Besides its beautiful countryside, the county of Derbyshire is also known for its wonderful architecture, especially the many grand stately homes to be found all across the county.
This walking tour begins in the popular tourist town of Bakewell, the only town within the boundary of the Peak District National Park and home to the world-famous Pudding. From there, it crosses rolling farmland and passes through quiet woodland to the village of Edensor, part of the estate of nearby Chatsworth House. There, it is possible to visit the grave of Kathleen Kennedy, the sister of US President John F. Kennedy, before continuing on past Chatsworth House itself. Known as the "Palace of the Peaks", this grand Georgian house is home to the Duke of Devonshire, and is generally considered to be one of the finest stately homes in the whole of England.
The walk then heads south through Chatsworth Park, designed for the Dukes of Devonshire by the famous landscape designer Lancelot "Capability" Brown, following the meandering River Derwent to the village of Rowsley. If desired, lunch can be taken in the cafe at Chatsworth Garden Centre between Chatsworth Park and Rowsley, or you can bring your own packed lunch and simply sit beside the river. From Rowsley, the route then climbs the hills behind the equally grand Haddon Hall. Belonging to the Duke of Rutland, this is the best-preserved example of a medieval manor house, complete with a grand Tudor hall and Elizabethan gardens, and has been used as a location for many period movies and TV dramas.
From the grounds of Haddon Hall, the walk follows the River Wye back to the start point in the centre of Bakewell, where it is possible to sample a genuine Bakewell Pudding from one of only three shops in the world allowed to make and sell them.
With easy access by public transport from Derby, Sheffield and Manchester, this is an ideal day out for those who want to minimise their environmental impact. Available year-round, this is a great day out for the less serious walker, as no specialist gear is required apart from some good walking boots and waterproofs (just in case).