Chatsworth is keeping its garden open during lockdown with a magical light installation – and plans have been confirmed for the farm shop and parking

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Chatsworth has announced that the wide-open spaces of its world-famous garden and parkland will remain open to visitors wanting to take a walk and get some fresh air during the new national lockdown.

A magical festive light installation has been installed this year for the first time as part of a new Christmas trail through the 105-acre garden - details are closely guarded but will be announced online next week.

Sally Ambrose, Head of Visitor Experience at Chatsworth, said: “It’s such a difficult time for everybody right now so we wanted to keep the garden and parkland open to visitors because they are big spaces and can still be enjoyed safely. Everybody is still welcome to come and enjoy Chatsworth and we will open in full again from December 3, for the Christmas displays in the house, which so many people look forward to.”

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Chatsworth’s garden will remain open, in keeping with Government guidelines, as will its car parks, takeaway picnic shops and estate farm shop. The house, farmyard, gift shops and restaurants will be closed throughout the second lockdown from November 5 to December 2.

Chatsworth in Autumn.Chatsworth in Autumn.
Chatsworth in Autumn.

The estate farm shop at the nearby village of Pilsley will operate under its usual opening hours and a collection service is also available seven-days a week - goods are loaded straight into the boot without customers having to leave their car.

The shop is planning to revive its home delivery service, launched during the first lockdown, with priority given to those who are either ill with the coronavirus or vulnerable to infection such as the elderly.

Chatsworth’s 105-acre garden is famous for its rich history, historic and modern waterworks and sculptures, its Victorian rock garden and maze while the “spectacular” 1,000-acre park on the banks of the River Derwent was chiefly designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 1760s.

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Chatsworth is currently undergoing the biggest transformation of its 105-acre garden since Joseph Paxton's work finished nearly 200 years ago. The 25-acre redevelopment area includes a remodelled Rockery, the Maze borders, the Ravine, the Trout Stream and the Jack Pond.

Chatsworth House reopening to visitors. Lizzie Ross visitor welcome supervisor placing new signs for social distancing in the Painted Hall in July.Chatsworth House reopening to visitors. Lizzie Ross visitor welcome supervisor placing new signs for social distancing in the Painted Hall in July.
Chatsworth House reopening to visitors. Lizzie Ross visitor welcome supervisor placing new signs for social distancing in the Painted Hall in July.

The project involves the clearance of previously inaccessible areas, large-scale structure installations, new sculpture commissions, the movement and addition of hundreds of tonnes of rock, hundreds of thousands of new plants and hundreds of new trees, as well as new pathways taking visitors into less-explored areas of the garden.

The garden is the product of nearly 500 years of careful cultivation. Although some points of interest have been replaced to make way for new fashions, the garden retains many early features, including the Canal Pond, Cascade and Duke's Greenhouse. The famous waterworks include the 300-year-old Cascade, the Willow Tree Fountain and the impressive, gravity-fed Emperor Fountain, which reaches heights up to 90m.

Chatsworth previously made the “difficult decision” to cancel their 2020 Chatsworth Christmas market due to concerns over Covid-19.

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A spokesman said: “We have been working closely with our partners in the local planning department, as well as our internal stakeholders, to assess if we could have run the market without compromising safety or the quality of the event. Unfortunately we do not feel this is possible in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.”

The 300-year-old Cascade at Chatsworth.The 300-year-old Cascade at Chatsworth.
The 300-year-old Cascade at Chatsworth.
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