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Chatsworth House

by Tara

Pete and Reinette's garden made a cozy campground for us last night. When we awoke early in the morning to the sound of rain on our tent and the din of what seemed like hundreds of birds we were thrilled that we didn't have to pack up. We ran inside to use the "loo", said good morning to our generous hosts, then ran back to our tent to get a couple more hours of sleep.

When we got up (for real this time) we were treated to a lovely breakfast of croissants with butter and jam. Pete and Reinette told us to help ourselves to anything and everything we wanted. How kind they are! Once again we were not allowed to help.

We had a very relaxing day of reading and chatting. Tyler also got some work done, both for his clients and our website. I decided that at some point today, I wanted to see Chatsworth—"Pemberley" from the new movie version of "Pride & Prejudice". Tyler and Pete got caught up outside sharing martial arts techniques and Reinette and I had to herd them in when it was time to leave. Pete kindly drove us to Chatsworth, dropped us off, and said to call when we were ready to be picked up.

Chatsworth Staircase & Sculpture

When we got out of the car we were both surprised to find we felt queasy and carsick. It had been a full month since we'd moved any faster we could pedal (or coast). All the curvy roads at 'high speed' must've done us in. We stumbled around feeling dizzy for a little while before going in to buy our tickets.

Chatsworth was very similar to other places we've been like Alnwick Castle, or even Hedgeley Hall, though it lacked Hedgeley's homey atmosphere and kind inhabitants. What I loved about today's visit, though, were the exhibits about movies which had been filmed there. There were award-winning costumes from "The Dutchess", and the famous bust of Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice! Wandering through the rest of the mansion, we got to see the the music room, a room full of woodcarvings, and a huge gallery full of sculptures that were featured in the film as well.

Paintings Relaxing in the Oak Room Sleeping Lion Veiled Vestal Virgin Mr. Darcy Drop Spindle

After we'd been through the house, we wandered around the gardens. They have the largest gravity-powered fountain in the world! Here are some photos of it and the rest of the grounds:

Gravity-Powered Fountain Green Man Path Bloom Fountain & Gunnera

When we were through, Pete came to pick us up and drove us back "home" where Reinette had a lovely meal of quiche and salads all prepared. Thank you so much, you guys! We spent the rest of the evening relaxing, and I even had a chance to chat with my mom online!