Scott’s Peak District Jaunt Day 4 – Haddon Hall

IMG_3826Haddon Hall, just outside of Bakewell in the Peak District, is considered one of the finest and most complete medieval homes in existence.

IMG_3849It occupies a commanding position.

IMG_3830As a medieval home it also had to have defences such as high walls, battlements and small windows.IMG_3864 IMG_3859 IMG_3850 IMG_3846It also has beautiful gardens. IMG_3957 IMG_3847 IMG_3851 IMG_3865

IMG_3889The chapel.


IMG_3837Inner courtyard.

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IMG_3921At the centre of any grand medieval house was the great hall.


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IMG_3910The great hall was always right next to the kitchens.

IMG_3912A large complex of the rooms, the kitchens had places for butchering and preparing meat, making dairy produce, cooking and cleaning.

IMG_3930A more modern, family dining room elsewhere in the house.

IMG_3959Intricate plaster work over fireplaces.

IMG_3948Steps into the long gallery.

IMG_3952The Long Gallery itself.


IMG_3886Stone steps worn by centuries of footfall.

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Well worth a visit!


Scott’s Peak District Jaunt Day 4: Hardwick Hall

IMG_3709Hardwick Hall is one of the most fascinating places I have ever visited. The great house was built in Elizabethan times by Bess of Hardwick – the Countess of Shrewsbury – to display her fabulous wealth. The story of Bess herself is incredible – how she rose from a modest farmer’s daughter to become the richest woman in the land (even richer than Queen Elizabeth I).

IMG_3693The first thing you notice is that there is a grand ruin right next door to Hardwick Hall. It was Bess’s old house but she wanted to upsize.



IMG_3702Remember that this was the time of the Tudors – to be able to afford this much glass in so many windows showed the world how rich you were.

IMG_3701She built Hardwick Hall literally on the village she was born and grew up in here in the Peak District.c

IMG_3705Her initials adorn the building.

IMG_3706Her coat of arms is everywhere.

IMG_3711The house has been built ‘upside down’. Right through the front door you enter the servant’s hall. All of the service rooms, kitchen, servants’ quarters are on the ground floor. The higher floors are for the family and their noble and royal guests, with the best rooms being right at the top. Bess felt that the best views should be enjoyed by the wealthy people and that they should literally be ‘above’ the help.

IMG_3713A portrait of Bess.

IMG_3728You ascend to the grander rooms.


Reception room. Notice the traditional rush matting on the floor. Carpets were too expensive for the floor and instead they adorned walls and tables.

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Gorgeous painted plaster work.IMG_3738  IMG_3739IMG_3731IMG_3760The Long Gallery. IMG_3748 IMG_3764 IMG_3751 Famous portrait of Bess’s friend Elizabeth I.IMG_3759 Somewhere for the Queen to sit down.IMG_3749IMG_3715Bess’s coat of arms again.IMG_3796Dining room. IMG_3783 Bedrooms.IMG_3780 IMG_3788 IMG_3772A guide with school children – the sort of thing I used to do at Speke Hall.

IMG_3804Hardwick Hall was inhabited by the family until 1960. It now belongs to the National Trust.


You then head back downstairs to the servants’ areas.IMG_3815The great kitchen. IMG_3819 IMG_3814  IMG_3812An incredible place to visit!

Scott’s Peak District Jaunt Day 3

Yes, yes, yes – sorry it’s been a year since I embarked on this jaunt and I still haven’t completed my posts on it. In the meantime we have moved house and we are now three quarters of our way through a home renovation, which has been taking all of my time.


IMG_3350After a wonderful breakfast at my lodgings, I drove to the southern part of the Peak District – the White Peak – and visited the beauty spot called Dovedale:

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I then drove to the nearby village of Ilam:

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IMG_3485 IMG_3483 IMG_3481The manor house Ilam Park is now a youth hostel but you can visit the grounds and take walks. There is also a cafe with lovely views:IMG_3447IMG_3499

IMG_3506 IMG_3524 IMG_3515 IMG_3658  IMG_3542 IMG_3521 IMG_3532 IMG_3517 IMG_3449 IMG_3508 IMG_3465 IMG_3558 IMG_3560  IMG_3528IMG_3553 IMG_3565IMG_3564  IMG_3460I then left the Peak District to visit Kedleston Hall, a grand house just outside of Derby:



IMG_3634 IMG_3607 IMG_3611 IMG_3782  IMG_3625 IMG_3592 IMG_3589 IMG_3604 IMG_3631 IMG_3595Kedleston Hall also has a village church right next door. On fact, I think from memory that Kedleston Hall ended up sort of ‘consuming’ the little village around it.IMG_3641

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On my way back to Matlock, I stopped at the little town of Matlock Bath:



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IMG_3673 IMG_3688I had an ice cream.



Scott’s Peak District Jaunt Day 2

IMG_2979 - 2013-06-17 at 22-20-07Sorry for the delay in posting about this trip – it’s been about two months since I got back! This was night time view from my bedroom window at Glendon Guest House, the bed and breakfast in Matlock. Lovely, but that clock strikes every fifteen minutes all night…

IMG_3010 - 2013-06-18 at 10-55-17On the morning of my second day I visited Chatsworth, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. It is, I think, the most beautiful stately home I have ever visited – not just for the house itself and its fabulous interiors but also the absolutely idyllic setting in the Peak District.

