Country Houses and Estates

Hopton Hall is just a stones throw from Knockerdown and is situated in the small village of Hopton to the north of Carsington Water.  Known for its beautiful gardens in the summer and snowdrop walk in the winter and the crinkle crankle wall. It is only open to the public at certain times of the year so check their website before you travel. 

Hardwick Hall An Elizabethan masterpiece, Hardwick’s history is closely associated with the lady who built it, Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, known to many simply as ‘Bess of Hardwick’. Born on the site of Hardwick Old Hall Bess rose to a position of great power within Elizabethan society. This magnificent hall is owned by The National Trust and sits on a huge estate near Chesterfield. Its a 45 minute drive away from Knockerdown but its a great day out for the family with loads of things to see and do, there is also a great family friendly pub on the estate. 

Tissington Hall Tissington Hall was built in 1609 by Francis FitzHerbert to replace the moated fortification that guarded the Norman Church of St Mary’s in the centre of the village. For over 400 years the Hall has presided over this picturesque Estate Village which is five miles north of the delightful market town of Ashbourne at the southern tip of the Peak District. Tissington Hall hosts a number of open days throughout the year where the public can tour around the house and learn all about this fascinating home and family. 

Hardwick Hall
Credit: Photo Credit: National Trust
Chatsworth House
Credit: Photo credit: Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549. Standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, it looks across to the low hills between the Derwent and Wye valleys. The house is set in expansive parkland and backed by wooded, rocky hills rising to heather moorland. It contains major collections of paintings, furniture, Old Master drawings, neoclassical sculptures, books and other artefacts. Alongside the fabulous house is its exquisite gardens, farmyard (great for the children) and stable block which is home to a variety of shops and a restaurant. Chatsworth has been chosen as Britain's favourite country houses several times so if you only visit one country house while your in Derbyshire you simply must visit Chatsworth. 

Haddon Hall With 900 years of history, Haddon is an absolutely fascinating house to visit. Its brimming with history and stories of old, a remarkable tapestry collection; an early English furniture collection reputed to be the best of its kind in England; and stunning Elizabethan Walled Gardens. Haddon is one of the most significant and oldest heritage destinations in the country. Haddon Hall also has a lovely restaurant serving locally sourced food and a gift shop full of exclusive souvenirs, beautiful artisan wares, specialist plants, books, cards, jams, toys and china.

Calke Abbey Often referred to as The Unstately Stately Home, Calke Abbey is unlike any other as it is not presented like other country houses of its day. Paintwork is faded and peeling; vast collections of personal belongings are left as they were found. Here, the past is remarkably well preserved, in estate buildings, archaeology and the family’s belongings. Discover powerful stories of a family who amassed a vast collection of hidden treasures. Visit the beautiful, yet faded walled gardens and explore the orangery, auricula theatre and the kitchen gardens. Escape into the ancient and fragile habitats of Calke Park and its National Nature Reserve.

Eyam Hall This beautiful Jacobean Manor House has been lived in by the family since it was built as a wedding present by Thomas Wright in 1672. Situated in the famous 'plague' village of Eyam you can take a tour around the house and gardens. The real treat here is the courtyard, made up of the old farm buildings adjacent to Eyam Hall in the centre of Eyam. Here you can browse the fascinating shops and eat at the beautiful Coolstone restaurant, built in the old stables.

Calke Abbey
Credit: Photo Credit: National Trust
Sudbury Hall
Credit: Photo Credit: National Trust

Sudbury Hall This 17th Century house is home to lavish interiors and the National Trusts Museum of Childhood. Here you can discover two contrasting experiences sitting side by side. The Hall is the historic country home of the Vernon family and get to know some of the amazing characters who have moulded Sudbury over the centuries.  The Museum of Childhood situated in the Hall’s old service wing is a delight for all ages, discover something new, or relive nostalgic memories. Explore childhoods of times gone by, play with toys and share stories. Try your hand as a chimney sweep, a scullion or a Victorian school pupil, and be captivated by the archive film and interactive displays.

Bolsover Castle With spectacular views over Derbyshire, the fairy-tale Stuart mansion, Bolsover Castle, was designed to entertain and impress. Its reputation for revelry lives on as English Heritage bring a range of entertainment for you and your family. Wander the lavish rooms of the Little Castle, explore the romantic ruined terrace range, and delight in the views from the wall walk. Start your visit in the exhibition in the Riding House if you are lucky you might catch one of the weekend displays of Cavalier Horsemanship. There is also extensive grounds for the little ones to run wild in and a café for refreshments.

Kedleston Hall Another jewel in The National Trusts crown and just 15 minutes drive from Knockerdown. Kedleston Hall is a truly fascinating place to visit. Take a trip back in time to the 1760s at this spectacular Neo-classical mansion framed by historic parkland. Designed for lavish entertaining and displaying an extensive collection of paintings, sculpture and original furnishings. The Curzon family have lived here since the 12th-century and continue to live at the Hall. Lord Curzon's Eastern Museum is a treasure trove of fascinating objects acquired on his travels in Asia during his Viceroyship of India.

Peveril Castle The imposing ruins of Peveril Castle stand high above the pretty village of Castleton in the heart of Derbyshire's Peak District. Mentioned in the Domesday survey, Peveril Castle is one of England's earliest Norman fortresses. The keep was built by Henry II in 1176. A climb to the castle at the top of the hill to enjoy the breathtaking views over the Hope Valley is a highlight of a family day out in Castleton. Explore the remains of the keep including the garderobe (medieval lavatory)! Displays in the visitor centre tell the story of Peveril as the administrative focus of the Royal Forest of the Peak, a royal hunting preserve since the 11th century.

Photo credit: National Trust
Credit: Photo credit: National Trust