Costumes at Chatsworth

Being a Damsel in Distress in Derbyshire

Hilariously badly timed as our holiday to Derbyshire was, (really, who goes on holiday the week their first book is released? Who? Me.) we did get to stay at the beautiful Little Hallmoor Castle, near Darley Dale, so I’m not complaining. Apart from anything else, in between the rain showers, this was the view from our roof terrace:

View from the roof terrace

And, even more excitingly, this is where we were staying:

Little Hallmoor CastleThat’s right. An actual castle. Well, sort of… it used to be a bothy, we think, and the owners did it up as a guest house and added the crenellations. But, let’s be honest, it’s the closest I’m likely to get!

The daughter had a fabulous time playing endless games of snakes and ladders and dominos, and racing around the countryside. She did, however, ban both picture taking and kisses for the duration of the holiday. Which is why she’s scowling in all the photos I took. Except the ones where she’s eating ice cream, of course…

Ice cream in CastletonThe weather was a bit damp for exploring all the gardens, although we did finally make the maze as promised, and the squirting tree and the cascade:

Our first full day in Derbyshire, we drove up to Castleton to explore Peveril Castle. Apart from the ruined external walls, there’s only one tower left – accessed, the daughter discovered with glee, by a metal spiral staircase. I followed her up there okay, but once we reached the top my unfortunate fear of heights kicked in and we couldn’t quite make our way down…

The staircase at Peveril Castle

Luckily we were able to attract the husband’s attention, down on ground level. Except, of course, he thought we were just waving, rather than stuck, so took a photo:

Us stuck up Peveril Castle

He figured it out eventually, though, and came to rescue us.

After my brush with being a damsel in distress, we decided to stay closer to earth for the rest of the holiday. Starting with the Nine Ladies stone circle, a bronze age monument said to be nine women turned to stone for dancing on the Sabbath.

Nine Ladies Stone Circle

The sat nav sent us to a starting point somewhat further away from the stones than we expected, so we had a longer walk, but we did get to see a small waterfall, some mill stones and lovely scenery, all while trying to reassure the daughter that we weren’t actually lost. Eventually, the maps function on the iPhone saved us, and we reached the stone circle intact. After a few sneaky photos (“Mummy! I said no photos!”) we then had to break it to the daughter that we had to walk all the way back the way we came…

Nine Ladies Stone CircleThe walk to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle

Our other big trip out in Derbyshire was to the magnificent Chatsworth House. We managed to get the daughter around all the rooms by claiming we were looking for the maze, and maybe it was just through here… Halfway round, there was a rack of children’s size period costumes to try on. The entire visitor population of the house halted their tours to watch the husband dress the daughter up in them, despite the way she was frowning. Due to the no photos policy, and the fit of the giggles the sight of the tiny, scowling parlour maid invoked in me, the only shots I managed to get were these:

Costumes at Chatsworth

Costumes at ChatsworthCostumes at ChatsworthI think you get the idea.

The weather was a bit damp for exploring all the gardens, although we did finally make the maze as promised, before the heavens opened.

I’d been to Chatsworth before, although not for years, but it was the husband and daughter’s first time, and I think they were impressed. Understandably. Did you look at this place?

Costumes at Chatsworth

Sigh. I really have to write a stately home romance… And that makes watching the new BBC series on Chatsworth research!

Anyway, in summary, we had a very lovely time in Derbyshire. In fact, here’s a rare holiday photo of me having fun (because I’m usually behind the camera, not because I don’t enjoy holidays!) – even though it was taken just after I got rescued from the tower…

Me at Peveril Castle

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