Derby, Derbyshire DE73 7LE
- Contact us:
- Opening hours:
Park - Open All year Dawn->dusk
240 hectares (600 acres)
Restaurant/shop == See
House ========== Web Page
Garden ========== for Times
10 reviews of Calke Abbey in English
The entrance to the National Trust property of Calke Abbey is in the picturesque Derbyshire village of Ticknall. As you enter the parkland grounds, you travel down the access road which is bordered by large mature trees that make a fascinating window into the seasons as they change. Surrounding the access road are grazing sheep that amble without a care in the world across in front of the queueing traffic. The price for entry is per person in the summer or a flat car park fee in the winter, National Trust members get free entry.
Calke is a spectacular example of local parkland, the one way access road spiraling down into a wooded area and then up towards the house into another area grazed by sheep and rare breed cattle. There are numerous walks around Calke of varying size that take you through its diverse habitats. Calke also has quite a sizeable herd of deer too.
The car park is rather small, but there is an overspill in an adjacent field, which is regularly used during the summer. A children's playground, an office where you can join the National Trust and a kiosk with outdoor seating, have been crafted from the old farm buildings. In the main area of refurbished buildings, the restaurant and shop provide a central hub for visitors. The shop sells a range of National Trust and Calke themed goods, cakes and preserves, a large range of books, eco items and seasonal gifts, to name but a few. The prices are fairly high but overall the products are high quality. The restaurant is one of our favourite places in the local area - sandwiches, scones, cake, cream teas, soup and a range of hot dinners etc. The prices are fairly inflated, but the dining experience is first class. Stout wooden tables, a room filled light and fantastic food, what could be better. The restaurant also has external seating, which is essential in the summer, when Calke becomes a honeypot site. For me when it gets very busy, Calke loses some of its lustre. The restaurant at the current time is undergoing a refurbishment to a waitered service establishment.
Bizaarely we've never actually been around the iconic house, with its interior trapped in time, but its on our to do list. Calke also regurlarly holds events like kite festivals, classical and popular music concerts, as well as craft fairs and bat watches too. As you leave Calke the road winds its way passed a small church and out to a road that accesses the small village of Calke.
Calke abbey owned by the National Trust, is a fine place to visit.There are extensive grounds to explore including a great kitchen garden.The house has been keep just as it was found all those year’s ago.Great food and drink’s available in the restaurant.
Calke Abbey is a remarkable stately home in Derbyshire not for the pomp and grandeur you usually associate with such properties but rather its faded glory and the accompanying story of the eccentric family who owned it up until 1985 when the National Trust stepped in.
The family left the house untouched from its Victorian and Edwardian heydays bar the odd inclusion of 1960s kitchen. Rooms are packed with the curiosities and collections of Sir Henry Harpur and his fellow hoarders. Fossils, books and a great deal of taxidermy fill every spare space in a sometimes maccabre display.
The National Trust have taken the bold decision to keep the hosue in the state in which they found it, making the house safe and sound but leaving the rooms as the family left them. This gives an amazing insight into their life and the squalor they lived in far removed from the expected life of aristrocracy.
The house was built in 1701-3 by Sir John Harpur on the land which had once housed a 12th century Augustian monastery hence the house is still known as Calke Abbey. It is a somewhat numb looking building, the fancy ornate stairs which graced the front of the hosue being removed in the 19th century.
The hosue is only part of the estate though and you must allow yourself the best part of a day if you want to take in all it has to offer.
There are two exits from the house at this point. You can leave through the west door back into the gardens or go through the courtyard via the cellars and tunnel which bring you out to the brewery section of the stables.
The tunnel is somewhat claustophobic and can be slippy underfoot. Add to this it is reportedly haunted and you may wish to give it a miss but I'd say do it!
Back at the stables there is a small collection of cars and carriages and the stables are in excellent condition - certainly better condition than the house.
The gardens and grounds are extensive and areas such as the walled kitchen garden and Orangery certianly make you understand why a small army of gardeners and groundsmen was needed in its hey day.
Further up the hill it is worth the walk to the small family church which is still used by the local community.
The converted stable blocks houses an information centre toilets, restaurant and shop. The restaurant is self service and little pricey but with a good choice including vegetarian options and a baby menu.
Of course with such grounds and if the weather is nice it is the perfect place for a picnic. Dogs are allowed in the parkland on leads only and are not allowed into the gardens and house.
Calke Abbey is not greatly accessible for the disabled. If you ask at the ticket office, it may be worth phoning ahead to make arrangements, there is a 5-seat buggy driven by a volunteer to take people from the car park to the house. The ground floor of the house is accessible to wheelchair users and there are photo albums available of the inaccessible rooms. The church has a number of small steps leading into it and some areas of the garden and parkland are difficult for wheelchair users. For blind visitors there are Braille guides on request and some exhibits can be touched. There is also a sympathetic hearing sys
tem for hearing aide users.
