Ancient Estates of the Peak

Last Saturday was a really special day when we led a walk for The Peacock Hotel in Rowsley through the two ancient estates of Chatsworth and Haddon.

In addition to enjoying stunning scenery throughout the guided walk, customers learned about the fascinating history of these two estates.

What made the walk really special was that Lord Edward Manners had very kindly granted us permission to walk through the private part of the Haddon Estate that isn’t normally open to the public.  He had also arranged for us to have a private guided tour of Haddon Hall after a delicious lunch at the Haddon Restaurant.  The staff of the Haddon Estate looked after us really well on the day!

The private part of the Haddon Estate includes the old orchard, and the medieval deer park.  This is a beautiful, very natural looking area of parkland that has largely been left undisturbed for centuries.  Through here, we saw lots of beautiful mature trees, many of which had been planted by different generations of the Manners family.  We saw fascinating lumps in the ground that were massive ant hills (a sign that the land has been left undisturbed for a long period of time), and we were able to look into the abandoned tunnel that the old London to Manchester railway line once passed through.  The estate is managed for conservation and we saw evidence of many initiatives to encourage wildlife, birds and a diverse range of plants and trees.

The photo gallery below shows some of the highlights of the day.

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Walking through the private part of the Haddon Estate

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View over amazing countryside from the medieval deer park in the private part of the Haddon Estate

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Exploring the entrance to the Haddon Tunnel in the private part of the Haddon Estate.  The London to Manchester railway line once passed through here. 

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Beautiful trees in the Haddon Estate

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Haddon Hall

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The gardens at Haddon Hall

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Walking along the track-bed of the old railway line in the private part of the Haddon Estate.

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Looking down an air shaft into the old railway tunnel in the private part of the Haddon Estate.

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The footpath through Manners Wood.

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The River Derwent in Chatsworth Park

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Footpath through Chatsworth Park

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The Aquaduct

The Aquaduct at Chatsworth

Chatsworth gardens are famous for their stunning water features, most notably the Emperor Fountain and the Cascade.  One of the lesser known features however is The Aqueduct, where water cascades 80 feet from the end of a ‘broken’ aqueduct.  As it is located just outside of the walled gardens, you can visit it free of charge by walking up the track into the woodland behind Chatsworth House.

The Aqueduct dates from 1839 at the time when Joseph Paxton designed the pools and fountains at Chatsworth for the 6th Duke of Devonshire.  It formed part of the flow of water that supplied the Cascade.  It is believed to have been inspired by a similar but much larger structure in a grand garden near Kassel in Germany.

These photographs were taken yesterday on our ‘Charms of Chatsworth’ open group guided walk.  Details of all our guided walks can be found at http://www.peakwalking.com

Red Deer

Deer in Chatsworth Park

On a brief stroll though the northern end of Chatsworth Park this morning I was treated to a wonderful view of the deer.  A lone Fallow Deer caught my attention first, wandering amongst the sheep.  Then not far away I spotted a large herd of Red Deer.