Chatsworth Christmas Markets

Christmas is possibly my favourite time of year. For me it all kicks off around mid-November with a visit to the Chatsworth Christmas Markets.

We all pile into a car (including the dogs) and take the scenic route into the Peak District. 

If you love period dramas as much as I do you’ll probably recognise the house… 

It’s perhaps most famous for playing ‘Pemberley’ in the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (starring Keira Knightley)

We always start our day out either touring the house or exploring the estate. The house is themed differently each Christmas and this year’s theme is Great Expectations

However, on the day we visited the weather was too glorious to spend the morning indoors so we ventured out onto the estate…

Where we attempted to tire this little rascal out…

We climbed up the hill through the ever changing Autumn colours until we reached the folly…

Where we stopped for a while to enjoy the view.

Jacket: New Look
Jeans: Marks and Spencer
Boots: Next (old) similar here
Gloves: North Face

Eventually though it was time for lunch, so we made the somewhat treacherous trip back downhill.

My top tip is to avoid the morning crush on the market. We always have a leisurely lunch in the restaurant, and wait until the sun is setting before setting before heading out to shop.

This year’s markets run until 5th December 2017 and you can find more information here.

Something for the (Bank Holiday) Weekend: Food Festival

Monday is a national holiday in the UK so I am currently in the midst of a lovely and relaxing long weekend. Today I ventured out to Cannon Hall Farm to see what was on offer at their food festival.

There were tents as far as the eye could see selling all kinds of food, lots of it local to Yorkshire. I did a lap before settling for a Caribbean lunch and some homemade ice cream for pudding (and I’ll be dining on all the yummy extras I bought tonight!)

It runs until tomorrow evening so if you are in the area I would recommend a visit. There are also cookery classes and workshops on offer – and live music in the evening.

Something for the Weekend: Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden has to be one of the more breathtakingly beautiful places I’ve ever visited. It is a little of the beaten track (just outside of Ripon) but it was well worth the trek. The Abbey itself was built almost 900 years ago, and having survived Henry VIII’s closure of the monasteries is one of the most complete abbey remains in the country. A truly historic place.

The water garden that surrounds it was created in the early 18th century and is an equally tranquil place of beauty. They gardens themselves are peppered with a number of building’s known as follys (each of which is currently filled with a unique piece of artwork).

I took far too many pictures so here are just a few of my favourites to give you a taste…

Something for the Weekend: Dunham Massey

A couple of weeks ago I put my National Trust membership to use again and visited Dunham Massey. I’d never been before and I’m so glad I got to see it. The parkland and garden are just wonderful on a summer’s day and the house is hosting an interesting exhibition on how it was used as a hospital during the First World War. I didn’t spend too much time indoors however, as there’s so much to see on the outside.

Each of the blocks is inscribed with a patient number representing one of the men treated here during the First World War.

Something For the Weekend: Tropical Butterfly House

Last weekend I stumbled upon this place, completely by accident. I was supposed to be meeting up with family for a celebratory birthday meal for my sister, but I spotted signs for this place en-route and at the last minute we changed our plans. I’m so glad we did. Whether you have children, or you’re just a big kid at heart like me, The Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife and Falconry centre is a wonderful day out. It is a little off the beaten track, but if you ever find yourself in the north of England I would recommend a visit.

We didn’t have long enough on our visit to explore everything but I will definitely be going back. Here are some of the highlights from our visit:

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The important bit: I’m an animal lover and always nervous about visiting these kinds of places but I found all the staff to be knowledgeable and devoted to the animals’ well being. The enclosures were beautifully kept with lots of enrichment for the animals. In an ideal world all animals would have the same freedom and respect we afford ourselves as humans… but in the meantime it’s important for places like this to exist, so that they can educate children and adults alike, on the wonders of the natural world and the need to care for and treasure it.