A Grand Day Out!

Looking out from the Cascade

Looking out from the Cascade

I suspect that whatever your criteria for grand might be, Chatsworth House could fulfil it.  I honeymooned in the Peak District almost 25 years ago, and the memory of its grandeur and the beauty of the surroundings remains with me. The house sits in extensive grounds, with a wooded hill rising up behind it.  I returned, with my daughter Lisa, on a day unbelievably lovely for December.

I noted from Wikipedia that during World War II the house was occupied by 300 schoolgirls, for six years.  The Duke felt that they might be easier on his home than the soldiers who would otherwise be billeted there.  I’m not so sure!  In any event, they grew vegetables in the Kitchen garden to contribute to the war effort, and skated on the Canal Pond when it froze over.

Eventually you arrive at the top of the Cascade

Eventually you arrive at the top of the Cascade

Bewitched by the dancing fountains

To be bewitched by the dancing fountains

And the suitably disguised Pump house

And the suitably disguised Pump house

Onwards and upwards to the Grotto next, where you can sit in the bandstand, mistress of all you survey.  A lady visitor was obviously much pleased with her surroundings, and I tried, in my halting French, to exchange a few words.

And if you’re very good, you just might try

A cream tea!

A cream tea!

I don’t feel that I’ve really done the gardens justice.  Maybe it’s because I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the house.  The “Narnia” Christmas theme made it very special.  I’ll be writing more about the house and its occupants later this week.

In the meantime, I hope you feel you’ve had a grand day out? (yes, I quite like Wallace and Gromit too)  I’m linking this post to Cheri’s Weekly Photo Challenge. Join me there?


      1. No, I agree. Perhaps if I could afford to have a cascade like that (and could afford to pay for all the water to keep it flowing!) I would also have a group of gardeners at my beck and call!
        It is a very beautiful place and must be very expensive to maintain.

    1. I’m quite excited to see “Death comes to Pemberley” on Boxing Day, Seonaid. It’s filmed mostly at Chatsworth. I’m not a big TV buff but I’ll make an exception. 🙂

      1. Yes, and I was jealous that I wasn’t there hanging out with the two of you. What an absolutely fabulous idea for Christmas decorations! The ice queen and the sleeping lion were my favorites.

  1. I would love to get lost in that maze 🙂 I can see you had a wonderful day. The pics are great, Jo 🙂 (I did not know you were such a fan of snow 😀 )

  2. Absolutely stunning. I’m a huge Jane Austen fan and I think she modelled Pemberley in Pride & Prejudice on Chatsworth House so I’d love to go one day. Your story about the schoolgirls billeted there during the war remidned me of a story my grandfather often used to tell. During the war he was in the Royal Navy and for a while before they shipped out they were billeted in a girls school. The men all found it hysterical that in the dorms, there was a sign which read “if you require a Mistress during the night, please ring the bell”. I think those young sailors all rang the bell in hope but with no results!

  3. I feel a bit guilty for not visiting Chatsworth when I lived in Doncaster for 18 years and worked in Sheffield for six of those, although I am sure I went there with my parents as a child. The only thing that I know about it is that there is an entire village owned by the estate! So thank you Jo for showing me around, as I doubt I shall get the opportunity to go there now.
    Jude xx

      1. More than likely Jo. But in those days I had a garden of my own to look after, a full-time job, 4 kids and elderly parents – I didn’t do FUN things!

  4. Definitely a grand place. And to think that one family used to live in the house and enjoy the gardens. At least now many people get to enjoy its surroundings.

  5. I have had a lovely wander… I’m hoping to visit friends in Harrogate next year, and thinking of taking myself off to some other areas as well, so Chatsworth could be part of it! Love the View from the Woodlands, and Sensory Garden with it’s prism. Thanks for the tour 🙂

  6. Good story – I used to live in Derbyshire and Chatsworth was always one of my favourite places to visit. I liked the story of the school girls rather than the troops but seeing the damage my two granddaughters can do I, like you, wonder if this was such a good decision!

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 I’m hovering on the brink of making the blog “award free” but it seems so churlish somehow. I do have quite a backlog though. Sorry! I will come and say hi! 🙂

      1. You’re welcome, Jo. I understand that feeling of being on the brink of going awards-free, as they are indeed time-consuming. Recently I was overwhelmed, having received 3 in 4 days. What I did was write one big thank you post to acknowledge 4 awards at the same time, with buttons and names/links of the people who presented them to me, and let people know I’d be following up later. That seemed sufficient for the timebeing, even if not I accord with the rules. I don’t like rules, anyway.

        Whatever you do, please keep up the wonderful posts you craft, both photos and writings are excellent.

  7. What an interesting place Chatsworh House is to visit., and your fabulous photos really captured the essence of the place. I’ll have to put it on my list of places to visit when I go to the UK next year!
    As Wallace & Gromit would say, “A Grand Day Out”!

  8. That first picture really took my breath away. Truly a grand day and, of course, Lisa looks like a grand lady. The modern sculpture at the end of your photos is quite a contrast from its surroundings. Thanks for sharing, Jo.

    1. The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, who live there, are quite forward thinking, Lynne, so there are a number of modern art pieces around. Some I like, others not so much, but they do try to make it interesting. The grounds are lovely but Narnia completely bowled me over 🙂

    1. I had to do a post on the grounds, Jill. They are incredibly lovely and there are many aspects you can’t see too well from my photos, like the huge Emperor Fountain. How did I miss it! :).

  9. yep, that’s exactly what I thought of when I saw your title: Wallace and Gromit! such fun! and such lovely photos. I now have to go back and look at them again. I saw your Narnia diary too but didn’t get a chance to look in great detail (or read it actually, just skimmed) so I will be doing that shortly. great entry for this challenge and what a fabulous place for a honeymoon! (we’re going on 23 years next March – where does the time go??)

    1. I’m sure Wallace and Gromit must have appeared in this challenge a time or two, Tobyo, but who has time to check them all out? I start with good intentions….
      We stayed in the village of Bakewell nearby, just for a few days. So long ago! 🙂

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