Discover Hardwick park

Autumn display of conkers

Enjoy a stroll around Hardwick's beautiful parkland this time of year, with all the changing colours this season has to offer

As summer draws to a close on the Hardwick estate, this year’s new life prepare to find their feet and make it on their own. The swallows stock up ready for their long journey and the trees think about the next stage in their year. The autumn browns, yellows, orange and reds begin to show in the park, Lady Spencer’s walk is the best, as the mature beech trees put on a show through September and October. Stroll along leafy Lady Spencer’s Walk, created for the mother in law of the 5th Duke so she could enjoy some gentle exercise when she visited her daughter, Georgiana Spencer.

Hardwick Hall sits within the stunning park landscape
Aerial view of the Hardwick hall and gardens

The mighty Oaks in the park also turn the seasonal corner, why not take a stroll on the oak walk in the park to see the best of the colours? Fruits can also thrive in this wonderful season, blackberries in the hedgerows, conkers on the Horse Chestnuts, and then into November, the Sweet Chestnuts arrive in Park Piece. As the nights start to draw in, there is a slight chill in the air, the fishermen on the ponds leave a little earlier, but go home happy after a relaxing day’s angling.

Collect some conkers on your next Hardwick park walk this autumn
Autumn display of conkers

Even though the trees start to shed their leaves and countdown to winter, there is still work to do in the woodlands, so the Ranger team will be hard at work managing our extensive woodlands with conservation work such as thinning, removing unwanted species and re planting with native specimens, enabling our woodlands to sustain and host countless birds and animals.

Hardwick estate, which surrounds the magnificent Hall, covers around 2,500 acres of stunning parkland, woodland, wetland and farmland. Hardwick 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 our beautiful park a fascinating place to visit. Visit the historic and newly restored Duck Decoy and Ice House, both of which helped to supply the House in times gone by.

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

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.

Hardwick park map (with alternative route) (PDF / 3.5888671875MB) download

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

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.


The course fishing season at Hardwick runs from June to 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.