Monday, 20 July 2015

A Family Day at Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Hall is one of the National Trust's properties in Derbyshire and was created by Bess of Hardwick in the 1500s.  This beautiful Elizabethan building is surrounding by 2500 acres of parkland with stunning views and so many activities to experience.  I must admit, I have lived in Derbyshire all of my life and have never visited the property until now and we were not disappointed.


We started our visit by exploring the house. Grotbags was happy to be given a quiz by one of the guides in which she had to answer questions on a sheet regarding animals and birds that can be found within the house, so armed with clipboard she quickly got to work.  This activity was really useful in keeping her occupied and the questions were sequenced as you walked around through the various rooms.


This year Hardwick Hall is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of Lady Arbella Stuart who was the granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick and niece to Mary Queen of Scots. I was deeply saddened to hear the story of her death at the age of 40, locked in the Tower of London.  Such a sad and lonely life for her and this exhibition is well worth visiting.


As you explore the Hall and wander through the many rooms and chambers you are surrounding by intricate tapestries, paintings and carved furniture. The kitchen display was fabulous and you could even attempt to fold napkins in to different shapes with the information sheets provided.  You could almost imagine the house as it was years ago due to the descriptions of staff and their history which was available to read.


The gardens around the Hall are split into four courtyards with a orchard, herb and vegetable garden and stunning south border.  I could not explore as much as I would have liked due to my back but will be definitely visiting again in the near future.


After walking around we were ready for some refreshments and we visited the Great Barn Restaurant which has ample seating both inside and out, with lots of delicious food available.  Local produce is used and myself and my husband enjoyed the daube of beef whilst Grotbags had a child's lunch box which consisted of a ham cob, cake, fruit and apple juice, she was very surprised to see a packet of cress seeds in the bottom and instructions on how to turn her box into a seed tray.  There is also a microwave and bottle warming facilities available for young babies and changing facilities.


Grotbags was given a 50 Things To Do Before You're 11 3/4 list and was eager to tick some of the activities off.  We enjoyed a gentle walk down Lady Spencer's Wood after our lovely meal and she managed to build a den, make a mud pie, explore inside a tree, hunt for bugs and make a trail with sticks.  Nonetheless she still has lots to tick off her list and this will come in useful for the summer holidays.


We thoroughly enjoyed our day at Hardwick Hall and cannot wait to go back to complete the Miller's Walk, Welly Walk, Oak Walk and Sculpture Walk, all of which look fantastic.  The park, garden and restaurant are open all year round except for Christmas Day.  The Hall is open from the 7th February until 1st November, 12 noon until 4.30pm.  Ample car parking is available along with disabled parking.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
Family Fever
We were provided with free entry and a complimentary meal for the purpose of this review but the opinions are entirely our own.

18 comments:

  1. Looks like you had a fab day out sis, we've never been to Hardwick Hall but it is on our summer do to list, it looks lovely x

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    1. It was lovely sis, I only wish I could have walked more, there is so much to see and do. You will love it xx

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  2. What a stunning building....The gardens look amazing. What a wonderful day out x

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    1. Thank you Kim, it really was amazing x

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  3. I love historic houses and big fan of The National Trust. Hardwick Hall looks amazing R

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    1. It was a lovely day Rosana, definitely worth a visit x

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  4. I love Hardwick Hall, but I haven't visited in years. I live in Derbyshire too. We could be neighbours and not know it :)

    Louise x

    With love from Lou

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    1. It's a small world Louise ๐Ÿ˜Š, thank you for popping by x

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  5. I was born and raised in nearby Mansfield, so went to Hardwick Hall many times. The kitchens stick in my memory for some reason, along with an old large wooden (or was it metal) box that had a fantastic locking mechanism. Is that still on show?

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    1. It is William, the kitchens are fab with all the old stoves.

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  6. Hardwick Hall looks simply stunning both inside and out. I love the history and the tales of being locked in the tower of London, though how awful that must have been. The way of life preserved by the National Trust is amazing and the gardens do look stunning. well done on the National Trust 50 things list, plenty more to go at over the summer, I hope you manage them all. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

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    1. Thank you for having me, I will be aiming to join in more often x

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  7. What a beautiful place to visit and so lovely that there is so much to do in the grounds too.

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    1. Thank you Carrie, it was amazing x

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  8. I love these nation trust properties, and my son loved trying out the 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4 so will have to add this one to our list! Thanks #triedtested

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    1. They are fantastic for a great day out, thank you for your comment and I hope you enjoy your visit x

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  9. What a stunning house! I like how the NT properties always have some kind of quiz or spotting game to keep the kids entertained. The grounds look fabulous too, what a lovely day out x #countrykids

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    1. Me too Sara, they make such a fabulous day out x

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