HARDWICK HALL, DERBYSHIRE
It was the formidable 'Bess of Hardwick' (Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury 1527-1608) who first created Hardwick in the 16th century. In the centuries since then, her descendants, farmers, gardeners, builders, decorators, embroiderers and craftspeople of all kinds have contributed, and made Hardwick their creation as well. The hall famously has many windows, an extravagance for the time, leading a local wit to comment, "Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall".
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Parking onsite
- Ground floor accessible, stairs with handrail to other floors, grounds partly accessible with slopes, grass paths & some cobbles
- Facilities: Ramp to entrance, large print & Braille guide, wheelchair, touch screens. Buggy shuttle service from visitor reception to gatehouse
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Hall open Feb-Oct, 11-5; 24 Nov-28 Dec, 11-3. Park & restaurant all year, daily 9-6. Garden & shop all year, daily 10-6. (Facilities close dusk Nov-Feb). 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.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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