I had never heard of this National Trust-owned place before, but a fellow Tripper recommended it as somewhere for me to break a long, tedious journey between Harrogate and Surrey/Hampshire.
Being close to Jn 29 of the M1 (about 5 minutes), it is indeed a convenient break in the journey. The hall was owned by Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, who was supposedly the second-most influential woman of the late 1500s, after Queen Elizabeth 1.
The hall contains many fine paintings and tapestries to look at, but does pale in comparison to the nearby Chatsworth House (which Bess' son bought or inherited).
The audio guide provided for the Old Hall (which are just ruins) was interesting, but I'd gone on a particularly freezing day, and I gave up on the audio tour in order to get inside the main Hall, and out of the cold.
The grounds aren't very big, but I should imagine they'd be quite pretty in the Spring.
Good shop and reasonable cafe on site.
I'm glad I went; I enjoyed the history of the place, and finding out about Bess - I wouldn't rush back again, but pass on the same recommendation that if you want to break your journey, then you could do a lot worse than brush up on your Elizabethan history for a couple of hours here.
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