One of Britain’s best loved visitor attractions, Chatsworth House, in the heart of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park, reopened to the public on Monday, 27 July for the first time this year.
While the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have continued to live at their Derbyshire home, the planned public opening of the house, garden and farmyard in March was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Having put in place stringent safety measures including significantly reducing the number of tickets available each day, requiring all visitors to book tickets in advance for a specific arrival time, a one-way visitor route and a raft of new cleaning procedures, Chatsworth will soon welcome back visitors to the house, which will be open from 10.30am to 5.00pm daily.
Over the past month, Chatsworth has been undertaking a phased reopening of the estate, including the garden, shops and restaurants. The farmyard and adventure playground remains closed, with plans currently being developed to enable its safe reopening at a later date.
Visitors will once again be able to enjoy the splendour of the Painted Hall with its spectacular ceiling by Louis Laguerre; the Great Dining Room; the Chapel that has witnessed the christenings and marriages of the Devonshire dynasty over the centuries; the magnificent Sculpture Gallery, once the grandest private sculpture gallery in Europe; the State Rooms and much more.
Sally Ambrose, Head of Visitor Experience, said, “Our number one priority remains the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff, so we’ve implemented a number of new safety measures, including limiting the number of visitors each day, with bookings only available in advance, to ensure our visitors and staff can practise safe social distancing.”
Chatsworth’s garden reopened in late June with a display of more than 50,000 new flowering perennials, shrubs and trees as well as a huge, new stone sculpture called Natural Course by the artist Laura Ellen Bacon. Open for pre-booked visits from 10.30am to 6pm every day, the garden is currently undergoing its biggest transformation for nearly 200 years with previously underdeveloped areas opening up across its 105 acres.
As an essential food outlet, the estate farm shop in nearby Pilsley has remained open to the public during the pandemic and has also been delivering food supplies to vulnerable households in the local area.