A beautiful June day in the English countryside brought us to Chatsworth House. A pleasant 2 hour train ride (where we accidentally upgraded ourselves to First Class) from London, the house is thought to be the inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
Chatsworth House (or Pemberley, as it will be called for the rest of this post), is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire ehh-hem – the home to Mr. Darcy. Coincidentally, our driver for the day had just given the Duke a ride home without knowing who he was until he dropped him off.
The sprawling estate is known for its impressive sculpture collection and impeccable halls and rooms, but equally astonishing were the gardens and grounds. You could lose yourself for a full day either in the house, or around it, but we managed to get a lot in during our 5 or so hours.
We started in The Stables, mostly because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the Gardens. A good place to shop and grab some food, as we did for lunch, there’s not a lot else to the stables.
Our Garden tour began with a fun discovery of a cool yellowy-flowered archy thing (not official title).
We wandered past the greenhouses to find a pink fork, one of many new sculpture installations taking temporary residence at the house.
More permanent residents were the many ducks, sheep, and squawky birds.
The next stop was the iconic waterfall, cascading down the hill from a beautiful fountain. The sound and the view from the top were incredible, especially on a clear summer day like we were lucky enough to have.
We nearly decided not to explore the Rock Garden, but are so glad we checked it out. The towering rock formations and giant redwoods (I think) paired with a grand waterfall really made this a great find.
We found a maze at the top of a hill, made from thick hedges and swimming with laughing kids chasing each other around it. We figured we would take a lap through the maze, take a picture in the middle, and move on. 20 minutes and a lot of frustration later, we were back at the start. At one point I thought we were really close… Definitely going back to try again one day. I’m still not totally ok with admitting defeat. But we were also hungry so we had a couple Kind bars instead.
As we made our way back down the hill, we arrived at the postcard fountain, reflecting pool, and the best views of Pemberley. We even caught some spray thanks to a timely crosswind. As Jen referred to it, we got “Pemberley-ed.”
We took a break at The Stables where we grabbed a pretty traditional English lunch [READ MORE], before heading inside the house.
The massive halls of Pemberley hold countless pieces of classical art, sculptures, and treasures at every turn. We couldn’t believe how close were were able to be with such pieces of history.
We had just enough time at the end of the day to execute the most ambitious move in all of iPhoneography – the “Double-Reflexive Panoramic Selfie.” (patent pending, Upgrated industries).
How it Works: I take a spot to Jen’s left, as she begins taking a panoramic photo, moving from her left to right. Once I’m out of the frame, I run over to grab the phone from her, keeping the momentum going left to right. Before I get all the way to the right, Jen has taken her place in the foreground, ready for her closeup just like she was there all along.
The result – An instant Pemberley classic photo that captures the silliness, fun, and adventure of this perfect day. Only made better by Jen running through the grass and exclaiming, “I’m running at Pemberley!… In the grass!” (Sometimes we kinda say the obvious thing).