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An Elizabethan masterpiece
Welcome to Hardwick, whose stunning houses and beautiful landscape have been created by a cast of thousands.
It was the formidable Bess of Hardwick who first created Hardwick in the 1500’s. In the centuries since then her descendants, farmers, gardeners, builders, decorators, embroiderers and craftsmen of all kinds have contributed and made Hardwick their creation.
We’d like you to explore and enjoy Hardwick and in the process discover the lives, loves and adventures of the creators of Hardwick.
In 2015, Hardwick will be commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of Lady Arbella Stuart, the granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick and niece to Mary, Queen of Scots. She had a strong royal lineage and a realistic claim to the throne after Queen Elizabeth I died. Educated and raised as a princess, but whose desperate attempts to seek freedom ended with her being imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Discover more about Arbella in the Hall and explore whether you think Hardwick was built as a palace fit for a Queen or a prison for a forgotten princess.
Hardwick offers visitors a year round experience, from colourful herbaceous borders and prize winning vegetables that are used in the restaurant to the picturesque circular parkland walks and plenty of family friendly activities.
Hardwick's healthy walks
Discover a new side of Hardwick as you stride out with our healthy walks each Thursday morning. Led by volunteer walk leaders you can choose from a short, medium or long walk depending on what you fancy. All walks leave from the Visitor Centre at 10.30am.
The Great Barn restaurant is open for lunches or light refreshments afterwards too.
Hardwick's forgotten princess - Arbella
Discover the life of Arbella Stuart, granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick. A life full of royal promise that ended in the Tower of London.