We spent a good six hours at Chatsworth, most of that in the gardens - it's a fantastic place - and we didn't see everything either! The house is also good and we managed to pull ourselves away from the gardens to make it in just before the last entry slot; this turned out to be a good move as it was relatively empty inside.
When we visited there were a couple of exhibitions on; in the garden Michael Craig-Martin's bold outlines of everyday items were fun and in the pictures below you'll see the blue scissors outside one of the greenhouses.
In the house there's a fabulous exhibition - called Chatsworth in Wartime - commemorating 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War and 75 years since the outbreak of the Second World War, which included stories of people at Chatsworth during these times. It also tells of how Chatsworth adapted to house the Penrhos girls school, who were evacuated here from Wales and the State Drawing room is once again a dormitory. The exhibition is expertly done and in places incredibly poignant - do go if you're in the area.
I've been deliberating over this post for a while now, I think because I have been attempting to select which photos to include as I took so many! But I think I'm there, and later in the week I'm going to publish some more Chatsworth photos which caused me further consternation, but like most things once I'd made a decision the way ahead was much clearer...
So are you ready to "do" Chatsworth?
As you arrive in the gardens you can't help but notice the magnificent orangery, it's huge!
A peek into one of the greenhouses gives an idea of the scale needed to provide Chatsworth with plants. And these were just some of the cold frames. And if you think the cold frames are impressive, the kitchen garden is a sight to behold.
Yes, this is still in the Kitchen Garden.
I think I've eaten some of those beans...
As we headed towards one of the many sculptures in the garden we headed past both simple and dramatic planting.
I could have sat and watched this for ages.
And we did sit and watch it for a while, but as there was still so much more to see we headed off to the woodland area, skipping over the famous cascade (until later).
Every garden should have a hare beating a tambourine... Don't you think? There were some great views of the countryside, definitely green and pleasant lands.
And like many great gardens there were many different levels and water flowing throughout the garden.
There was also the maze, which like the kids we are we went in and promptly hit a dead end (the first of many); we found the middle then I tasked MOH with getting us out of there, pure entertainment - all of it! Dare you enter?
It was about here that we broke for a tour of the house, no photos from there I'm afraid. But soon enough we were back in the garden and headed past Flora's temple once more, this time heading for the cascade.
From here we headed back to the hundred steps (and yes, we counted them!) for a great view down to the maze. Then looking back where we'd come from, of the hundred steps.
We were too late to make it into the Coal hole and tunnel so we headed back towards the rock garden for some more fantastic views.
And then MOH spotted a duck that had settled in for the night, as you would in a rock garden!
OK, OK! We've got the message! It's almost closing time. With that we headed for the exit and once more hit the farm shop to find something for tea! All in all another great day out in Derbyshire.