Red and fallow deer roam the 35,000-acre Chatsworth Estate which is located in the Derbyshire Dales and featured as the location in a range of films including; The Duchess, Pride and Prejudice and Death Comes to Pemberley. Take the opportunity to explore the Great Conservatory which houses tropical palms, exotic flowers in rainbow shades and fruiting banana plants.
A large yew maze provides great entertainment for children and a moment of peace and quiet for the adults. The Hundred Steps were built during the 1920s and lead a long uphill ascent, but, once at the top, walkers are greeted by a lone monkey puzzle tree and rewarded with a spectacular bird’s eye view of the maze. Journey further round Chatsworth estate and arrive at the kitchen and rose gardens and the stunning Cascade Fountain.
It takes a team of twenty gardeners and fifty volunteers to maintain this spectacular estate and Chatsworth house is truly a sight to behold. The house was home to sixteen generations of the Cavendish family and now residence to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The interior of the house is adorned with extravagant pieces of furniture and works of art dating back to 4000 years ago, even the ceilings are decorated with baroque paintings depicting mythological and biblical scenes by Italian artist Antonia Verrio.
Nestled in the heart of Wiltshire lies Stourhead estate surrounded by a deep emerald lake and framed with a magical and awe-inspiring landscape garden which was created by Henry Hoare, alongside his architect, Henry Flitcroft. This 18th-century paradisiacal garden is interjected with classical architecture, including, the magnificent Temple of Apollo, the Pantheon and also features a Gothic cottage and a grotto.
During springtime, the views across the mirrored lake are spectacular and visitors can experience this tranquil ‘living work of art’ at their own pace; choosing to either to ascend the tree top walk or follow the path down by the water. Tropical fuchsia rhododendrons and monkey puzzle trees line the paths and provide an idyllic setting for those searching for the perfect picnic spot after a long walk. Stourhead house; one of England’s first Palladian-style villas was inhabited by several generations of the Hoare family.
The interior of the house saw many transformations throughout the years to suit the different tastes of the family members and adhere to the ever-changing fashions of the time. It was Richard Colt Hoare who created space for the Regency library and an impressive picture gallery which is decorated with family portraits, much of which still remain and can be viewed in the house today.
The ostentatious Bankes family were one of most influential families in Dorset and generations of the family inhabited the house at Kingston Lacey over 400 years. The house is built in the style of an Italian palace and the family moved there after they lost their Corfe Castle stronghold to the Parliamentarians during the Civil War. Visitors can view a remarkable art collection, including Renaissance masterpieces.
There’s a Japanese inspired garden, kitchen gardens and a gorgeous snowdrop and bluebell lined trail, while a large lawn overlooked by the grand yellow stone house makes a pleasant setting for an afternoon picnic.
Written by Hayley Peters
Image Credits (www.chatsworth.org, Chris Robinson, www.nationaltrust.org.uk)
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