The volunteer staff are superb and very knowledgable so be sure to pick their brains on your tour and you will get an amazing insight into Calke. The etstae also runs several specialist events and educational days which are well worth noting.
It is a place you can visit several times and discover something new each time. Anyone with a love of the gothic and eccentric will find it a welcome change from the polished appearanced of other stately homes.
Contact details for Calke Abbey:
Telephone : 01332 863822
Fax : 01332 865272
Further details can be found on the National Trust website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk
The country house and grounds near Ticknall, Derbyshire is well worth a visit. The country estate provides a glimpse of how the aristocracy used to live and how beautiful estates like this fell into decline. Walking around you can imagine just how stunning everything once was.
The house and gardens has been left relatively unrestored, and the contents have been left pretty much untouched since the National Trust took over ownership of the property.
The garden was probably my favorite part of the estate, and on a nice day in the summer is really nice to walk around.
There are plenty of places to park next to the main house. There is a charge for parking unless you are a National Trust member. You can then choose whether you wish to visit the house and gardens, or just the gardens. Again, there is a charge for each unless you are a National Trust member.
The gift shop and tea room are great (the tea room was a bit pricey, although the money does go towards the upkeep and running of the National Trust properties). The tea room can get busy in the summer months at weekends.though.
All in all, well worth a visit.
Calke Abbey is one of my favourite National Trust places to visit. The drive through the park is lovely and the house is not a disappointment. You do normally have to have timed admission to the house, but make the time to go around it because it is absolutely jam-packed with bit and pieces collected by a former resident. I’ve heard it referred to as a 'time capsule’ because the Trust really haven’t done all that much to it since it was handed over to them.
There is a small walled garden and a walk down to the Ice House which our kids love as it’s great to shout in and hear your echoes! The gardens as a whole are really lovely to wander around.
There is a lovely restaurant serving very nice food - it’s not cheap, but you do get what you pay for. They’ve just opened a new playground for children, which both our kids (aged 3 and 8) absolutely love!
At Christmas they do a lantern lit walk from the house up to the small church, which is really magical. You can then go and visit Santa in the stables, which is a super experience - a real traditional santa sitting in a stables on hay bales with beautiful lights all around - none of this tacky commercial rubbish you get in shopping centres. All in all - BRILLIANT!
Calke abbey is a beautiful place with wonderful surroundings, it has a good shop and cafe, it is full of historical gems which are easily overlooked unless you look carefully for them.Calke abbey is a really nice place to go for an afternoon walks.
Cant believe Calke abbey has been on my doorstep and i hadnt visited before! Im not a gardening fan and know very little about flowers and plants but the gardens here are beautiful. Felt like i was in the secret garden!
I also loved the sundial situated outside the main house.
The church on the grounds, St Giles is also worth a visit, small but still used. the views are lovely.
As a National Trust member i entered the grounds free of charge so i defintley recommend that you become one as you will want to visit Calke abbey more then once.
lovelly day out right on my doorstep but it was my first visit, it will not be my last, the day wasnt planned and unfortunately we arrived on a day when the house was not open. we had to dadge the showers on the way around the beautiful walled gardens . Calke Abbey is set in vast parkland,and within the grounds is St. Giles church complete the graveyard where the family members of the harpour crewe family and interred, if you love local history this if the place to go. The tea room served a good variety ,soup and sandwiches cakes and scones all looked good. with good weather the grounds would provide the ideal setting for a pinic.
A National Trust property the grounds and gardens are well maintained well signposted,leaflets avaiable from the information centre give details of coming events and opeing times.
carpark costs £3.50 Gardens £5.00 free to N.T members
A National Trust property situated near Ticknall in Derbyshire, Calke Abbey is set in stunning countryside. The interior of the house hasn't been restored and is fairly unimpressive - but the grounds and gardens are lovely. If you're feeling energetic there are various long walks that can be done around/through the parkland (leaflets available at the ticket booth I think with suggested routes), or just wander around the church and gardens. The walled gardens are really pretty and tranquil.
There's also a gift shop and tea room which serves lovely scones - perfect for afternoon tea, although it can get quite busy at weekends and Bank Holidays.
The perfect time to visit Calke Abbey is in springtime when the lambing takes place. Several hundred lambs are born which you can see - they're so cute!
You have to pay for car parking (£3.60) and then separately for the house/garden, although NT members get in free.
Write your review of Calke Abbey
Places nearby Calke Abbey
Your bookmark has been removed
Your bookmark has been saved
Did you know?
You can access your bookmarks from our mobile apps!
From now on, we'll make sure you get updates about this place.