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Calke Abbey, Derby
(4.4/5 based on 1,500+ reviews on the web)
Built in 1704 on the site of an ancient priory, Calke Abbey is an example of the dramatic decline that many typical English country houses suffered in the 20th century. Largely unchanged for over 100 years, the grand mansion is surrounded by walled gardens and sits in the middle of a nature reserve. Peeling paint and crumbling walls in many of the building’s rooms illustrate the tragic story of its original owners, an eccentric family that accumulated a huge collection of hidden treasures. No restoration to the mansion has been done since the 1880s, with the decay of the interior slowed, but not reversed. Take a guided walk around the estate to learn the secret story behind the faded face of this historic house. Take a look at our Derby family vacation planner to schedule your visit to Calke Abbey and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Make sure you have your National Trust Membership Cards and Parkinh Permits. Really niceCafe, a really good walkaround. Only disappointed as the house was closed. 
  • No matter what time of year a fantastic place to visit. Lots to see and do. Each visit takes you somewhere different - Staff are fantastic 
  • unique snapshot and record of the private life of an eccentric family. artifacts documenting the private life of an upper class family all enclosed in a stunning building. all surrounded by wildlife i...  more »
Google
  • It has everything. A great selection of routes through the park most of which, pass by their resident herd of deer. For the children there is a nice outdoor play area. Then there is the aptly described unstately home with a brilliant tunnel to the brewery. Unlike other stately homes the one way route takes you via the servants staircases showing both side to life at Calke. Plus not to be missed is the walled garden and another hidden tunnel to a great hidden underground pond and place of peace. With so much to offer it is a great day out and plenty to offer for who visit.
  • Lots of lakeside, woodland and parkland walks and space for games and picnics along with a not-so-typical stately home. The house was taken over by the National Trust in the 1980s after many years of decline and neglect and rather than restore it to its finest period the Trust have preserved it as it was in the later stages of its decline, except for essential repairs to stop the rain coming in. As well as the decrepit kitchen and the rooms full of junk you can see fine decorations and the unused beautiful and pristine four-poster bed. There are tunnels to explore, walled gardens, industrial and tramway remains and, at the right time of year, oodles of wild orchids. Electric buggies for the less mobile to get from the car park to the house and walled garden, restaurant and snack bar. Entry by membership or by fee for parking or visiting the house or garden but there are also public footpaths that pass through the park, the use of which are free.
  • Beautiful National Trust property and grounds. You have to pay on entry by car - cost based on the people in the car, not just per vehicle. Nice walks around the grounds. Cafe, restaurant & children's play area. Slightly expensive, but normal sort of price for National Trust.
  • Great, quiet place. Fantastic walking areas. Lovely food and NT shop.
  • Always worth a visit to witness a decade house with so much of interest inside it. Preserved rather than restored. Gardens are restored and walks in the woodland are there too.