So, I've been up the the Peak District for most of the last week. I had some holiday booked but only recently made up my mind where to go. I figured it was time to start exploring the land I live in rather than automatically flying off somewhere else.
The main attractions were Chatsworth House and the landscape. I have to confress that some of the appeal was in visiting some of the locations used in Pride and Prejudice (I'm all in for set jetting). Chatsworth was used for some scenes as was Haddon Hall, which is also featured in the current BBC series, Jane Eyre. By pure fluke, I also visited Stanage Edge (one of innumerable ridges in the Peak District), which is what you see Kiera Knightley standing on in the film.
I took a whole ton of photos, and the weather was fairly kind, which you can check out on Flickr.
A few pieces of wisdom I think it might be worth passing on:
- Peveril Castle, in Castleton, probably isn't worth the entrance fee (£3.50), there's not much of castle itself still standing, just a low-walled ruin and the keep, but the views are good, you can do it all in half-an-hour, which, while it's much cheaper than the other attractions in the area, does seem fairly steep.
- Chatsworth offers a variety of options, you have to pay £1.50 to park (before 6pm at least) but you can then wander around the lands for as long as you like, good if you like walking in a country park. As I said, get there after 6pm when the car park attendant has gone home and you can park and wander for free. You can pay to just go into the gardens, which you can do time and again over the course of a day if you retain your receipt. The ticket for the house also includes the price of a garden ticket.
Inside, you can buy a guide (my advice would be to buy in the gift shop at the end to save carting it around) for £3.50 and an audio tour for a further £2.50, but they didn't add much that wasn't mentioned on the info boards in each room, so not really worth it. The guide is good for photos though as my shots didn't come out too well due to lack of late.
I do recommend the biscuits for sale in gift shop though, £1.50 is pricey but they are divine.
- Haddon Hall is a totally different type of home, much older and less grand. You can't take photos inside, so you can buy the guide, but it's a whopping £5! The info boards in the various rooms aren't especially detailed, but the guides are very knowledgeable, especially about the various productions that have used it as a location.
- I spent a lot of money on parking, but found that if you look slightly out of town you can usually find free parking or if you don't use the tarmac covered official parking areas but are happy to use a layby or something similar for viewpoints. For Castleton, there's tons of free parking on the road that leads to Winnats Pass.