Chatsworth Gardens are much more than pretty flowers and ideal for a family day out
With most families cooped up in their own homes since the start of this year, a garden the size of Chatsworth is the perfect place to let off some post-lockdown steam.
With 105 acres to explore, the gardens belonging to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have plenty to discover.
Developed over almost 500 years, there is much more to Chatsworth Gardens than lush green lawns and pretty flowerbeds.
There is something to discover around every corner, from waterfalls to rock formations perfect for climbing. Explore the rose kitchen and sensory gardens, take a rest in the grotto or simply admire the Emperor Fountain.
Some features, including the maze and glasshouses, are currently closed to ensure safe social distancing.
However, these extra precautions do not intrude on the place itself and the majority of the gardens feel open as usual.
As you would expect in spring, there are colourful daffodils everywhere and families can print out a springtime activity sheet at home from the Chatsworth website to help children have fun and appreciate the nature they will encounter in the garden.
There are also a number of sculptures dotted around waiting to be discovered, including the most recent addition – Natural Course by Laura Ellen Bacon, which uses the dry stone walling technique to create an impressive centrepiece to a 15-acre area called Arcadia.
Natural Course was unveiled last year and joins pieces by artists including Antony Gormley, Angela Conner, Elisabeth Frink, Allen Jones, Michael Craig-Martin and Barry Flanagan.
Lots to places to explore
There is no playground in Chatsworth Garden itself – that is left to the farmyard which has an impressive adventure playground for children, alongside the usual animals.
However, do not let that put you off visiting with young children.
The are so many natural features which lend themselves to play, the lack of actual equipment is barely noticeable.
The Rock Garden has a balancing rock you can stand on, which will rock from side to side as you shift your weight, there are places to climb everywhere and all sorts of nooks and crannies which lend themselves perfectly to a lengthy game of hide and seek.
The house itself will open again on May 18 with a one-way route for visitors to follow, while advance booking is highly recommended for visits to the farmyard and gardens.