family days out: chasing history in kedleston hall

Kedleston Hall is 1760s Neo-classical mansion surrounded by acres of pastures and woodland in the heart of MIdlands near Derby. Designed by the famous Robert Adam this place where at times neoclassical meets Roman style is a gem for architectural fans and as it was used to film the Duchess starred by Keira Knightley also a must-visit site for movie fans.

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‘This house has one of the most beautiful driveways I’ve seen – the bridge over stepped water, opening to a lake to your left with more similar water features’

Even without those factors, this house has an interesting history, having been lived by the Curzon family since the 12th century (to date) and is most impressive on its own, but when you add to that allure walks on the estate, a church next to the mansion, sheep, cows and occasional deers for the young ones to spot (not to forget a treasure hunt around the estate), there is something for everyone throughout the year to enjoy here.

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‘Breathtaking scenery even with bare trees on a grey day with swans gliding in the water and black cows grazing in the distance’

For my daughter the most fascinating part was the winter restoration event as experts on site were ready to explain how the fabrics, china and furniture are taken care of, and how the restoration process can keep them in top share for another couple of hundred years or so.

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‘Here the Roman influence on the architecture is easily spotted’

Also, typical to upper class of past centuries, the family has travelled extensively and there is a collection of fascinating artifacts from around the world from elaborate elephant saddles to birds of paradise headdresses – which are also great for the children to learn from.

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‘Kedleston Hall is one of the most opulent mansions I’ve seen in England. Beautiful to look at but I couldn’t quite imagine living in a house with ceilings over 30ft in some rooms’

Our family has a sort of set agenda for these mansion and palace visits: we normally first visit the house, then the gardens and other buildings on site, followed by a walk around the estate and a cream tea or lunch in the restaurant.

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‘The interior is as opulent as vibrant as the architecture of the house’

Many places also have activities for children and Kedleston Hall had crafting activities with bugs going on and my little one made herself a lovely bee badge as a memento of the visit. I just love it how one can combine to one sightseeing event a good dose of history and architecture, exercise, crafting & playing for kids and a meal with loved ones!

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“Ornate details to perfection in the ceiling. Wouldn’t want to be cleaner in this place though!”


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‘Anyone else thinking of Aslak and Narnia here…?’


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‘Sheep and cows are freely roaming on the estate and so relaxing to look at’


Cream tea in Kedleston Hall

“Always finish your day out on the countryside with a relaxing (and warming) English cream tea. Happiness guaranteed!”

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