This was the grandest and most imposing building that I think I've ever visited. Hardwick Hall was certainly built to impress. The sizes of the rooms are incredible both in floor space and height. I think someone must have been expecting Queen Elizabeth the First to visit with her retinue and apparently she never did. The ruins of the previous Hardwick Hall are next to this spectacular building and this would also have been an incredible building and wasn't old or decrepit when Bess of Hardwick decided she wanted a bigger house and created the new Hall. Some people are never satisfied are they? Here is a picture of one of the plaster friezes from the old Hall.
A day or two later we visited Haddon Hall just a few miles from Bakewell. This house is very diffferent to Hardwick and I think that I could be quite cosy and content living here! It's still a very large building but the rooms are smaller and cosier than Hardwick. Of course the owners still live there and properties are always warmer and friendlier for that. Haddon was used as Thornfield in the BBC production of Jane Eyre starring Toby Stephens and more recently as the Boleyn family home in the Other Boleyn Girl with Scarlett Johansen. Have a look and see what you think.
I thought I'd also post some photos of Bakewell and some villages in the area. Some were so sweet and pretty with typically English architecture and gorgeous cottage gardens. Here goes - we'll start with Bakewell.
Now we'll move on to Middleton-by-Youlgreave.
A little further afield is the lovely Hartington with it's proper village green and lovely cottages.
I hope you enjoyed your short tour of the Peak District.