Plan your day at Hardwick

Enjoy a day out at Hardwick exploring the Elizabethan Hall, gardens and parkland.

Opening Times

  • Hardwick Hall: 11am - 3pm (The Hall will be closed for general admission between 24 December 2021 - 12 Feb 2022)
  • Shop: 11am - 4.30pm
  • Restaurant: 9.30am - 4.30pm
  • Garden: 9.30am - 4.30pm
  • Please note, Stainsby Mill is now closed and will reopen in spring next year.

For general admission advance booking is not required.

Planning your visit

When you visit us you can explore the parkland, amble through the Elizabethan gardens, or discover the history of Hardwick within the grand hall. Warm yourself after a winter wander with a tasty treat and hot drink in our Great Barn restaurant, or browse the shop for festive gifts to take home. 

From the 10 December in England face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces. 

 

A Brief History

Hardwick Hall is an Elizabethan showstopper in Derbyshire, surrounded by 2,000 acres of parkland. It was the formidable 'Bess of Hardwick' who created Hardwick Hall in the late 16th Century. Since then, her descendants, farmers, gardeners, builders, decorators, embroiderers and craftsmen of all kinds, have contributed to and made Hardwick their creation. 

Please be aware that The Old Hall (run by English Heritage) is closed. Please see the English Heritage website for further details.

This winter experience Hardwick in a new way

Join us to gain an exclusive insight into the house and its secrets in these unique experiences, which are not to be missed. This is a version of Hardwick you may have never seen before.

From the 5 January visitors will be able to access different experiences and specialist talks at Hardwick each week. Explore where you have never been before and uncover our roof or attic spaces, witness conservation in action as it happens or discover Hardwicks treasures, this is an exciting time to visit Hardwick Hall.

On these small group tours and talks you will be accompanied by one of our expert guides, with a wealth of knowledge on Hardwick, it's history and its collection.

Booking a place for all events is vital, as these exclusive events have a limited capacity. All experiences are subject change due to weather and building project requirements.

Visitor admiring the tapestries at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

Behind Closed Doors

Uncover the unseen Hardwick in our unique experiences available this winter.

Join in with the Spring Cleaning at Hardwick

This February half term, as the house and parkland reawaken after the winter, join us to explore all the tasks that our teams here at Hardwick do to get ready for the arrival of spring.

Throughout the hall little ones can lend a hand and help our house team by tracking down some giant pests. These pests need to be caught  before they get too close to our Hardwick treasures.

Take a refreshing wander through our woodland and see what you can spot. Discover the first spring flowers peeping through the winter soil, encourage litte ones to see if they can see our birds busy making their nests ready for this year’s new chicks.

Everyone can help make our planet be a little greener why not be our nature champion at Hardwick and help pick up litter on your walk today.  

We’ll have more exciting activities for all the family as our big spring clean gets underway.

Getting hands on with some bug hunting at Hardwick
Child hunting for bugs at Hardwick park
Getting hands on with some bug hunting at Hardwick

Winter in the gardens

As the low winter sun shines on the gardens, not all of the plants are dormant. Herbs and plants left in borders take on a new aspect as they shimmer in the winter frost.

Low lying fogs brings an ethereal atmosphere to the gardens. Casting the house in shadows, it can make you feel you have Hardwick all to yourself

Winter colour can be found in vibrant flowers such as Narcissus, Winter Aconite and Winter Flowering Honeysuckle. 

From December an amazing display of snowdrops can be found across the estate, especially around our Stumpery, alongside Irises, Fritillaries and Ferns.

What are the Gardeners up to this winter

While the garden may start to look dormant, our garden is far from quiet.

With many of our trees finally letting the last of their autumn leaves fall, the clearing of leaves is always a big task for our gardeners. Along with hedge cutting, weeding and preparing borders, winter is the perfect time for our gardeners to plan ahead and prepare the garden for the coming year.

Some of our gardener’s winter tasks include lifting stock plants such as Dahlia’s, Chrysanthemum’s and tender perennials such as Salvia and Penstemon to help protect them from the cold winter temperatures and to take cuttings from in Spring.

Cuttings will be taken to help propagate new plants which will either go back into the garden next year or will be available to buy from our plant sales. The gardening team have been planting thousands of Spring bulbs such as Iris, Tulips and Fritillaries, which visitors will be able to buy from the shop in the New Year

Herbs which were grown from cuttings in Summer are busy growing behind the scenes in our greenhouses. Herbs such as Rosemary, Marjoram, the often-overlooked Hyssop would be a welcome addition to the home herb garden. With colourful pink, white or blue flowers this Mediterranean herb from the mint family is extremely fragrant and used sparingly in recipes such as soups.

 

Children enjoy playing in the winter gardens
Child playing with winter leaves in the gardens
Children enjoy playing in the winter gardens

A walk in Hardwick's parkland

Winter in Hardwick’s Parkland is always treat for walkers. With crisp frosty mornings, low hanging mist in the valleys and over ponds making spectacular views in this time of year.

Misty morning over Hardwick Ponds
Misty morning over Hardwick Ponds
Misty morning over Hardwick Ponds

Despite the cold, winter is still a great time to spot wildlife. The Winter Thrushes, Fieldfares and Redwings can be spotted as they fly around the estate. Look out for signs of winter wanderings and spot the tracks of deer, foxes, badgers and hares on your walk.

What are the Ranger team up to this Winter 

Planting 389 trees on Blingsby fields (first part of the main drive) as part of the stewardship scheme from November along with replacing any failed trees, installing the remaining tree guards and applying barbed wire to them to protect the trees from cattle.

At this time of year woodland management is a core piece of work across the estate and the team will be removing invasive species such as snowberry, as well as controlling rhododendron and completing work identified from their tree surveys.. 

Tasty treats from the restaurant

After a long walk or explore, take a break and enjoy a treat from the restaurant including  hot drinks, cold drinks, seasonal main meals, light snacks, freshly baked cakes and scones perfect for those cold Winter days.

Enjoy a tasty treat with a view outside the Hardwick restaurant
Enjoy a tasty treat with a view outside the Hardwick restaurant
Enjoy a tasty treat with a view outside the Hardwick restaurant

Facilities and access

Mobility parking is in the main car park, 100 yards from visitor reception. After arrival, accessible toilets can be found in the Stableyard. Wheelchair access to the gardens and Lady Spencer's Walk. We provide wheelchair and tramper hire.