Hidden deep within the Chatsworth Estate, you will find a pair of perfect cottages along a secret winding lane. Atop a small but steep hill, the views over the 35,000-acre grounds are astonishing – miles and miles of rolling Derbyshire countryside.
Pingle and Rye Croft Cottages are just two of the many luxury boltholes scattered throughout Chatsworth, but they’re without a doubt, the most private and charming. Made from local stone, they sit adjacent and together can comfortably sleep 10 people.
The cottages were both former workers’ dwellings, where they and their families would have lived. Today though, they’ve been elegantly revamped into luxury getaways for those seeking romance, solitude, nature or just some space to shout at the sky. Though the buildings’ bones might be old, the interiors and amenities are the opposite.
We stayed in Rye Croft Cottage as a family of three and due to some rather unusual spring snow, once we arrived, it was tricky to leave. Luckily, we didn’t want to. Rye Croft has been designed upside down so that the kitchen, dining and sitting room open out to a huge private garden with even more thrilling views. I couldn’t stop taking pictures and pretending I was in a Bronte novel.
Downstairs boasts three bedrooms, all with stylish, granite en-suites and the master bedroom was a particular treat, like being in a rustic lodge. While the ground floor was quiet and cosy for sleeping, the upper part of the cottage was all modern, light and chic. The kitchen is done to the highest spec and our hosts, the Devonshire Hotels & Restaurants Group, had left us the most wondrous welcome hamper full of goodies from the Chatsworth Estate including jam, champagne, chocolates, cheese and crackers. What a feast.
We made sure to stop at the Chatsworth Farm Shop before we arrived as well to stock up. It’s about a five-minute drive away (you definitely need a car to stay here) and one of the best-stocked farm shops in the county with anything you could possibly need for a posh picnic or something quick and delicious to pop in the oven. And all sourced from the estate, of course.
With a log fire, sumptuous food and drink, acres of space and the freshest air you could dream of, our first family staycation with a toddler was so memorable.
To dine out, try the Devonshire Arms, one in the village of Pilsley and one in Beeley. Both are pleasingly quaint, country pubs with upmarket menus and “charm by the pint”. Very child-friendly too, which is always a worry when eating somewhere smart with a toddler. The charred Ladybower trout, Chatsworth lamb and a glass of ice-cold Laurent-Perrier come highly recommended.
Elsewhere on the estate, there is of course the majestic house to explore, a playground, a farmyard and a children’s walk. So if pure solitude isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
Both estate pubs have rooms if you prefer a more catered experience and the estate’s newest addition is five shepherd’s huts, made from ethically sourced oak and located in a secluded hamlet. Each hut is equipped with comfy beds, a log-burning stove, a bathroom, a mini kitchen with chef’s basics and outdoor furniture. They sleep up to four people and are close to some of the Peak District’s finest walks. A great choice if you’re on a budget and enjoy a more glamping vibe.
Chatsworth is one of the UK’s most distinguished and historic estates and has been home to the Cavendish family for nearly 500 years. Long considered to be a major centre for art, literature and horticulture, it’s now also a thriving holiday destination combining genteel charm with the height of luxury.
To discover more, visit: devonshirehotels.co.uk
Rye Croft Cottage
7 nights – from £344.00 per night. Enquire here for shorter stays.
Midweek – from £155 per night, min 2-night stay
Weekend – from £175 per night, min 2-night stay
All images courtesy of Devonshire Hotels & Restaurant Group