A sensational triple-decker bacon sarnie on Saturday morning fortified me for a day exploring Derbyshire’s rolling hills.
This is the stunning backdrop to the film ‘The Duchess’. On my 12-mile walk I passed a field of inquisitive alpacas, savoured a pint of Chatsworth Gold and paused in American tourist-filled Bakewell to try the eponymous pudding.
Chatsworth house is a pleasant half-hour romp across pasture: roam the fabulous gardens or have a go at cracking the maze. The treasure-trove of a house is awe-inspiring.
Where to stay & eat
Devonshire Arms The Devonshire Arms at Beeley is an old coaching inn on the Chatsworth Estate and makes the perfect base for a car-free break. Its snug interior – beamed ceilings, real fires, exposed brickwork – is decorated with vibrantly striped lounge chairs and scrubbed pine tables. Each of the eight bedrooms has been individually decorated and offers such luxuries as fresh coffee, a flatscreen TV, DVDs, an iPod dock and supremely comfy beds.
I returned to The Devonshire with an appetite, and chef Alan Hill’s menu didn’t disappoint: steak pie and posh bangers and mash were tempting but I chose grilled turbot with fresh figs followed by tangy lemon tart.
Devonshire Square, Beeley, Near Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 2NR (01629 733259, www.devonshirebeeley.co.uk). Full board from £99pp, per night. Main meals at the restaurant start at £12.50.
Nearest train station Chesterfield station is 9.7 miles from Beeley. See www.eastmidlands.co.uk for further information.
Visit www.chatsworth.org for more information about Chatsworth house and things to do in Chatsworth.
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