On arrival at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, it was plain to see there’s much to explore, through the ancient parkland and along the lakeside, there is plenty of open space for all to enjoy, long walks, short walks or somewhere to picnic. We decided to combine a lakeside walk with a long walk, the weather was fine, and the views were worth every step as we explored the parkland. The long walk is a circular which is way marked and roughly 3 miles in length taking in parkland that was designed and planted between 1761 and 1776, at the centre is the stunning 18th Century, Kedleston Hall itself.
The parkland at Kedleston Hall has much to offer those willing to explore the outdoors, and that was our mission on our visit, the weather didn’t disappoint us either, so all was good. It was a bright, summers day, and my family, and I were raring to go for a wander, just a trip without plans. We headed out with the lake ahead of us to see where else our feet would take us, the lake looked like a good place to start.
Wandering along the lake side is so relaxing, maybe on the next visit, a picnic here by the lake might be a plan, it’s so scenic, with views of the majestic hall, and reflections of nature in the calm waters of the lake. The National Trust took over Kedleston in the 1970’s after the death of Richard Nathaniel Curzon, 2nd Viscount Scarsdale, the Curzon family had owned and lived at Kedleston since at least 1297 and the deal made on hand over to The National Trust with his cousin, Francis Curzon, 3rd Viscount Scarsdale was that the 23 room, family wing was still available rent free to the Curzon family to continue living in the family residence.
The most prominent member of the Curzon family is probably George Nathaniel Curzon who became viceroy to India in 1898 and by a coincidence, government house, the residence of the governor general to India in Calcutta was built as a replica of Kedleston Hall and I should imagine Lord Curzon felt quite at home there in his second residence.
After first taking a leisurely stroll along the lake side, the path to the long walk came into view and so it was decided to try the long walk. This is a gradual walk winding up toward woodland and with other trails marked along the way, there’s plenty of choices as to the direction from here on. Most of the gardens and parkland were conceived by Robert Adam as were most of the main features here including the bridge and the south front of the hall. Our chosen route returned us to Kedleston Hall where we stopped for a moment or two and admired the grade 1 listed All Saints Church which stands beside the hall and is currently cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.
On our initial exploration of Kedleston Hall parkland, one of my personal favourite spots to linger, is at the beautiful ornate bridge that spans the lake, designed by Robert Adam. During the summer this is an idyllic location by the lake to just relax.
During the next visit, I’ll be exploring the wilderness area with my family, and we’ll be hunting for the follies hidden there, so watch this space. The trails and walks here were designed by Robert Adams for the ladies to stroll and parts of the parkland are classified as Sites of Special Scientific Interest due to the ancient trees and the ecosystems they support.
Keddleston Hall is a true treasure in Derbyshire, the art collection and the statues are worth the visit alone, and the alternative name for Kedleston Hall is “Temple of the Arts.” If you get the chance to visit, do look out for the stunning peacock dress, designed by Worth of Paris, and was Lady Curzon’s Delhi Durbah Coronation dress of 1903. The incredible decadent dress was completely adorned with precious and semi-precious stones, which were hand stitched to create a dazzling eye-catching piece, that really did take peoples imagination and turned heads. Today the Stones are no less dazzling but are replaced by imitation stones.
This has been a taster of Kedleston Hall and the parkland, my family and I have so much more to discover on the next visit, there’s a vast amount to explore and one trip just isn’t enough. I look forward to my next trip to Kedleston Hall and I’ll be bringing my camera along to snap some more of the beauty of this lovely place. Until next time, I hope you keep exploring too!