Last time I wrote about my visit to Askham Hall, an old country house turned into a boutique-hotel which serves very fine food. It was nice to sit by the fire at Askham Hall lounge, drinking tea, and having a quiet conversation. The atmosphere in the mansion was leisurely and comfortable, very different from another country house I visited last summer.
Chatsworth House is a massive mansion and a popular tourist attraction in Peak District, England. In 2018, it saw 609,399 visitors strolling through the 30 rooms, which are open to the public – there are about one hundred rooms in total. The house is busy and impressive. Yet, I was more captivated by the beautifully kept gardens that surrounded the house.
Running a mansion is expensive and a large part of the money sinks into heating and renovation – and gardening. When I saw the gardens of Chatsworth House I realised that gardening there means something else than gardening at my family home. There were ponds, paths and bridges. Fountains, grottos and green houses. I found myself struggling to find my way through the hedge maze in the yard. Yes, there was a maze as well.
It is interesting to explore the history of the grand old buildings and their inhabitants. It is nice to see how the buildings survive and find new ways to host people who no longer tolerate privileged, idler gentry.