I only had a short list of things I really wanted to do whilst we were in Derbyshire, but visiting Chatsworth was right at the top of it, highlighted and underlined! Chatsworth is one of the most famous stately homes in England, not least because a family still actually live in it. The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire are fortunate enough to call this stunning estate home and it continues to be passed down in their family from father to son, as in old English tradition. Isn’t it gorgeous? It has windows surrounded by gold and looks so grand sitting in the middle of the green, tranquil landscape. I was so excited to visit.
Chatsworth was used as a filming location in The Duchess, Death Comes to Pemberley and the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. There is definitely a Jane Austen theme in Derbyshire, which I for one like very much. Buggies are not permitted inside the house so my mum walked round the grounds with Jacob whilst Danny, Dad and I toured the house. It is absolutely vast and a real treasure trove of famous paintings, sculptures and wonderful architecture. I am currently reading the autobiography of Deborah Devonshire – one of the fabled Mitford sisters – who lived here with her husband, the Duke of Devonshire, for more than half a century. She described the sheer amount of work that went into running a place as enormous as Chatsworth and I actually thought that I’d rather not have all that responsibility, stunning though it is! The amount of upkeep required is unending. But, as she so perfectly put it: ‘You are surrounded by beauty at every turn’.
Jacob has now visited five stately homes in the first 13 weeks of his life – I think he might grow up thinking our own humble abode is a bit of a disappointment. He behaved very well in all of them and received some admiring clucks from ladies of the older generation! I am also convinced that he grew a little extra hair on this holiday. You’d probably have to be his mother to notice the additional millimetre but I am convinced that it is there. Every millimetre counts when you are bald as a coot. I sort of love his lack of hair though. Both Danny and I were super bald as babies and then super blond as toddlers so I can imagine where this is going to go.I’m so glad we paid Chatsworth a visit, it’s a real jewel of the Peak District and was a big highlight of our holiday!