Dispel any notions of stately homes being too stuffy for younger visitors. Chatsworth in Derbyshire is a wonderful place for visitors of all ages to explore, whether dressing up in the house, splashing about in the garden or meeting animals in the farmyard.
Chatsworth has hosted a variety of filming over the last few years, most notably Pride and Prejudice (2005) in which it represented Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s estate. Other filming ranges from factual documentaries such as Channel 4’s Great Estates and TV dramas such as Jane Eyre (BBC), to feature films The Duchess (2008) and The Wolfman (2009).
New exhibitions for 2010 in the house relating to the Dowager Duchess and the infamous 17th century Duchess Georgiana – subject of the film, The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley – display beautiful dresses and jewellery while a new display of Treasures from the Vault will satisfy all bling hunters.
Visitors can also dress up in period costume in the house. The popular ‘Art Safari’ will have children looking for hundreds of hidden animals as they creep through the house. The room guides are on hand to provide clues and have a wealth of interesting stories to entertain visitors of every age.
The 105 acre garden is a magical landscape, beautiful in all seasons, and it can be visited separately from the house. It has evolved over more than 450 years, and continues to change today. For families, the garden is an endless source of delight, play and relaxation with no ‘Keep Off’ signs in evidence! The maze and the waterworks provide hours of fun and exploration, but everywhere there are wonderful things to see, touch, smell and discover, with intriguing sculptures, a Victorian tunnel, the herbs and vegetables of the kitchen garden and a giant rock garden. The guidebook contains a number of trail maps, one specifically designed with families in mind. There is also a free Spring Trail designed for families.
Families will enjoy the farmyard with its wide variety of animals and lots of new babies arriving throughout the year, and the spectacular woodland adventure playground with its water and sand play for younger children and towers, ropewalks, spiral slide and commando wire for older children. Regular farmyard discovery days for ‘young farmers’ aged 8 to 12 and teenagers will give them hands on experience of life on a working farm. The barn is the focus for a wide range of indoor activities throughout the year and a new canopy area will be the setting for a varied entertainment programme for visitors. From milking demonstrations and daily animal handling sessions, to trailer rides and den building around the wider estate, the farmyard is a great place to visit whatever the weather.
A packed events programme also offers fun for all the family throughout all the school holidays whether its playing games throughout the six-week Summer Safari or making pumpkin lanterns for the Halloween Hoot. For more information visit http://www.chatsworth.org/.
A Family Discovery Pass provides excellent value admission into Chatsworth house, garden, farmyard and adventure playground for two adults and up to three children. For more great value ticketing options and to take advantage of a 10 percent discount for online booking, visit http://www.chatsworth.org
Text and photos liberally pilfered from Victoriana Daily. Thanks!