Things to see & do

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Hardwick - a palace or prison?

In 2015 we will be commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of Arbella Stuart, the granddaughter of Bess of Hardwick and niece to Mary Queen of Scots.

Discover more about Arbella and explore whether you think Hardwick was built as a palace fit for a queen or a prison for a princess, whose desperate attempts to seek freedom ended at the Tower of London.

Wild family fun days on Wednesdays

Enjoy making natural crafts

From Wednesday 29 July join us for 50 things fun activities every Wednesday of the school holidays. Activities will vary each week but you can enjoy wild art, kite marking, bug hunting and lots of crafts.

All activities in the Stableyard between 11am - 4pm. A small charge will be made for some activities.

Garden games in the East Court

Try your hand at croquet

Enjoy a family game of croquet in the East Court this summer - pick up your mallets and balls from the Gatehouse. Or why not have a games of Boules on the lawn or test yourself with our giant dominos.

There are traditional games in the house too.

Look out for this Summer

  • Croquet on the East Court lawn
  • Tasty summer specials in the Restaurant
  • Enjoy an Arbella tour with one of our guides
  • The glorious summer border in the South Court
  • Exploring Arbella's bower in Park Piece
  • Relax in a deck chair on the South Lawn
  • Stretch your legs on one of the self led walks across the parkland
  • Pick up a tracker pack and explore the parkland
  • Grab a ice cream from the Coach House kiosk

A glorious summer at Hardwick means

  • Beautiful summer roses © National Trust

    In the garden

    The summer really brings the garden to life - especially the wonderful summer roses. Don't miss the gilded ...

  • The delicate textiles being cleaned © National Trust/John Millar

    In the house

    the program of cleaning the beds begins across the whole mansion.


  • Fishing membership is avaliable at Hardwick © Jo Rawson

    In the park

    fishing season is in full swing