Secrets and surprises: Special winter tours of Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House in the snow. Credit: © Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth.

Restoration projects and masterplans are on the cards at Chatsworth House, and you could be in on the secret with these special tours

Landscaped by Lancelot Brown and the historic seat of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, whose passion for art enriched the estate, Chatsworth House is famous for its gardens, collection, architecture, and, not least, its interiors.

From the Painted Hall, which was used to welcome and impress guests as one of the largest and grandest room built by the 1st Duke, to the lavishly decorated State Bedchamber, one of the most private rooms in the house, Chatsworth House is full of secrets and surprises.

READ MORE: Inside Chatsworth House

Special tours of Chatsworth House

Come January and February, Chatsworth will close its doors for a period of hibernation. A meticulously planned conservation programme will commence during this time, including deep cleaning, repairs and restoration.

READ MORE: The best British September day trips

Yet with this comes an exclusive chance to learn more about the surprising life of one of Britain’s most-loved historic homes. The Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants Group is able to offer their guests a limited availability opportunity to see a different side of Chatsworth on a private guided tour.

An ornate chair in the Drawing Room

Led by specialist guide, Shenagh Firth, each tour will delve into the work taking place at that time. This means that each one will be unique and in-depth, focussing on a key area of the house and offering the chance to learn more about the particular projects taking place, such as restoring gold leaf on a wood carving, or deep cleaning a rare silk tapestry.

Shenagh and her team will guide guests through the house, including popular areas such as the Painted Hall, State Apartments, Sculpture Gallery and the Sketch Galleries, sharing their expertise, along with many anecdotes, secrets and tips. There will also be an insight into the 10-year ‘masterplan’ for this great house, in which over £32m has been invested for future generations.

The Crouching Lion was made by Francesco Benaglia

These guided tours are exclusively available to guests booking a ‘Secrets and Surprises’ two-night stay at The Cavendish at Baslow, or at one of the inns on the Chatsworth Estate – The Devonshire Arms at Beeley or The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley, between 20 January and 12 March 2020. Packages are valid for Sunday to Thursday evenings and tours take place each morning, at 11am, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (except on Weds 4 March and Thurs 5 March, when there is no tour).

It’s perfect excuse to have a weekend away in glorious Derbyshire and something to look forward to when the festive memories start to fade away in the new year.

The Cavendish at Baslow

A bedroom at The Cavendish

This luxury country house hotel has been owned by The Dukes of Devonshire since 1730. A two-night stay, dinner on both evenings, full Derbyshire cooked breakfast and entry to the house tour starts from £249.50 per person, based upon two sharing a twin or double room, Sunday to Thursday evenings.

The Devonshire Arms at Beeley & The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley

special tours Chatsworth house
A bedroom at Beeley

A two-night stay at either one of these two charming historic inns – both located on the Chatsworth Estate – includes two nights’ accommodation, a delicious dinner on one evening and full Derbyshire cooked breakfast each morning, along with entry to the house tour, starts from £165 per person for the two-night stay at Pilsley, and from £179.50 per person at Beeley. Prices based upon two sharing a double Classic/Petiteroom, Monday to Thursday evenings.

special tours Chatsworth house
A farm house room at Pilsley

(Guests are requested to make their own transport arrangements to Chatsworth, and car parking there is included within each of ‘Secrets and Surprises’ packages. Other terms and conditions may apply, see website for more info.)

To book please call 01756 718 111 or visit

special tours Chatsworth house
Get cosy at The Devonshire Arms this winter