Our location in the heart of the beautiful English countryside means that we are just a stone’s throw away from some amazing places you can visit during your stay with us.
In this blog we wanted to share with you some of the great National Trust attractions that are right on our doorstep here at Oaklands.
First up, the National Trust’s Museum of Childhood at Sudbury is only fifteen minutes’ drive away and we thoroughly recommend a visit. (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sudbury-hall-and-the-national-trust-museum-of-childhood)
You can visit both Sudbury Hall and the Museum of Childhood; fans of the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice may recognise some of the Hall interiors, while families will adore the Museum of Childhood with its interesting displays of toys and children’s life through the ages. Expect to have to tear them away from the games room at the top! There’s also a great tea room.
Some of the National Trust’s great estates are also very near, such as the magnificent Kedleston Hall under half an hour away (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kedleston-hall) and the equally stunning Hardwick Hall (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardwick-hall) near Chesterfield.
One of the National Trust’s more unusual properties is Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, about half an hour from us. (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey). The abbey was in such a state of dilapidation when it was taken over that a decision was made to preserve it in its state of disrepair. Expect rotting panels, lots of stuffed animals and peeling wallpaper – yet, for all that, an air of melancholy grandeur. But many come not to visit the house but to explore the glorious grounds at Calke with their famous ancient trees and lovely natural ponds.
The children will be very happy building dens and you might well spot some of the estate’s own herd of deer as you walk, plus there’s a kids’ play park and two excellent cafés too. You can also take the path leading up to the gardens, making sure you stop off to inspect the estate’s original brick ice house on your way down. Fascinating!
But let’s not forget that the National Trust isn’t only about historic houses and great estates, it also looks after some of England’s prettiest countryside. A visit to the trust’s Ilam Park (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ilam-park-dovedale-and-the-white-peak) will take you through some lush sweeping scenery and a walk at the National Trust-managed Dovedale with its rushing river and famous stepping stones is an absolute must.