We (two couples, no kids) stayed at the terribly atmospheric hunting tower, built in 1582 in grounds of Chatsworth house.
Due to it being 'off season', Chatsworth house (a stately home) was closed :( but we could view it from our windows, down the wooded slope far below. It was particularly gorgeous at night, looking down at its blazing light in the otherwise darkened grounds - from the website you can see what splendid isolation the tower commands. Being off season, the price seemed very reasonable for a unique experience.
Perhaps it's because I'm from a 'new economy' - that I felt like a fairytale princess during my stay. Perhaps those who grew up with castles just a stone's throw away wouldn't have the same experience? Waking up at sunrise to feel lord of all you surveyed - as though Capability Brown had worked his magic just for you - honestly, I was thrilled from the moment we drove past Chatsworth House to wend our way all the way to the brow of the hill, through some woods. I hated to leave and return to reality.
We stayed in all 3 nights and cooked feasts in the fantastically equipped kitchen. Heating was more than adequate. Bedding - great. Bathroom? There's something extremely cool about a circular-walled shower-room!
One enduring memory was looking out the windows one morning and pitying the poor walkers who had trouped up the hill from Chatsworth, through mud, in the cold rain, congregating around the cannons at the tower's base, enjoying the spectacular view while their breath curled in the air in wisps. I thought: we are so privileged, what a view, I'm cosy and warm, and about to have my second cuppa tea. Simple pleasures.
Note: being a tower, stairs are unavoidable. Not remotely wheelchair friendly.
Also, the grounds of Chatsworth are open to the public - right up to the stairs of the tower, though obviously not the tower itself. Very civic minded.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 16th century Hunting Tower stands on the escarpment 400 feet above Chatsworth House, on the edge of Stand Wood. There are panoramic views over Capability Brown's magnificent Park. ... more less