A Chatsworth Stroll
Time taken: 1 hour
This is a dog walk that is short and sweet, unlike some of the others that I have documented, but it is worth noting as it takes in two stunning aspects of Peak District scenery – the manmade and the natural, both of which work together and create complete harmony.
Whilst the grounds and major vistas of the Chatsworth Estate are very much man made, utilising the gardening talents of the estate grounds men to keep the classic beauty and skill of Capability Brown’s landscape in good order, the backdrop and rolling hills that surround the park are very much natural. The hills that roll down towards to house and the river that nestles within the Hope valley offer the Ying to the stunning buildings and manmade gardens Yang - all work together in total harmony to produce a landscape that is rich and interesting for all visitors
As a dog walker, the park provides plenty of walking options, though it is best if your dog is kept on a lead as there are plenty of farm animals and wildlife to provide unwelcome distractions for your canine friend. On the day I walked here I had been visiting the Chatsworth Garden Centre at Calton Lees, on the Beeley side of the estate, and decided to make the most of the time I had available to take a gentle stroll and stretch legs in the summer sunshine whilst absorbing the fresh air within this stunning Peak District scenery.
Exiting from the car park at Calton Lees, I crossed the road and walked down towards the river, proceeding along the bank towards the breathtaking house, which unfortunately is undergoing some restoration at the moment and is covered in a protective “blanket”. Having seen Chatsworth House on many occasions it was still a shame that I could not again marvel at its perfect proportions and daydream about Mr Darcy and Pemberley House, in Pride and Prejudice.
On reaching the bridge in front of the house I turned, without crossing it to walk along the main gravel path up on the right until I reached a large fallen tree in amongst the scattered trees and grazing land. Proceeding straight on over the undulating hills you get a fabulous view over the Edensor village – famous for being the village that was moved by the then Duke of Devonshire to improve his view from the great house. From here I descended into Edensor, accessing via the gate next to the cattle grid and taking in all of the very singular cottages that make up this pretty village, all decked out in Chatsworth blue livery. It is worth visiting the churchyard to view the resting places of two famous historical figures – Joseph Paxton, who was responsible for modelling much of the landscape of Chatsworth, and Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John. F. Kennedy.
Departing Edensor via Japp Lane I made then returned cross country and fields back to the car, taking in the light undulations and trees cape of the grazed land, which provides a welcome home to roaming sheep and deer. It is a fabulous place to visit. The walk is gentle and refreshing and offers any visitor a taste of the magic of the Peak District – all be it, tamed and beautifully controlled by man.
If you get a chance, when visiting Chatsworth House, do make time to stroll though its landscape or take a stroll in their more formal gardens, which also allow well behaved dogs, so long as they are kept on a lead. The whole estate has so much to offer for all members of the family, includiing the canine members.