on Saturday and Sunday at 1.00pm and 2.30pm.
Currently the gardens are open. Renishaw Hall remains closed. They expect the house to reopen from August 2021.
All customers are advised to book for a garden ticket online through our their new online booking system here. They will only allow walk in bookings if the session has not reached capacity through the online bookings. The Cafe is operating in the courtyard with outdoor seating only.
Entry / Cost: Hall tours – adults £12.95, child £11.95, gardens entry – adults £6.50, child £3, (under 5’s free)
8. Sudbury Hall
Sudbury Hall is one the country’s finest Restoration mansions and has Grade I listed building status. The hall also incorporates the superb National Trust Museum of Childhood, which explores childhoods of days gone by, toys from past eras and there’s interactive film and displays too. The outdoor woodland play area is ideal for children if you visit as a family and south Derbyshire itself is a lovely area to travel to.
Update July 2021: Sudbury is now currently closed as they make preparations to become the Children’s Country House at Sudbury. They look forward to reopening to visitors in early 2022. Keep an eye on their social media and website for latest updates.
9. Bolsover Castle
Built in the 17th century by the Cavendish family on the site of a medieval castle founded in the 12th century by the Peverel family, the castle is a great fun place to take all the family and the children should love raking round the grounds. The views are lovely from the castle across Derbyshire too. The recently restored Wall Walk instils a sense of history as you wander round and you really get the sense that you are in a real castle and that someone is likely to appear in period dress at any moment. Well recommended for a day out – the cafe is good too and on a warm day you are welcome to take a blanket and enjoy relaxing in the castle grounds.
You do not need to book your ticket in advance, but you will always get the best price and guaranteed entry by booking online ahead of your visit. The admission price will be higher if you choose to pay on the day you visit.
Entry / Cost: Adult £12.60, child £7.60, family ticket £32.80 – other prices/tickets also apply, please check their website