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Calke Abbey, Derby

4.5
#1 of 70 in Sightseeing in Derbyshire
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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 Traveler Rating
1,729 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Visited Calke Abbey with the wife on a day out. Not one of the best NT properties in my opinion. The House itself lacks a certain amount of TLC and seemed to contain an ENORMOUS number of stuffed anim...  more »
  • What a different visit - seeing the deterioration of a historic house instead of a pristine property. I loved visiting the stables and seeing all the rusty and disused implements. There is also a magi...  more »
  • If you like stately home and history then this is a must. The NT have kept this as they found it and that is its charm. The garden are small but nice for a break from the house. There are some lovely ...  more »
Google
  • What a lovely surprise Calke Abbey is. We expected to be around and done within the hour. Wrong. There is so much to see! The house itself is an architectural splendour after under various alterations over time. The rooms are preserved rather than restored and it really paints a window into the past. The curios and artifacts were on display when we went. Everything from ancient hieroglyphic tablets to vast pinned insect collections! The gardens are beautiful and well cared for. We ran out of time before we saw everything, we missed the church and had to rush the last part of the house. I will also add that the volunteers were all friendly, polite and knowledgeable. We were made to feel very welcome by all. I'd recommend this place whole heartedly, I can't wait to go again.
  • We went for a walk around the grounds and had lunch in the restaurant. The meal was delicious and I certainly look forward to our next visit. We followed one of the planned walks (maroon) which involved quite a lot of up and down hills so not the gentlest of strolls but enjoyable none the less.
  • Great place to go for walks and good extensive choice. On the day we went there was a bbq with lamb burgers! Will be coming back. Dog friendly and the bluebells looked magnificent. Worth the money to get in or free of you are a national trust member.
  • Nice National trust property. Mostly Unrestored ... very interesting house and gardens. Lots of walks shop and coffee shop
  • When inside the house. Well worth the visit. Kids were entranced by all the rooms and enjoyed the I Spy sheet they were given. Got to run off plenty of energy in the garden. And a very nice lunch in the cafe. Well done National Trust!

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