A few years ago now, before children, me and my husband (then boyfriend) went on a little cottage break to the Peak District. I was desperate to go and visit Chatsworth House, with my love of old stately homes and Pride and Prejudice it was high up on the list of places to see. I’d been planning our day out there for a while and I wasn’t disappointed walking around the beautiful house and grounds. We spent a full day there and I was so in my element I didn’t really notice that he was a little quiet. As we decided it was probably time to leave we started to walk back past the house when suddenly he dragged my off the path and got down on one knee, I can’t remember what he said as I burst into tears but when he asked the big question obviously I said yes. To say I was surprised was an understatement, we had been together for seven years at that point and even though we always talked about getting married I had no clue he was even thinking of proposing. The fact that he chose somewhere so special and thoughtful still makes me a little emotional – I had always told him he had to ask me on one knee and I know it wasn’t easy for him to do it somewhere so public but it meant everything to me. The romantic in me loves having this little tale to tell when people ask where he proposed and it means that Chatsworth House is somewhere extra special to me.
Fast forward several years and me and a few friends were looking for something special to do around Christmas. We usually meet up for a meal but this year we fancied a change. First on the list was Highclere House (where Downton Abbey is filmed) but having learnt it is at the other end of the country we decided maybe that was a road trip too far! Instead we booked in to visit Chatsworth at Christmas. I was so excited to see the house all decorated for Christmas and it was also the last weekend of their Christmas markets added to that a whole day to catch up with my lovely friends which is just bliss.
I thought I would just share a few photos of our day, the house really is amazing at Christmas and around every corner you can spot a Christmas tree. They also have a lovely Wind in the Willows theme running this year and me and my friend Kate were trying to spot the little badger’s hidden in the house, I think that game might actually be for the children but we are young at heart! As the house has timeslots to go in it doesn’t feel to busy and you aren’t rushed round so you can really take it all in, the decorations were spectacular. I’m feeling a little sad that my Christmas Tree doesn’t look like one of theirs, I can barely manage to keep the decorations on mine never mind going for any kind of theme! The library was my absolute favourite room, a shame it was cordoned off as I could have happily cosied up in there with a book.
It’s such a shame that the weather was so bad in the afternoon, incredibly cold and wet so we couldn’t make the most of it all. We did brave the elements and walk up to see the view from the front of the house, and find my special spot, but spent most of our time dodging the fountain as it was blowing a gale! The Christmas markets too looked so good but by this point we were freezing – we just stopped for burger and a mulled wine and then squashed under the one umbrella to eat churros and chocolate before running back to the car to warm up. On a nice day it would be perfect as it felt really festive and there was lots to see. I have told the husband we must go back in the nicer weather with the boys, I love the Peak District and visiting Chatsworth House is the perfect excuse to go.