Exploring Bess' grounds

Walking trail

This 3-mile walk across Hardwick gives you a taste of the estate created by its founder, Bess of Hardwick. Please note routes through our gardens and key visitor areas are by pre-booking only.

A longhorn cow in the Park at Hardwick


Map route for Hardwick Exploring Bess Grounds walk


Hardwick Visitor Reception


Starting from Visitor Reception, take the path into the wood (Lady Spencer's Walk) past the 'Welcome to Upper Park' sign.


Walk down the steps, turning left at the gap in the handrail (approximately 3 steps from the bottom) and follow the path until you come to a gate.


Through the gate, bear slightly left and walk across the grass towards the trees. When you are between the two avenues of trees, look left towards the hall and enjoy the view!

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Starting from Visitor Reception, take the path into the wood past the 'Welcome to Upper Park' sign.


Carry straight on across the road and through the gate into the field. Walk straight on towards the area of woodland in front of you. At the far side of the field, go through the kissing gate and down a set of shallow steps, over the concrete bridge and through another kissing gate.


Follow the fence line on your left until you reach a gate into the wood. This wood is known as Park Piece. Follow the path through the wood and exit through the gate into the field.


Walk down the hill towards the gate, go through the gate and cross the road beyond it. Follow the path straight on across the grass towards the wooden fence and gate at the edge of the wood.


Through the gate, turn left and follow the path to the end of the wood.


Turn left and follow the track to the blue gate. Go through the gate and carry straight on, following the bridlepath route to the corner of the drive.


Cross the road and start to go down hill, bearing left towards the pedestrian gate near the Row Ponds.


Go through the gate and walk between the ponds to the gate on the other side.


Bear right up the hill towards the road, then at the sharp left bend, head over the road through the field below the Stone Centre. At the top of the field, turn left back towards the Visitor Centre and Stableyard visitor facilities.

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Hardwick Stableyard

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Exploring Bess' grounds


Mostly grassland and woodland paths, some areas uneven and may be muddy after rain. Strong shoes or walking boots recommended. Steps and steep hills to negotiate. Please keep dogs on leads near livestock.

Exploring Bess' grounds

Contact us

Exploring Bess' grounds

How to get here

Doe Lea, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S44 5QJ
By train

Chesterfield, 7 miles.

By road
8 miles south-east of Chesterfield, via A6175. Leave M1 exit 29, follow brown signs.
SatNav: S44 5RW.
By foot

Rowthorne Trail, Teversal Trail.

By bus

From Chesterfield, alight Glapwell 'Young Vanish', 1.5 miles.

Exploring Bess' grounds

Facilities and access

  • Parking - 600 spaces (NT members free)
  • Park, Garden, Shops and Restaurant open daily. May close earlier if weather is bad during winter months
  • Hardwick Hall open Feb - Nov, Weds - Sun 11-5. For Christmas opening, please see website