Mr C was off on a stag do last Saturday, so I decided to head up north, meet up with my parents and explore somewhere where we used to go when I was a child.
I have very fond memories of going for lunch in the Big Kitchen at Hardwick Hall. Now that I'm a bit larger myself, the kitchen didn't seem quite as big as I remembered, but the rest of the hall certainly didn't disappoint.
Bess of Hardwick used to be the second most powerful woman in the country, following Queen Elizabeth I, and the house gives the visitor an insight as to just what that power brought in terms of a home. One the things that Hardwick is most famous for is the 16th and 17th century tapestries and embroideries that cover most of the rooms inside the house. They are fantastic to look at and the National Trust is doing a great job of restoring them. As mum and I looked at them it did make me feel a tad embarrassed about the embroidery I do. Firstly because may work is just so small in comparison. I would have loved a bit more information on just how the tapestries and embroideries were created. I found myself wondering just how many women worked on them, how long it too and also how they actually managed to do it by either available day light or candle light.
The gardens are not huge, but the herb garden next to the house is very different compared to what I have seen previously.
A lucky break in the weather allowed us time to walk around the garden and take in the fantastic views of both the new hall, its old, now ruined predecessor.
A lovely day out – just a shame that when coming from the south you have to endure mile after mile of roadworks on the M1!