National Trust Calke Abbey
Poised somewhere between gentle neglect and downright dereliction, Calke Abbey, the un-stately home, is unlike any other great country estate. Entering along the Lime Tree Avenue offers views of the historic parkland, home to the ancient oaks, secluded ponds and woodland walks. The National Nature Reserve awaits discovery and Calke Explore, an outdoor recreation area, provides the perfect base to begin exploring the wider estate through a network of walking and cycling trails.
The walled garden offers moments of reflection, where faded glasshouses and a domed orangery tell the story of a country house in decline, while beds burst with colour and seasonal produce, echoing the history of Calke’s working garden. In the Pleasure Grounds, discover views over the house and Deer Park, where a herd of red and fallow deer roam freely. Look out for daffodils, cowslips, bluebells and wildflowers throughout the spring and summer.
Inside the house and stable yards, a vast collection reveals the varied interests of a loving family who never threw anything away, while peeling paintwork and abandoned rooms portray the state of decay Calke was found in when handed to the National Trust.
Please note the house is not fully accessible to wheelchairs; a full access statement is available on the website. Outdoor areas are accommodating along with more modern refreshment areas. Ample car parking. Admission fee applies for non-members – please visit the National Trust website for booking information and opening arrangements.
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