Holiday Day 2: Chatsworth House and Bakewell

We received a lovely surprise at our breakfast table this morning with these beautiful flowers placed on each table. It wasn’t expected from a hotel like this. It’s a smallish family run affair, but has excellent friendly staff. The breakfast was OK if not outstanding. My wife had an oatcake with poached eggs. It was a bit dry, and the eggs were a little overdone. I had the Full English complete with real black pudding and fried bread. It was the sort of breakfast I’d have thought nothing of eating 25 years ago, but now felt guilty eating.

After breakfast we drove the short distance to Chatsworth House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire for 16 generations. It is regularly used as a film set, with Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley a prime example. Set in stunning gardens, the house has changed a lot since the first Duke bought the house in the mid 1700s. There’s a stunning collection of art and antiques through the ages. The staff are all very knowledgable too, and are always available to offer insights into life of past residents.

Having gone around the house, we sat in the garden with an ice cream. Then it was time to wonder around the extensive gardens. To be honest we didn’t see most of them, largely because we were feeling tired. The good news is that the fairly priced entry ticket allows you to return within six months with a hefty discount. Not that we’ll be back anytime soon.

If you’re visiting with little ankle biters, the adjoining farmyard is well worth a visit. Apart from the usual rabbits, guinea pigs, and goats, there are cows complete with regular milking displays, a large adventure playground, and a loads of hens. It will keep youngsters amused for awhile.

Leaving Chatsworth, we headed for nearby Bakewell, a lovely market town. We spent a couple of hours wondering the streets and sitting by the river. We even found a Viennese Sausage cafe, unfortunately just as it was closing.

Tomorrow we have to head home, due to a family member falling seriously ill. Cutting short our holiday wasn’t an easy decision, but it is for the best. So we won’t be going to Buxton, and will have to wait to visit the Lake District for another day.

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