Winter at Hardwick

Hardwick Hall orchards ripe with red fruit

This December, discover our collection, take part in the family trail, enjoy a walk through our 2,500 acres of parkland. Finish with a bite to eat and a trip to the shop.

Discover Hardwick in our unique winter offer. As the evenings draw in, we are ready to welcome you at Hardwick.The festive season at Hardwick will be little different this year.

Hear untold stories about our collection in the Hall, explore our frost covered gardens, take part in the family activity trail or head out for a wintry walk.

In the Hall – discover untold stories in our collection

For the first time in over 60 years, parts of the Hall will be open through November and December.

Bringing our collection to life you will be able to see items which have previously been resting away from public display. We will also be sharing our untold stories and opening the doors into our collection.

From our oldest object, overlooked time piece and games table, our objects have stories that add to their fascinating history. Our experts will be sharing their highlights and hidden history in audio snippets throughout the hall. 

On the ground floor you can discover the Hardwick treasures display, with five of the designated Treasures of the National Trust. 

The Fox and the Eagles Young -Needlework by Mary Queen of Scots. Hardwick Hall
Mary Queen of Scots Needlework Hardwick Hall Derbyshire
The Fox and the Eagles Young -Needlework by Mary Queen of Scots. Hardwick Hall

Please be aware the Hall is open seven days week from 11am to 3pm. As we continue to work on Hardwick’s building repairs project including conserving its fragile collection, we may need to vary our visitor offer.

Winter family adventures

The magic of Nick Butterworth’s children’s stories is brought vividly to life this winter. Join Percy the Park Keeper and his animal friends at Hardwick Hall. Our grounds and gardens take a lot of looking after, so we need you and your family to be Percy’s helpers for the day. Help care for nature this winter from collecting leaves to making sure the rabbits haven’t eaten everything in our Herb Garden!

Follow the clues from Percy to find lost items along the way and look out for signs of other furry friends hidden in the garden! At the end of the trail, take a family selfie with Percy before collecting your prize for all your hard work. Why not get a festive shot alongside our sleigh and willow reindeer? If you share your picture on social media, don't forget to tag us  #NTHardwick

The trail costs £2 (please note normal admission prices apply) and can be bought from our visitor welcome building. From 4 December to 3 January whilst stock last. 

Take part in Percy the Park Keeper's winter wander trail
Percy the Park Keeper
Take part in Percy the Park Keeper's winter wander trail

Winter gardens at Hardwick

See our winter colours glow in the gardens.

Low winter sun and misty mornings give the gardens at Hardwick an inviting atmosphere. The Crab Apple trees in the Ornamental Orchard. Covered in thousands of tiny purple apples, this winter fruit helps feed the birds throughout the winter months.

The Stumpery and Winter Border come to life with winter and spring plants. Snowdrops and Aconites begin to show in January followed by Narcissus, Cyclamen and Hellebores.

The roses and fruit trees will be pruned either side of Christmas and the borders will be tidied for next year’s display.

Winter herb garden at Hardwick
Winter herb garden at Hardwick
Winter herb garden at Hardwick

Invigorating winter walks

If you are after a longer bracing walk to blow away the cobwebs, wrap up warm and explore our Grade I listed landscape. Catch glimpses of winter wildlife in amongst our Living Lawnmowers (Long-horned Cattle) that help us manage our Woodland Pasture. 

We have lots of routes to explore from short walks to longer strides.

A frosty landscape across the Hardwick estate in Derbyshire

Walks to explore at Hardwick

Wrap up warm and explore the Hardwick countryside on a winter walk.

Festive treats

To put the extra sparkle to your visit, head to the Great Barn restaurant.

Treat yourself to a festive main meal on your visit, or simply warm up with a hot drink and some mince pies.

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping and visit the Stables shop and second hand bookshop, where you can grab some festive treats and gifts.

A festive favourite - a mince pie and a cuppa
A mince pie and a cup of coffee
A festive favourite - a mince pie and a cuppa

January onwards - it doesn't end there...

Whilst the Hall is closed to visitors due to essential building and conservation work, we will be running a new programme of behind-the-scenes events. From tours to specialist talks, there will be opportunities to watch conservation in action and to explore the roof and attics. Find our staffs favourite viewpoints'.