Discover Hardwick park

Winter sun and winter trees in the park at Hardwick

Take a stroll around Hardwick's beautiful parkland at this time of year and you will be rewarded with picture perfect views across Derbyshire, framed by the bare winter trees.

A breath of fresh air

There are plenty of walking routes for you to try around the Hardwick Estate, whether it's for a gentle stroll or a more hearty hike.

For a stroll, head to Lady Spencer's Walk, a route created for the mother-in-law of the 5th Duke of Devonshire so she could enjoy some gentle exercise when she visited her daughter, Georgiana Spencer. To make it a longer walk you could join up with one of the circular routes across the wider parkland; see the striking sculptural forms of veteran trees and look out across wintery views of the Derbyshire countryside.

The striking winter trees frame the views across the Derbyshire countryside
Hardwick parkland with views across Derbyshire in the winter
The striking winter trees frame the views across the Derbyshire countryside

There are plenty of walks on the Hardwick estate for all ages and walking abilities to enjoy. Download or pick up a park map from our Visitor Centre and head out and enjoy.

We also offer the loan of all-terrain wheelchairs to make some of the routes for wheelchair users more possible. If you'd like to find out more about hiring one please email the Hardwick team or call 01246 858 400. 

Hardwick park map (with alternative route) (PDF / 3.6MB) download

Hardwick Hall sits within a magnificent park landscape, created over the centuries
Aerial view of the Hardwick Hall and gardens
Hardwick Hall sits within a magnificent park landscape, created over the centuries

Winter is a good time to get woodland work done as it causes the least distrubance to wildife. Our ranger team will be hard at work managing the extensive woodlands with conservation tasks such as thinning, removing unwanted species and replanting with native specimens, all of which will help improve the woodlands for countless birds and animals.

Hardwick Hall looks stunning in the snow
Hardwick Hall viewing across the park in the snow
Hardwick Hall looks stunning in the snow

Hardwick Estate, which surrounds the Hall, covers around 2,500 acres of stunning parkland, woodland, wetland and farmland. It is also a working farm - see if you can spot the rare-breed Longhorn cattle and sheep in the park.

Many layers of history make the beautiful park a fascinating place to visit; the historic and recently restored Duck Decoy and Ice House, both of which helped to supply the Hall in times gone by, are two such sites. 

The completed Hardwick Duck Decoy
The Hardwick Duck Decoy restoration is now complete
The completed Hardwick Duck Decoy

If it snows...

Hardwick looks stunning in the snow. Our outdoors team work hard to keep the park open in all weathers, so there's a good chance the park will be open, whatever the weather. There are some cracking hills for sledging and plenty of space for snowmen, snowballs and snow angels. 

Enjoy playing in the snow at Hardwick
Family going sledging
Enjoy playing in the snow at Hardwick


Wildlife Watch and Youth Ranger

If you are looking for something new and exciting to try out with your family, why not come along to our Wildlife Watch group, run in partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. There are lots of outdoor activities from pond dipping to bird ringing across the year. To find out more call 01246 858 400.

A little help from some of our younger visitors to install tree guards in the park
Children helping install tree guards in the park
A little help from some of our younger visitors to install tree guards in the park

Our Youth Rangers team meet once a month to work with the Ranger team. They help with a variety of activities in the park. If you’re aged between 14 and 18, you can join in with building nest boxes, planting trees and much more. To find out more call 01246 858 400.

Angling

The course fishing season at Hardwick runs from 16 June to 28 February. You can fish daily on the ponds, with a daily fishing permit from the Rangers.

Keen anglers may be interested in Bess of Hardwick angling club, which has held the fishing rights for the Row Ponds for 50 years. There is never a problem in selecting your favourite spot to fish, and the sport offer is varied.

You will find many different species and size to suit your mood. The club holds many different activities including a 24 hour charity competition each summer.