The Peak District and Derbyshire is arguably home to some of the most spectacular and stately homes, historic houses and castles in England. With summer gradually showing signs of arriving we thought we’d pick out our 9 favourites that are all within easy reach of Buxton; with some all time favourite locations as well as some other lesser known which really are well worth a visit. 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-opening for 2017: 8th April – 30th September, open 7 days a week (excluding 20th & 21st May). Opening times change in October – check website for more details.
Entry / Cost: Adults £14.50, Concessions £14.00, Children £8.00, Family (2 adults, 3 children) £37.00, Car Parking £3.00 per car
2. Heath House
The Heath House has been in the Philips family for generations and is now lived in and run by Justin and Sophie Philips along with their dogs Finty & Pippy! Not only are they passionate about the house and the surrounding countryside but they also love welcoming people to their home for their weddings, events, special occasions and meetings. Justin, Sophie and the team have a wealth of knowledge and ideas, as well as an endless supply of coffee to help you create your own, unique, bespoke event.
Tour of House & gardens comprises ground floor reception rooms, inner and outer halls, main staircase and first floor gallery including formal bedrooms. The gardens comprise the formal gardens including the Edwardian Rock Garden, Italian Garden and Orangery.
The tours are conducted by members of the family and our tour guides Flavia Swann and archivist Neil Hatfield who will be able to answer any questions the family does not know the answers to!
Entry / Cost: Check website for further details
3. 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.
Entry / Cost: Adult £14.50, child £7.50
4. 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.
The house is generally open to visitors throughout the week 12 noon – 5pm but check before you visit. Other parts of the hall and gardens have varying opening times.
Entry / Cost: Standard entry – Adults £13.00, children £6.50, Family ticket £32.50
4. Holme Hall
Holme Hall is a Grade I listed manor house situated just outside Bakewell in the Peak District. Incorporating an earlier Tudor House, the main part of the present hall was built in 1626-1628 by Bernard Wells, a lead merchant originally from Gloucestershire. The main hall range was based on Robert Smythson’s designs for smaller Italianate villas on a square plan format. The east and west wings were built in 1658 by his daughter Ann and her husband, Robert Eyre of Highlow Hall, who was in the same year High Sheriff of Derbyshire.
Robert Eyre was also responsible for commencing work on the terraced gardens, which include the Grade II listed banqueting house, prospect house and two-tier terraces. The second floor of the east wing of the hall has a former chapel which leads directly onto the middle garden terrace. The gardens have been restored to their original layout, facilitated by very detailed sketches and plans (including tree plantings) and a poem about the estate (which includes various references to specific flowers in the garden) from the early 18th century which are contained in the Bagshawe collection in the Sheffield archives. A beautiful, lesser known historic home in Derbyshire that’s well worth the visit.
Entry / Cost: Visiting is by prior arrangement only – check website for more information and contact details
5. 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.
Entry / Cost: Adults £5,60, children £3.40, Family ticket £14.60
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.
Entry / Cost: Entry prices vary – check website for further details
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.
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.
Entry / Cost: Check website for more information
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.
Entry / Cost: Adult £10.80, child £6.50, family ticket £28.10 – other prices apply, check website