Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Morning Stroll

Yesterday we were going to visit my sister and brother-in-law at Chesterfield. As we seem to be waking up earlier and earlier on these light and birdsong filled mornings we set off quite early on our journey. We drove out of the city towards Cellarhead, Froghall,Ipstones and through Hartington, Monyash and Bakewell finally parking at Baslow. At nine-thirty in the morning there was just us plus a few ladies all locking their cars and heading to the village hall with rolled mats and blankets under their arms. A yoga class perhaps?

We headed towards the entrance to Chatsworth park. The weather was a little grey and quite cool with just a glimmer of sun now and again. Just right for walking though. The stone cottages were looking particularly lovely in the early morning light; their gardens full of pretty flowers and roses or clematis around their doors.

I love these little thatched cottages at the side of the river.

As we ventured along the path towards Chatsworth House there was a sudden rush of newly shorn sheep - hundreds of them all careering towards us in a long line then suddenly veering off across the grass towards the top corner of the estate.

They viewed us with a slight interest but seemed intent on moving on as quickly as possible.

We could see the house in the distance. It was now 10a.m. and cars and coaches were beginning to arrive at the entrance all, I expect, anticipating a wonderful day out.

We spotted this lovely seat where we could sit and drink the morning coffee we had brought with us in a flask. I must admit it was cool enough to feel ready for its warmth.

Another look at the house - it looks as if there is some repair or conservation work going on - I imagine that there is always something to be done either inside or outside a never ending upkeep on such a wonderful huge building.

We were intrigued by this smaller building known as Queen Mary's bower. Apparently during the mid to late 16th century when Sir William Cavendish and his wife Bess of Hardwick were having the first house built a water garden was made between the house and the river containing a number of ponds and canals. The bower is thought to have been a viewing platform so that people could view both the house and the grounds. The balustrade was added in 1581 and it is said that it might have been used as a contained exercise area for the captive Mary, Queen of Scots who was held five times at Chatsworth from 1570 to 1581., hence its modern name. In the 18th century the water garden was filled in and the present park created by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.

The view from the top along the river was amazing!

It was time to return to the car and make our way out of Baslow and up by the Robin Hood Inn towards Cutthorpe and on to Chesterfield. We had a lovely visit; after lunch at the garden centre, a good natter and look around, hanging baskets were purchased and put in place, it was soon time to head towards home returning along the same route we had taken earlier in the morning.


  1. You do have some lovely days out Rosie. I like the idea of a 'contained exercise area' for myself!

  2. Oh roll on retirement - and I was just having a bad day at work! I LOVE Chatsworth anytime - even when its "heaving" you can still fins a quiet spot if you know where to look. Glad your day was good. By the way, I noticed on Rob Ryans website that he is doing an exhibition in Stafford (I think) if you wanted a different day out. xxx

  3. HI
    I am an East Midlander also, we live in South Deryshire (not born and bred though). I love Chatsworth, the farm shop there is fantastic. There is always so much to see.
    Jo xx

  4. What a lovely day out.We keep promising ourselves a trip to Chatsworth and doing Hardwick Hall at the same time.Loved the photos.

  5. Oh, I was there two weeks ago - isn't Chatsworth the most beautiful place? Especially when the crowds aren't there.
    I took a photograph of that lovely house with the wonderful hedge too. What a perfect place to live.
    Love Kathy xxx

  6. Gee, it's like a stroll through a picture book.

  7. Isn't the morning chorus wonderful? Derbyshire is so pretty, especially the little villages around Chatsworth.

  8. Oh, that was nice! I love reading your "tour accounts". After having been away from England for so many years the quintessentially English town names sound familiar, yet strange. Isn't Chatsworth Mr. Darcy's home in Pride and Prejudice? (the Firth/Ehle version) I LOVE that movie!

  9. You do enjoy the most wonderful walks Rosie. I remember visiting Chatsworth many years ago, the surrounding villages look lovely.

    Bess of Hardwick, now she was a lady to be reckoned with, the richest woman in Elizabethan England I believe - definitely a woman before her time!!

    Glad to hear the sun was shining for you today.


  10. What an amazing estate! I especially love the photo of the sheep, though. They must have been feeling frisky after being shorn!