On the bank holiday Monday we decided to take advantage of our new National Trust joint membership. Calke (been told its pronounced like Cork?) Abbey, also known as the un-stately home and country estate, is located in Ticknall, Derby. Short drive away from home for us.
It is known as the un-stately home as its a country house that has actually been kept in the state it was handed over to the trust in 1985! Lots of places tend to be restored but Calke has just been repaired and preserved where necessary to be safe. Its meant to be a time capsule of sorts showing the rapid decline of properties like this which were unable to maintained due to rising death duties and maintenance costs.
Upon entry to the grounds of this huge estate, you drive up to a booth where you pay for park and stables admissions (free for members). You are also then handed a CD to play in your car if its your first visit. The CD basically gives you a short explanation of the house and the grounds as you take the drive to the car park. You then have the option of handing the CD over at reception or keeping it as a souvenir. Tickets for the house and garden or garden only are purchased at the Ticket Office by the main car park (free for members).
House – 11am to 5pm
Nature Reserve – 7.30am to 7.30pm
Garden and stables – 10am to 5pm
Restaurant – 10am to 5pm
Shop – 10am to 5pm
The ground floor rooms and family apartments of the house open between 11am and 12.30pm. The main house opens at 12.30pm and you are given time slots to enter the house at reception. This is to ensure that there aren’t too many people within the building at any time.
The gardens and grounds are huge and are definitely worth taking a good walk around. You get given maps and things to help you find your way to the various attractions on the grounds which is certainly very helpful.
The house is, as mentioned above, full of history and is basically a time capsule. There are National Trust volunteers in each room who are able to answer any questions you have and are full of interesting information! Even tidbits like in the brewery where they use tar on the floor and someone lost the sole of their shoe which is still stuck there to this day!
Its definitely worth a visit as its got beautiful grounds where you can go on walks, cycle, view the property, etc.
Calke Abbey – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/calke-abbey
Value – 4.5
Overall – 4.5