Visiting Chatsworth - Everything you need to know: prices, opening times, parking and activities

Chatsworth is a wonderful place for to visit for a relaxing day out – but what can you do while you’re there?

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 8:00 am
Chatsworth House. Photo by Scott Merrylees.

If you’re after a laid-back experience for both friends and families alike, there are few better places to go to than Chatsworth House in Bakewell. It’s an idyllic location with plenty to do, see and experience.

If you’re planning a day out there, but aren’t sure of the specifics, we’ve put together a guide for you detailing everything you’d need to know about Chatsworth.

Opening times, parking and prices

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During autumn, Chatsworth opens its car parks at 9am, which are £5 to use for the day. If you’re arriving by bicycle, they are free to park and store.

However, the garden and house are not open until 10am and 10:30am respectively, so you’ll have plenty of time to plan out your day if you haven’t already. Also, the farmyard and playground are open slightly earlier, at 9:30am. They will remain open until 4:30pm.

The house shuts at 4:30pm, the garden shuts at 5pm and the car parks stay open until 6pm.

If you wish to stay over in around the estate, you’ll have to book a hotel. The Cavendish Hotel charges £160 for a standard night in a two-person room, though this will increase if you desire a luxury room.

Eating and drinking

There are three main restaurants and cafes across Chatsworth – Carriage House Cafe, The Cavendish Restaurant and The Flying Childers.

Carriage House Cafe and The Cavendish Restaurant are where you should if you’re in need of a hearty meal – however, if you’d prefer a spot of tea and biscuits, then The Flying Childers is likewise an excellent choice.

Hot food is served at Carriage House Cafe from 11:30am to 3pm. It’s an ideal place to go for a larger group and has a variety of menu options. The Cavendish Restaurant is similar and also provides on-site parking (as does The Flying Childers). All of Chatsworth’s restaurants and cafes make use of the estate’s local produce.

Activities

There’s plenty of things to do at Chatsworth, with their seasonal events often being the most noteworthy. Currently, they are running the Life Stories Exhibition – a guided tour of historic figures associated with the estate, including Bess of Hardwick and Elisabeth Frink.

For children, there is the playground and the farmyard. The playground includes a trampoline and a zipwire for more daring kids, but some may prefer the animal sanctuary. Here, you can interact with horses, donkeys, pygmy goats and guinea pigs, all of which have been lovingly raised.

Moreover, there is a dedicated bird hide for birdwatchers to use and admire the local wildlife. Chatsworth is home to various different species of birds – it estimated that 18 different types live around the estate.

While exploring the garden is an adventure in of itself, there are also plenty of walking trails to embark on, guided or otherwise. If you get lost, their website features an interactive map for help.