IMG_2987 - 2013-06-18 at 10-03-20Chatsworth is surrounded by farmland, woodlands, parks and small villages built to house the estate’s workers and pensioners.

IMG_3115 - 2013-06-18 at 11-51-41The house is full of grand rooms. This is the Painted Hall.

IMG_3049 - 2013-06-18 at 11-19-25The Great Chamber.

IMG_3065 - 2013-06-18 at 11-24-43The State Music Room.

IMG_3064 - 2013-06-18 at 11-24-41A close up of the violin hanging on the door. The violin is not real – it is a trompe l’oeil, or trick of the eye, a two-dimensional painting created by the Dutch artist Jan van der Vaardt in the seventeenth century.

IMG_3076 - 2013-06-18 at 11-30-08The State Bedroom.IMG_3121 - 2013-06-18 at 11-53-15My favourite room was the Library.

IMG_3129 - 2013-06-18 at 11-54-53The Great Dining Room.

IMG_3138 - 2013-06-18 at 11-57-29Sculpture Gallery.

IMG_3145 - 2013-06-18 at 12-02-21Lion.

IMG_3225 - 2013-06-18 at 13-08-32The Stables.

IMG_3166 - 2013-06-18 at 12-37-04The garden is famous for its water features.

IMG_3173 - 2013-06-18 at 12-40-07This is the view from the top of the Cascade.

IMG_3203 - 2013-06-18 at 12-52-35This is the Emperor Fountain, which is powered only by the pressure of the water coming from a man-made lake at the top of the hill to the right.

IMG_3231 - 2013-06-18 at 14-52-16I had lunch at a nearby pub and then drove north to the small village of Eyam. In 1665 the plague came to Eyam and the villagers decided to quarantine themselves completely from the outside world in order to prevent the plague spreading. Their quarantine lasted fourteen months and three quarters of the villagers died.

IMG_3237 - 2013-06-18 at 15-01-39Along the main street are a series of cottages called the Plague Cottages.

IMG_3240 - 2013-06-18 at 15-02-03In front of each one is a plaque detailing the fate of the inhabitants. The houses are still occupied, as you can see from the child’s toy by the front door.

IMG_3242 - 2013-06-18 at 15-02-26The novel Year of Wonders, by Geraldine Brooks, is set in Eyam during that time.

IMG_3245 - 2013-06-18 at 15-04-25This is the manor house of Eyam.

IMG_3300 - 2013-06-18 at 16-16-25I then drove even further north into what is known as the Dark Peak. There are much wilder moorlands there than in the more sedate southern part of the Peak District known as the White Peak.

IMG_3314 - 2013-06-18 at 16-18-46A ram.

IMG_3295 - 2013-06-18 at 16-15-14I went as far as a place known as Upper Burbage.

IMG_3320 - 2013-06-18 at 16-25-37There were craggy rock formations and a steep valley.

IMG_3318 - 2013-06-18 at 16-23-27Not all of the rock formations were natural. This is called Carl Wark and is a man-made structure, probably about 3,500 years old. It is unknown whether it was used as a hill fort or for large ceremonial gatherings.

It was late afternoon so I headed back to Matlock, which was about an hour’s drive. From memory there was a brief heavy rainstorm on my journey.


Scott’s Peak District Jaunt Day 1


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IMG_2836I began my Peak District jaunt by visiting Lyme Park, which lies on the edge of the Peak District in Cheshire. Lyme Park was the home of the Legh family for over 600 years until they passed their property to the National Trust in 1946. I haven’t seen the TV series Pride and Prejudice but apparently the spot in the photo above is where Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) encounters Miss Bennet after his swim in the lake.

IMG_2977You are not allowed to take photos inside the house so here is a photo I took of a photo…of the Long Gallery…

IMG_2874I then began my drive through the beautiful Peak District, the UK’s first national park.


After about thirty minutes I approached the town of Buxton.

IMG_2891Buxton is a spa town that has been famous for its spring waters since Roman times. In the 18th century it became a very fashionable place, even with its own Crescent built to rival Bath. The Crescent is currently being renovated.

IMG_2905Buxton even has its own Opera House!

IMG_2879IMG_2918Here are the Pavilion Gardens.

IMG_2892This is St Ann’s Well, where the waters can be sampled.

IMG_2895The water is 28 degrees celsius when it comes out of the ground.

IMG_2961Following my stop at Buxton, I drove on to Matlock, which will be my base for the next few days.

IMG_2968A view of the River Derwent.

IMG_2946This is Glendon Guest house, my lodgings.

IMG_2928I have a lovely room with a four poster bed.

IMG_2937I have a view of Bentley Brook.

IMG_2941And also the church of St Giles.

IMG_2944There is a very comfortable sitting room next door to my room. I had a very nice dinner at a local Thai restaurant and am now getting ready for a good night’s sleep. I am concerned though, as the bells of St Giles Church just rang 10, so I am hoping they don’t go all through the night!