A walk through three classic English landscapes; tended parkland, farmland and old woodland; fine views of Chatsworth which can’t be seen from any road, and a visit to the unusual model village of Edensor. Distance: 8km or 5 miles (with shorter option of 5km, 3.5 miles), time: 2-3 hours.
Additional info: The rotating kissing gate in step 1 is an entirely wonderful contraption; pausing inside it will give you some idea of what a parrot feels like in it’s cage, although a parrots screeching is rather more musical than that from the gate as it turns. Queen Mary’s Bower, mentioned in step 2, dates back to the 16th century. It’s name is derived from stories that Queen Mary took the air there during her several periods of captivity at Chatsworth; although it looks like a building, it is simply four walls enclosing an ancient earthwork. Edensor village, then next to the river, was moved in it’s entirety between 1838 and 42, as the then duke didn’t want it to be visible from Chatsworth as it ‘spoiled the view’. Joseph Paxton, who was head gardener at the time and later designed Crystal Palace for the Great Exhibition in 1851, is buried in the churchyard.