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Calke Abbey, Derby

4.5
#1 of 120 in Things to do in Derby
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. Work out when and for how long to visit Calke Abbey and other Derby attractions using our handy Derby road trip planner .
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Calke Abbey Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,845 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Spent a lovely day in the fabulous grounds and gardens here... The House itself was a surprise as no renovation has taken place since the NT took it over in 1985 - however it has been 'preserved' toge...  more »
  • Stopped for a rest during a longer journey. Lovely superbly maintained allowed to look around. Beautiful surroundings. Peaceful and a nice but unusual stop point for us. Still enjoyed the place and wa...  more »
  • An untouched, unrestored gem. Shows how death duties has massacred the old estates leaving behind such faded beauties. A great shame but a wonderful place to visit, l hope that lessons can be learned ...  more »
Google
  • Great place to visit. Plenty to do for the whole family. Managed to spend five hours here and still didn't explore the wooded areas. Excellent food served in the restaurant with a good variety to choose from. Easy to park. Staff are friendly and helpful.
  • A unique NT property as the house has been left largely untouched since the last occupants left. There are rooms crammed with stuffed birds or old furniture and very little 'red ropes' (although they don't want you running riot around the place). In my humble opinion the highlight over the past few years has been the development of the grounds and gardens. They are now a delight to visit and you could happily spend a whole day exploring them.
  • A truly unique and special experience. This house and it's content reflects many generations of a rather eccentric family and their eclectic collection of oddities and treasures. Allow a whole day to take advantage of pre opening hours special tours and your own exploring.
  • Lots of things to do for all ages. Beautiful grounds and gardens. The house interior is unique and well worth a visit. Make sure you engage with the friendly room guides who are very knowledgeable and keen to share this with you. The "squirts" playroom is great for young children. The walled garden is stunning and tranquil, I could sit there basking in the sun all day admiring the colourful array of flowers and trees.
  • We only walked around the grounds and went to the cafe and play area. Well set up place. We found the route marking for walks a bit vague at times. The market posts were not always clear and the map quite inaccurate. Play area good. Cafe had pretty much run out of food by 1.30 but sandwiches were tasty.

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28 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 22 days in England BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Derbyshire BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Derby BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, kids, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 33 days in Singapore & United Kingdom BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, kids, popular PREFERENCES: September, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Derby BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES January, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Derbyshire BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in Derby BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Derbyshire BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Derby BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Derbyshire BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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