During your tour of the Peak District (which encompassed Haddon Hall and Chatsworth) you’ll have an opportunity to stay in a genuine castle hotel which has a recorded history dating back to the early part of the twelfth century! During the Civil War, Hassop Hall was under the ownership of Rowland Eyre, who was a Royalist and it was garrisoned as such in 1643. This Hall witnessed several skirmishes before it was reclaimed by Parliament.
It has been in the possession of Thomas Chapman since 1975. He has been relentless in his pursuit of preservation and guests of this magnificent hotel will enjoy beautifully maintained gardens, wonderful countryside surrounding the estate and, of course, the house itself which has wonderfully spacious bedrooms and offers dinners from a comprehensive menu. A photo of this unique hotel along with the others mentioned in this entry are in the Chatsworth/Derbyshire photo album below. Check it out !!
Callow Hall, which overlooks the River Dove is a convenient and pleasant place to stay while taking in Sudbury Hall and Tissington Hall. If you take the A515 through Ashbourne- going toward Buxton- you turn left after Bowling Green Inn (on a steep hill), take the first right which is signposted Mappleton and the hotel is over a bridge on your right.
Its architecture and gardens were restored by the resident proprietors, the Spencers who are fifth generation hoteliers in their family. Beautifully furnished throughout, the bedrooms are nicely decorated in period décor and plush. They offer full English breakfasts with wonderful extras. Another feature is a chance to fish for trout in the same Bentley Brook of Izaak Walton’s "The Compleat Angler" fame.
If the Riber Castle folly disappoints I guarantee you that Riber Hall won’t in the slightest! It dates back from the 1400s and will be a peaceful retreat for your visits to Hardwick Hall and Calke Abbey. Everything has been brought up to modern standards without sacrificing the original features’ integrity. Those include oak beams, exposed stone work, period fireplaces and of course a wonderful 2 AA Rosette restaurant which serves local game in season.
Beauty and comfort come together in Risley Hall Country House Hotel and is convenient to Kedleston Hall and Nottingham Castle (which I’ll be covering for Nottinghamshire this summer!) and is also known for literary connections with Lord Byron and D.H. Lawrence. Risley Hall has undergone extensive restoration becoming a grade II listed edifice whose gardens rival the spectacular grounds and interior. Even though completely modernized it also has retained its former glory and has a wonderful full restaurant and bar.
Buxton’s best kept secret is The Lee Wood Hotel and Restaurant. An elegant Georgian manor hotel with style, elegance, ambience and of course, comfort. The grounds here have nice views of Pooles Cavern and Country Park and it is quite close to the historic center of Buxton. Being a family-owned three-star hotel each of the forty en suite bedrooms provide beauty and plush comfort. It also has several golf courses, sailing and pony rides for the small fry of your group.
The final hotel I wanted to bring to your special attention is The George located on the Main Rd. in Hathersage. This hotel dates back to the end of the Middle Ages when it was the local alehouse. This edifice was well-known to Charlotte Brontee and it features rather anonymously in her book, Jane Eyre. The current owner went to great pains to renovate the building and still retains all the characteristics which are the reminders of its former use. Stone walls, oak beams, open fires and the like were preserved.
The George will be an excellent respite during your visits further north including Peveril Castle in Hope Valley. There are some luxurious features to its modernization you will thoroughly enjoy, I expect.
In addition to the above mentioned manor house hotels and the castle hotel I have ten more possibilities which I can send along to you in an e-mail or by comment if you’re interested in staying in places as close as possible to your touring sites. The Cavendish Hotel and Fischer’s @ Baslow Hall are on the Chatsworth Estate. The East Lodge Country House Hotel is in Matlock and there are many others near tourist sights I mentioned in my entry on June 28th.
The Castle Lady shoots only sweet kisses your way! Smoooch! hee hee hee… Today this blog chalked up 7,000 hits, midday, since its inception. Thanks to everybody who has made it such a success!