Take a weekend break to visit one of England's finest stately homes and stay in the Victorian splendour of the Hallmark Hotel Derby
Product: Hallmark Hotel Derby Price: £94.50 Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Sitting impressively opposite Derby Midland railway station is the Hallmark Hotel, a grand Victorian building with comfortable surroundings, lovely décor and tastefully-matching furnishings. Offering 102 bedrooms including family rooms, there’s a nice feel about this hotel; it may look imposing but it’s very welcoming with just the right amount of ‘buzz’.
We were there to take advantage of the Chatsworth House Weekend package – which includes tickets to the famous house and gardens, 2 nights four-star hotel accommodation, dinner on the second night of your stay and full English breakfast both mornings.
We were made to feel very welcome by the staff who were friendly, efficient and and very organised. Our room was a double executive – spacious, well-furnished and comfortable with a huge bed.
Tea and coffee-making facilities were provided as well as a very tasty platter of fruits to welcome us – a very nice touch. The room and en suite were spotlessly clean – big thumbs up from us! The en suite contained a bath with shower over, complementary toiletries and big, fluffy towels.
The view from the room (we were at the back of the hotel) was of the garden and it was very quiet at night considering we were opposite a mainline railway station.
There was ample parking on site – very handy as it is smack bang in the middle of the city centre.
At only eight miles from junction 25 of the M1, and directly opposite Derby train station, the Hallmark Derby is really easy to access and ideal as a base for exploring what the area has to offer. After checking in, one of the hotel staff provided us with a map of how to get to Chatsworth (handy if you’re not good with Sat Navs or directions!). It took under an hour to drive to Chatsworth on a very scenic route; we drove through the popular tourist town of Matlock Bath with its lovely shops and eateries, as well as being home to the Heights of Abraham, a cable car transport system that rises from the valley floor, allowing you to view the stunning views of the Derwent Valley and surrounding Peak District. Well worth a visit.
Chatsworth House is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and is not just another stately home. It’s renowned for its art and landscapes and contains works of art spanning 4000 years, from ancient masterpieces to outstanding modern pieces.
There are over 30 magnificent rooms, from the gorgeous Painted Hall to the regal State Rooms, restored Sketch Galleries and beautiful Sculpture Gallery. We wandered through the rooms oohing and aahhing at the furnishings, grand paintings and treasures and even ran our fingers over the baby grand piano that visitors are invited to play (should they wish!).
The 105-acre Chatsworth garden is an absolute delight. Perfect for walking round at your own pace, there are permanent and temporary modern sculptures sure to get you talking, plus well-established plants and trees, herbaceous borders, a Victorian rock garden and a fun maze that children will love.
We particularly liked the Emperor Fountain in the main lake at the front of the house and the Cascade – a series of steps cut into the hillside with water flowing down. Many famous people have come to Chatsworth, notably Mary Queen of Scots, who was here as a guest and prisoner of Bess of Hardwick, so you’re in good company! The surrounding park is one huge area of open space with breathtaking scenery, woods and views of the house.
It’s also possible to visit the farmyard behind the house to see typical farm animals and there’s a small adventure playground, too.
Dogs are welcome at Chatsworth if kept on leads.
Chatsworth is open every day until January 3, 2016 except on December 24, 25, 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016.
Back at the hotel after our day’s sightseeing, we looked forward to our evening meal in the hotel’s brasserie, which had a mellow, relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of large windows, creating an airy and informal feel.
We had liver parfait and prawn cocktail for starters; Pressed lamb & cutlet with mash and beans, and sweet potato rosti, then creme brulee and Belgian chocolate cheesecake for dessert, washed down with a nice bottle of white wine. The staff were courteous and the food arrived quickly. My only criticism is that the tables were very close together (something both my partner and I commented on). If you were someone of perhaps a bit more limited mobility, it would be difficult to squeeze between the tables.
However, the service was good and the portions were generous – very important when you’ve had a day out walking in the fresh air at Chatsworth gardens!
Returning to our room, I treated myself to a luxurious soak in the bath, then flopped into the largest, comfiest bed ever – I had such a good night’s sleep, I almost didn’t want to get up in the morning… but the thought of the cooked breakfast persuaded me. You can’t beat a Full English breakfast and this was really filling and tasty with all the trimmings, although of course there is a buffet option available for those with a more delicate palate in the mornings.
The Hallmark Hotel brand brings together the existing Hallmark Hotels with the Menzies Hotels group, creating a new 20-strong and growing set of hotels across the UK. This new set offers guests good quality accommodation and food in a wide range of settings from city centres, rolling countryside, manor houses and well-placed airport locations so there’s definitely one for everyone to choose from.
Derby Hallmark Hotel
Derby DE1 2SQ
- Chatsworth House Weekend Package, Derby Hallmark Hotel
- Prices from £94.50p/p
- Evening dinner on second night of your stay
- Two nights 4-star accommodation
- Full English breakfast both mornings
- Tickets to Chatsworth House and Gardens
- Late checkout until noon
- Complimentary car parking
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
Derbyshire DE45 1PP
Call: 01246 565300