Monday, 14 March 2011


Morning everyone, and what a stunning morning it is here.
Although we had a hard frost last night, this morning the sun is glorious. It really makes you feel so much better.
Mind you we cant really complain about this weekend at all. I was actually sat in a lovely garden drinking a glass of wine yesterday afternoon, so perhaps things will start to warm up a little now...though I'm not holding my breath.
This weekend has been very quiet for us just pottering about at home and so I thought I would share one of our first real outings of  2011 with you.

Last weekend we drove here

 Hardwick of the most significant Elizabethan country houses still in existence. Designed by Robert Smythson in the 16th century for 'Bess of Hardwick', Countess of Shrewsbury and ancestress of the Dukes of Devonshire. The house remained in the same family until it was handed over to H M Treasury in 1956 in lieu of estate duties. The Treasury passed the property to The National Trust in 1959.
The house was a real statement for a woman whose wealth was second only to Queen Elizabeth I herself, and in a time when glass was a luxury led to the saying 'Hardwick Hall more glass than wall.'

 It is a stunning if rather dark house to visit with many exquisite fireplaces and amazing tapestries..

Despite the gloomy light (due not only to the dark walls and furnishings, but necessary to protect its treasures from sunlight) it's not hard to imagine the richness of the original fabrics. You are allowed to take photographs without flash, (so apologies for the poor quality of some of mine), but I think you can still get a flavour of this incredible place.

...just imagine the hours of sewing to produce drapes like these......

This bed is in the 'Mary Queen of Scots' room...unfortunately she was beheaded before the Hall was built.....!

The state dining room....

Outside there are beautiful formal gardens, a kitchen garden and lovely promenades....

and the whole place is surrounded by breathtaking parkland, which we didn't have time to explore and will mean another visit later in the summer......

That will definitely be a perfect time to bring a picnic and my walking boots! Situated in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside not far from Chesterfield it is a place well worth a visit....

Well this has been a bit of a marathon post but I do hope you have enjoyed the tour, and I'm glad to say that now that our beautiful country appears to be opening again there will be many more trips like this to share.

Have a wonderful week, I am off now to finish those new cushions....

Jenny xx


  1. Lovely pics, Jenny. Yes, and the parkland definitely looks worth a visit.

  2. I did enjoy my tour thank you! I love old castles and stately homes and having bloggy friends visit them is a great way of seeing them.The work on all those furnishings is just immense.
    Thank you for your comment, I'm sure we'll find a solution to it all, compared to what some have to deal with it's nothing!
    Hope you have a good week too.
    Lisa x

  3. Grr, silly internet crashed when I tried to post a comment a minute ago! I was saying that it looks like a very impressive place to visit, fantastic photos and gorgeous grounds. Definitely worth visiting for a picnic and walk when it warms up! Your weather seems better than ours, snow all day Saturday and rain all day Sunday! Hoping that's the last of the snow now! :) x

  4. I love Hardwick Hall and its not too far away from me. Ive been there when the Flying Gardner flew in, and Clarrisa Dickson Wright was sat in the Cafe last time I went. I didnt relasie that NT houses were open again now. xxxx

  5. You had me at
    "sitting in a
    garden, drinking
    wine!" Oh my!
    We still have
    mounds of snow
    on the ground
    and not a crocus
    in sight, so this
    post was balm for
    my winter-weary
    eyes; Thank you!!
    xx Suzanne

  6. They certainly knew where to build those mansions back then didn't they? Lovely countryside and interesting house.

  7. I love Hardwick Hall, thanks for sharing, the gardens are looking good. Will have to make a visit soon. Don't you just love the blue paint the gates and wood are painted in?

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  8. Thanks for showing us around, what a wonderful house.

  9. How beautiful! I would be just as content to only see the gardens. That is a gorgeous view of the countryside! Thank you for sharing!


  10. Looks a great place for a visit. As you say it should soon be the weather for plenty of visits like that! Abby x

  11. Looks great - what a lovely way to spend a spring-like day!

  12. Looks stunning - we're members of the National Trust and love visiting the beautiful houses and gardens - now the weather's picking up a bit it'll be time to make use of the membership again. x

  13. Gosh! What a magnificent place. I've just popped over from Claire (are we nearly there yet) and am going to have a poke around :) Tam x

  14. it looks really beautiful. I love visiting places like this. Must put this one on my 'to visit' list x

  15. Thanks for your lovely comments ... a nice occasion to discover your blog! Wish you a sunny weekend. Love, @nne

  16. Hello Jenny its nice to hear from you. And thanks for your comment. I decided to stick with CraftySmiles I like it very much .

  17. Wine in the garden! How wonderful! Thank you for the tour, very interesting!
    Thank you for your lovely comment about my garlands!
    Have a lovely sunny day!
    Rachel x

  18. Hi Jenny

    A very interesting place. I would have enjoyed going there. The National Trust has such wonderful places for us all to visit. So grateful that the National Trust excists.
    Isabelle x

  19. Have you changed your header? or did I not notice it before? Anyhow, I love it
    Sue Xx

  20. Thank you so much for my lovely giveaway goodies! They were sat at the post office waiting for me and have now been brought home and swiftly unwrapped! Great theme too! Thank you again and I will be posting about them this weekend x

  21. What a lovely tour! I am in the states and one day hope to visit England,
    Congratulations on your win at Happy loves Rosie.

  22. That is just breathtaking. It looks like a movie scene. You're lucky to live near such beautiful history!

  23. Another lovely virtual tour. I wish I could see these places for myself...maybe one day!

    Best wishes and happy spring,

  24. What a lovely place! I'll have to nag my husband to take me to Hardwick Hall! beautiful! Thanks for the virtual tour! I'm so glad the weather is beautiful these couple of days here in the south, Have a lovely Spring time! :)

  25. Another beautiful sunny weekend gone by - so sad to see it go! You always tour the most fabulous places - thank you for the virtual tour! XoL

  26. Its lovely at Hardwick isnt it - I live not far away and visit sometimes. Top tip if you plan to visit and can go on a Thursday its second hand market day in Chesterfield and its fab - lots of vintage stuff to browse through and you can grab bargains galore. Just happened upon your blog will call again. X


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