Chatsworth House offers a unique range of cultural, historical and leisure activities. Located just over three miles from Bakewell, the stately home stands on the bank of the River Derwent. Open to visitors all year round, the building has been modernised to allow access to all public areas by wheelchair users. Whether it’s admiring the historical collections of artworks, dining at the onsite restaurants and cafes, strolling through the gardens or visiting the goats and guineapigs in the farmyard, Chatsworth House is the perfect day out for any visitor to Bakewell or the Peak District.
LOCATION: Chatsworth, Bakewell Derbyshire DE45 1PP
The first thing which catches the visitors’ attention on arrival is the manor house itself. The site has been of great significance to royalty and aristocracy throughout history, from housing the captive Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th century, to its contemporary role in preserving English heritage. The house has belonged to the Cavendish family since the 1550s and remains today the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. Since the completion of the original Elizabethan style house, the building has undergone many changes through renovation and modernisation. It was opened to the public after new electricity and pumps were installed in the second half of the 20th century and continues to accept visitors all year round for tours.
The structure creates a striking spectacle, placed against a backdrop of woodland and the sloping moorland of the Peak District. But it is not just the architecture which attracts visitors: Chatsworth House is also home to a diverse collection of artworks spanning a 4,000 year period. Ancient Roman and Egyptian artefacts complement Renaissance paintings and sketches of the Old Masters. With seasonal exhibitions also presenting a variety of contemporary art and sculpture, Chatsworth has plenty to offer for any budding art enthusiast.
Stunning gardens with something for everyone
Art extends beyond the walls of the house into the carefully created and expansive garden complex. The gardens have also undergone significant changes through the years, and offer spectacular water features such as the Cascade and the great Emperor Fountain. This fountain is an impressive centrepiece of the Canal Pond, which leads straight up to the front of the house, and is also remarkable due to how it is powered solely by gravity.
After visitors have toured through the house, marvelling at the sculpture hall, and wandered through the Rock Garden and the Maze border, they can relax and browse through the shops, café and restaurant onsite. From the family-friendly Carriage House Café offering dishes made from local and seasonal produce, to fine dining and afternoon teas at the Cavendish restaurant, to craft ale and cocktails at the Stables Bar, there is plenty to choose from. The Estate Farm Shop is renowned for its high-quality local produce and includes a butcher’s and fresh fish counter.
Farmyard and Playground
Chatsworth House not only caters to cultural connoisseurs and art enthusiasts, but also to families. A short walk from the main building and visitors will arrive at the farmyard and playground, where younger visitors can enjoy a range of activities including a playground with swings and a zipline, milking demonstrations in the farmyard, animal handling in the Poultry House and seasonal arts and crafts.
Events at Chatsworth House
Chatsworth House boasts a packed annual schedule of events, with temporary exhibitions freely open to visitors. For more information on the current events at Chatsworth House, visit our events page.