Reviewed by Leeanne Parkes
On the way to Chatsworth house it was clearly signposted, we came from the M1 and was signposted all the way from J29, when entering the grounds, the beautiful surroundings are huge! and covered in roaming lambs, the children loved it. Once we got to near the entrance the staff are there guiding you to the car parks that are easy to get to. The staff at the security lodge and front house gate were very helpful in showing you/providing you with information on where to go and any queries you may have. On entry to the house there is an option to have a tour of the house but we didn't take this option, you queue for entry and the staff are very welcoming, well-presented and very helpful. The house itself is stunning with over 30 rooms to view, most of them will take your breath away! I found it quite quick to get around however it was just enough, we had small children with us so was just perfect. There isn't any rush in browsing around the different rooms, you an easily sit for a while and let your imagination run wild! In one of the rooms were children's books and seating which allowed us to browse and keep the children entertained. There are lots of staff around the house in all the different rooms, we found all the staff well-presented and very helpful.
In every room were fact cards so if you wanted to have a read about the history then could, any questions the staff would gladly help. It was very quiet whilst browsing and with two loud toddlers with us the staff didn't blink an eyelid therefore we felt very comfortable looking around with (loud) children! My favourite room was the dining room near to the end, it was gorgeous! The house is definitely worth a see lots of history, expeditions, art collections, stories it’s like stepping into a different world!
The Gardens are just as stunning they are huge! 105 acres to see that are filled with sculptures, water fountains and maze. We had a brief visit to the garden area, you could easily spend a whole day in the garden area itself!
We visited on a Sunday afternoon and decided to go for Sunday lunch at the restaurant area. You enter a lovely courtyard area with water fountain, statue, toilet facilities, water for pets, seating area for hot drinks/food, with a choice of restaurant and a gift shop. The restaurant was pretty narrow so would struggle if had pushchair as was busy, also is one way and fast moving. We had a beef dinner which was fairly priced, it was a generous portion which was great, my son had a jacket potato, fillings you could help yourself to. We also bought a children's chicken nugget meal, we had to wait for the chicken to be cooked but the wait wasn't long, the service was great, very apologetic even though it wasn't a long wait. The seating area is deceiving as you go to the conservatory area it’s bigger, more than enough highchairs and seating available, we all really enjoyed our meals.
We visited the farmyard area just in time to meet the animals, all my children (aged 7, 3, 3) were able to sit and hold a guinea pig each, stroke a baby lamb and watch a cow milking demonstration, they loved it, they didn't want to leave! The farm area is deceiving, it feels small but as you get around there are plenty of animals for the children to see and stroke. We found the animals very friendly especially the goats and donkeys. There was lots of chickens/hens roaming and tractors for the children to play on, definitely recommend a visit if you have children. The playground is brilliant you can spend all day there, there is plenty for all ages : park area, woodland area, water play with streams, drink/food van, sand play area, and plenty of seating. I would recommend taking wellington boots, change of clothing as children can get messy, also bucket and spade for sand area but these are available to buy at the gift shop.
Overall we had a fantastic day. The children loved it and so did we. There are plenty of options for everyone. We did find it quite big and a slight rush to see it all in one day therefore would definitely recommend more than one day to visit then you and really take your time to really appreciate it all properly. If you live locally and have children then would recommend more visits, don't think the children would ever get bored of the working farm and playground area and they have seasonal activities as well. What we found brilliant as well was the service overall was fantastic, all staff were very helpful and informative, the staff at the house, the staff at the horse and the cow milking demonstration, even the staff in the gift shop with my fussy children were more than happy to help.
Definitely worth a re-visit.
For more information or to book tickets visit www.chatsworth.org