I am a member of the universities walking club and we go on walks most Sundays, usually around the peak district. However, today we thought we would have a change and do a bit of historical sight seeing and so we are hopped on bus to Baslow and explored the grounds and surroundings of the magnificent Chatsworth House. Click here for the official site. Here’s a picture of some of the club members, strolling through the grounds.
I have visited it once before, again with the walking club, in the depth of a very bleak and cold January the previous year. It was much more enjoyable today with the sun shining and only a cool breeze blowing. You only have to walk a short distance through the village of Baslow and down a little track and then suddenly, wham, the house just appears from behind some trees, looking like its miles away from anywhere. You are free to enjoy the grounds and if you are lucky enough you may even spot the odd deer and obligatory sheep.
We spent the day doing a large circle of the house by wandering through some fields (getting good and muddy) and along some woodland paths. In fact we explored one particular stretch of fields rather too thoroughly, thanks to our 17 year old map!!! We only discovered it was so out of date when we came across a very tall wall blocking our path that wasn’t shown on the map and causing our supposed ‘shortcut’ to turn into a scenic detour. But the views were worth it.
I was amazed to discover that in the more sheltered parts of the woodland there were large patches of Snowdrops. I think they look so pretty nestled among the fallen branches. At one point we left a woodland path and were confronted with a very tall and unusual tower that overlooked the back of Chatsworth House and was surrounded by cannons. It must have been some sort of lookout tower and was most impressive.
We cut back down to the house and walked back through the grounds and back to the bus stop. We had to wait over an hour for our bus to turn up. It wasn’t that we missed the first bus and had to wait for the next one, it just turned up 45 minutes late. Still, it was a great day and lovely to walk with a group of likeminded people, who don’t care if you are all splashed with mud and look like you have just been pulled through a hedge backwards.