Bess of Hardwick in the Peak District
Elizabeth Talbot (1521-1608), better known as Bess of Hardwick, was born a relatively poor woman in the reign of Henry VIII. Married four times and mother to six surviving children, she died one of the richest women in England. Custodian for 15 years to Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment by Elizabeth I, she lived on into the reign of Mary’s son, James I, dying three years after the Gunpowder Plot. Bess not only survived this turbulent period of English history, she thrived. We’ll visit key sites connected with this remarkable woman: Hardwick Hall, Bolsover Castle and Chatsworth House.
- Discover the history and life of Bess of Hardwick
- Visit the key sites of Hardwick Hall and Bolsover Castle
- Explore the extensive collection at Chatsworth House
- High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport on touring days on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach
- All admissions to places of interest that form part of your holiday itinerary, excluding National Trust and English Heritage properties
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
Bess and her second husband, William Cavendish, purchased estates in remote Derbyshire and retired from London for much of the reign of Mary Tudor. Today we visit the magnificent Palace in the Peak to admire their creation and that of their descendants, the Dukes of Devonshire.
Bess became Countess of Shrewsbury with her fourth marriage. This afternoon we visit the stunning monuments to her wealth and power at Hardwick Hall, whilst our morning is spent at Bolsover Castle, the residence built by her son a generation later.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
The Peveril of the Peak
The Peveril of the Peak, named after Sir Walter Scott’s novel, stands proudly in the Peak District countryside, close to the village of Thorpe. Backed by the cone of Thorpe Cloud, which guards the entrance to Dovedale Gorge and the famous stepping stones at the entrance to the gorge, it’s an ideal base for people hoping to explore the Derbyshire countryside. Surrounded by extensive grounds and rolling countryside, it’s a picturesque retreat with 46 rooms, large shared spaces and a pleasant bar. Stride out from the house to find Dovedale’s wooded ravine, cave-like Dove Holes and of course stepping stones. Upstream lie the heights nicknamed the Dovedale Castle and the Twelve Apostles, best viewed from the grassy spur called Lovers’ Leap. While the Peak bit of the area name refers to small English hills rather than great summits, there’s superb walking to be had on the Roaches and the gritstone escarpment of Stanage Edge, while Chatsworth, Tissington and Bakewell make attractive places to explore too.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house. With 46 rooms, Peveril of the Peak has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good and Better Rooms to choose from. Room 2 on the ground floor (accessible via 7 steps down from reception) is spacious and attractively styled with a door opening on to the grounds while the Chatsworth Room has a four-poster bed to recline on.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, lounge, bar, ballroom, library and board games to borrow
After a day delving into the Dovedale Gorge or exploring the Peak District, return to the house. Relax on the patio with a coffee or cold drink and soak up the wide-ranging countryside views. Take a turn through the garden and look out for the small canon on one of the lawns. Make your way inside to sit comfortably in the lounge where there’s a stash of wood and a log burner for those colder days or snag a seat in the bar with your fellow guests and sip a great local ale by the large windows.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Peveril of the Peak is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours that might include venison sausage and Derbyshire oatcake, roast rump of Chatsworth lamb and a homemade Bakewell tart with a scoop of decadent Peak Dairy cherry Bakewell ice cream.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
To enjoy your holiday comfortably and safely, it’s essential that your clothing and footwear is suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Changeable weather is possible throughout the year, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities – hot, cold, wet or dry.
All of our Heritage Tours involve active sightseeing and you should, therefore, be prepared for walking between the sights and wear flat, comfortable shoes. In the evening most guests wear casual clothing. You will probably find a small rucksack or cross-body bag useful for carrying spare clothing, a camera, sun protection, and drinks during the day.
Please be sure to bring your National Trust or English Heritage membership cards if you have them - admissions to sites owned by these two organisations are not included in the price of your holiday. If you are a member of an organisation which has reciprocal arrangements with National Trust or English Heritage, do be sure to bring your membership cards too.
Liz Lowry is a Blue Badge Guide living in the Heart of England. She has a continuing interest in history, literature and landscape and has loved sharing the heritage, people and character of this fascinating country with HF guests since 2009.
We really enjoyed her sense of fun, vast knowledge and complete devotion to the group.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
26 Jun - 29 Jun
|3||Heritage Tour||£449 £409||Save £40 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
3 nights from £449pp £409pp
...or call 020 3974 8865