CHATSWORTH HOUSE (click on picture to link)

When you drive across the surrounding park and see Chatsworth for the first time, surrounded by its beautiful landscaped gardens, fronted by the river Derwent and backed by a tree-covered hillside, it fairly takes your breath away.

The house originally built by Sir William Cavandish and his third wife Bess of Hardwick was rebuilt in approximately 1707 by the first Duke in a classical style. Parts of the interior walls and the Hunting tower on the hill date from the 1580s.

You must also visit the farmyard and if you have children there is also a great adventure park, alternatevely you can walk along the river and picnic.

Chatsworth also has a great farm shop with cafe and craft shops.

HADDON HALL (click on picture to link)

Haddon Hall was originally built as a Norman fort in the early12th Century, and inhabited by the Vernon family from the late 12th Century until the Manners family married Dorothy Vernon in 1567. Now in the ownership of Lord Edwards Manners it has been in the family for 900 years.

This is well worth a visit and is trully enchanting, set in wonderfull countryside with woodlands utilised for their shooting parties.

HARDWICK HALL (click on picture to link)

Hardwick hall was designed for Bess of Hardwick in the 16th Century. Bess of Hardwick was the richest woman in England after Queen Elizabeth 1 and the house is a conspicuous statement of that fact. The windows are exceptionally large and numerouse for the period and were a luxury at this time when glass was very expensive.

Each of the three main storeys has a higher ceiling height than the one below- the ceiling height being indicative of the importance of the rooms occupants- the least noble at the bottom and the grandest at the top.

Along with the house there is a marvellouse cafe/restaurant well worth visiting after your visit.

KEDLESTON HALL (click on picture to link)

Kedleston Hall contains a splendid Marble Hall with rows of 25ft high pink alabaster columns surrounding the room. The state room contain much magnificent furniture and paintings, some of which were brought back from India by George Curzon when he was Viceroy, from 1899 to 1905.

The gardens have been retored in part to an 18th -century `pleasure ground' and the surrounding park, also designed by Adam,includes a fine bridge, fishing pavillion and series of lakes and cascades.

On site there is also a restaurant and national trust shop.

SUDBURY HALL (click on picture to link)

The country home of Lords Vernon, a delight of 17th-Century craftsmanship, featuring exquisite plasterwork, wood carvings and classical story-based murals.

The museum of Childhood is a delight for all ages with something for everyone.

Explore the chiidhoods of times gone by, make stories, play with toys and share your childhood with others. The children can be a chimney sweep, a scillion or a Victorian pupil, and be captivated bt the achive film, interactives and displays.