It was so good to be back in Derbyshire. Every time we go there, my heart sings. I love all those rolling hills and the grass munching sheep. If you’ve recently seen some crazy person sticking her head out through the car window and shouting ‘hello sheep’, that would be me!
So, after our friends’ beautiful wedding in Staffordshire, we had some time to pop into our beloved Darbyshire. And since we are now proud members of National Trust, it’s not hard to guess where we’ve ended up.
Calke Abbey – the un-stately home
Calke Abbey – the un-stately home and country estate was completely different from all the places I’ve been to so far. I think it was one of Charlie’s favourite houses. He loved snooping around the stables and especially the back shed.
I didn’t really know what to expect. The mansion is portrayed to the visitors as a neglected house, and in the same derelict state as it was given to the Trust. And this makes the Abbey look and feel like it’s stuck in a time warp.
It’s a very eccentric and quite spooky house. Don’t miss the winding and barely lit brewery tunnel – it was fun walking through it. We also had a glimpse of the State Bed complete with silk hangings.
The 18th century bed is in perfect condition as it was never unpacked, and has never seen daylight. Seeing that was quite extraordinary, such a treasure!
Exploring the Orangery and the show house
I especially loved the Orangery and the show house, once home to exotic plants. The sweet scent of the plants inside the house was incredibly strong, but pleasant. I thought the slightly derelict walls with a view to the outside were picture-perfect.
Strolling through the grounds of the Abbey
Strolling through the grounds was very refreshing. It’s nice that the park is open everyday. There were lots of locals with big and small dogs sniffing about. Such a nice place for them to come and play.
The flower garden
The flower garden, as always, held me captive for a while. I never tire of visiting all sorts of gardens, but the ones with wild flowers, roses and especially peonies, are my favourite.
A walk in the woods
To leave the flower garden, duck through this beautifully decorated arch.
We were welcomed into the woods by these white blooming branches. But when I turned around to see the view, I was mesmerised by the green door as a backdrop for this gorgeous tree. What an entrance!
Cream tea at the cafe
There is a lovely cafe on the estate and to be honest, I can’t imagine a day out at a National Trust property without a cream tea. It never disappoints! As well as the cream tea, I also I loved the freshly cut flowers from the Abbey flower garden. Nice touch!
After a good rest while sipping my peppermint tea and eating a massive scone with jam and clotted cream, we took off home back to London. Refreshed and full of good emotions.