Calke Abbey is a country house and estate preserved in 20th-century decline. A place which contrasts rooms of grandeur with long abandoned rooms, telling the tale of an eccentric family who amassed a huge collection of hidden treasures. The house has had little restoration, portraying a period when great country houses struggled to survive. In the walled gardens you can explore the Orangery, the flower and kitchen gardens or walk around the fragile habitats of Calke Park National Nature Reserve. All visitors (including NT members) require a ticket for the house and garden or garden only from the ticket office.
Facilities – at a glance
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Facilities: Braille guide, hearing system, wheelchair, map
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year. Garden 3 Feb-31 Oct. House 3 Mar-31 Oct. Closed 25 Dec
Also in the area
About the area
The natural features of this central English county range from the modest heights of the Peak District National Park, where Kinder Scout stands at 2,088 ft (636 m), to the depths of its remarkable underground caverns, floodlit to reveal exquisite Blue John stone. Walkers and cyclists will enjoy the High Peak Trail which extends from the Derwent Valley to the limestone plateau near Buxton, and for many, the spectacular scenery is what draws them to the area.
The county is well endowed with stately homes – most notably Chatsworth, the palatial home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, with its outstanding collections of paintings, statuary and art. Other gems include the well preserved medieval Haddon Hall, the Elizabethan Hardwick Hall, and Kedleston Hall, whose entrance front has been described as the grandest Palladian façade in Britain.
The spa town of Matlock is the county’s administrative centre and other major towns of interest include Derby and the old coal mining town of Chesterfield, with its crooked spire. Around the villages of Derbyshire, look out for the ancient tradition of well dressing, the decorating of springs and wells – the precious sources of life-sustaining water – with pictures formed from flowers.
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