The 'Palace of the Peak' contains one of Europe's finest private collections of treasures, displayed in more than 30 rooms, from the grandeur of the 1st Duke's painted hall and state apartments with their rich decoration and painted ceilings, to the 19th century library, great dining room and sculpture gallery. Throughout the house, there are magnificent displays of paintings, including work by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Freud, furniture, silver, tapestries and porcelain and a gallery of neo-classical sculptures. Famous curiosities include four royal thrones, a giant ancient Greek marble foot, a lace cravat carved from wood, the fan of a Rolls Royce jet engine and the unique illusionistic painting of a violin hanging on a door in. In 2003 as well as the special exhibition devoted to the life and work of Joseph Paxton, there will also be a display of photographs of great 20th century British artists, by Jorge Lewinski. The 105 acre garden is beautiful in all seasons. As well as the maze, rose, cottage and kitchen gardens, there are five miles of walks with rare trees, shrubs, fountains and ponds. Water pours down the steps of the 1st Duke’s cascade and shoots from the branches of the willow tree fountain (‘the squirting tree’). This year we celebrate the bicentenary of Joseph Paxton, one of the most dynamic figures of the 19th century, head gardener at Chatsworth for more than thirty years and creator of the giant rock garden, the Emperor fountain and famous glasshouses. There is also new access to an excavated coal tunnel. The latest addition to the garden is a beautiful sensory garden designed to stimulate and delight the senses. The 100 acre park on the banks of the river Derwent is open free throughout the year.
Every day from 17th March to 19th December.
Family (2 adults and up to 3 children)
Access: The Garden, Farmyard, Shops and Restaurant are all fully accessible for wheelchair users. Suitable lavatories are available. There are 3 electric scooters and 4 manual wheelchairs available for use in the garden at no charge. Please book to ensure availability. See 'Visiting Index' for contact numbers. A leaflet, showing routes around the garden accessible to scooters and wheelchairs, is available at Chatsworth. The structure of the house imposes limitations on access because there are 160 steps on the public route. Access to the Sculpture Gallery, Great Dining Room, Ante-Library and a view into the Library and Painted Hall, is usually possible at our quieter times, which tend to be weekdays, avoiding school holidays. Entrance is from the Garden via the Orangery Shop. For your enjoyment and safety, this must be at the discretion of the Head Warden on the day. There is also a video of the public route shown throughout the day in the Information Room.
Directions: Chatsworth is 8 miles north of Matlock, off the B6012. It is 16 miles from junction 29 of the M1, signposted via Chesterfield, and it is 42 miles from junction 19 of the M6. The railway station at Chesterfield is 30 minutes away, by taxi
Architecture, Fine Art
Key artists and exhibits
- Van Dyck
- Nancy Mitford
- Jorge Lewinski
Michael Craig-Martin at Chatsworth
- 16 March — 29 October 2014 *on now
A major display of contemporary sculpture in the garden with new works made specifically for this exhibition. Each work is an immense line drawing in space fabricated in steel and painted in a vibrant hue.
Inside the house, Michael Craig-Martin brings his own approach to highlighting sculpture from the Devonshire Collection, and selects visually arresting portraits for the Old Master Drawings Cabinet, including drawings by Hans Holbein, Annibale Carracci and Ghirlandaio.
- Any age
Included with house entry.
Garden Timeline Tour
Chatsworth's garden perfectly illustrates three great eras of garden and landscape design. Look for clues to see how the landscape has been repeatedly transformed, and learn about the inspired ideas, cutting edge technology and celebrated personalities involved in its development throughout history. Can be tailored to suit Key Stage 1, 2 or 3.
How to obtain
Please contact the bookings office on 01246 565300 to discuss your requirements and to check availability.