There are so many beautiful old houses in the UK that I think living here makes you take them for granted sometimes. When I look at similar buildings across Europe I realise just how lucky we are to have the National Trust and English Heritage. Not only do they look after the properties so that we can visit them, but they keep them in better condition than they often were when privately owned.
They also often turn up in films and TV programmes when you least expect it. I knew I had seen Hardwick Hall somewhere before, but it was only when I got home and looked it up that I realised where from. It was used as the setting for Malfoy Manor in the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows films, although on a sunny, crisp autumn day it looks a little different.
There is a small ‘museum’ giving you a brief history of the Hall and a free guided tour available, which we decided not to take, as we like a more casual mooch. Inside the hall the rooms and furniture have been beautifully preserved, giving you a great idea of what life would have been like for those living at Hardwick Hall through the ages.
We spent hours walking around the house and the equally impressive gardens before heading into the gift shop and the cafe for a pot of tea and a slice of cake. A great day out! Hardwick Hall has reduced opening hours for the winter season, but there are a load of special events, which I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to attend. Find out more on their website
And now for the pictures…