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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 late 1500s, but it was Robert Symthson who designed this magnificent house. The new Hall was designed deliberately to symbolise Bess' wealth and status and pushed the boundaries of architectural design.

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 thrown after Queen Elizabeth I died. Educated and raised as a princess, but whose desperate attempts to seek freedom ended with her being inprisoned 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.

Crisp winter walks

Winter walking in the countryside

Stretch your legs on a crisp winter walk around the estate on one of the circular routes, then treat yourself to a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of cake. You can choose from short walks with views across the parkland to more adventurous rambles around the wider estate in your wellies or boots.


Winter at Hardwick

Even though the Hall is closed there is still plenty to do at Hardwick this winter, from short strolls to longer walks to a gentle wander round the garden. Families can enjoy the play trail for kids young and old along Lady Spencer's walk

Arbella - 2015

Discover the story of Lady Arbella Stuart

Discover the fascinating and tragic story of this lost princess at Hardwick in 2015. Decide for yourself if Hardwick was a palace or a prison.

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Hardwick's weather

We're Mumsnet approved

Mumsnet have given us their seal of approval with their Mumsnet Family Friendly Gold Award. It means you'll find all the facilities you need when you visit with the kids.