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Thornbridge Hall... it's quackers!

Updated: Jun 7, 2021

Thornbridge Hall and GardensThornbridge Hall is a grade two listed stately home nestled in twelve acres of quirky, quintessentially English gardens with stunning views of the surrounding Derbyshire countryside. Great for good, wholesome family fun. And don't miss the hook a duck fountain!

Thornbridge Hall is located not far from Bakewell and Ashford in the Water in the Derbyshire Dales. It could easily be combined with exploring Bakewell or the Monsal Trail when setting off from Hassop station. Or, you could spend the best part of the day exploring the delightful gardens of Thornbridge.

Entry is via the café (please check current Covid guidelines and opening), where there are toilets to the left before entering the gardens. The toilets seemed new and were clean despite visiting them towards the end of the day. There are disabled facilities (although the gardens would be tricky to navigate in a wheelchair) and baby changing facilities. We did see people with pushchairs, but I'd probably recommend a carrier as the paths are gravelly.

All the current covid restrictions were being followed at Thornbridge Hall and Gardens. You must wear a mask to enter the café (which you have to do to access the gardens) but after that, you are outside the whole time. The grounds are huge and it was easy to socially distance from others. I felt entirely safe.

The café sells a good selection of attractive looking cakes, sausage rolls, ice creams and a range of hot and cold drinks. If you visit with young children, you can buy a fishing net. This is essential for the fun that will unfold. We bought a snazzy little retractable number for £4.50 although you could of course take your own.

For us, the absolute highlight of our visit to Thornbridge Hall and Gardens was the 'hook a duck' fountain. What a quirky, fun idea! One of the ornate old fountains has been filled with hundreds of yellow rubber ducks so children can enjoy fishing them out. My three-year-old was in her element and practically had to be dragged away. What good, wholesome fun.

The fountain has had some lovely new seating, perfect for parents/carers to enjoy watching their children have the time of their lives! Grab a coffee from the nearby café and watch the fun unfold.

Thornbridge Hall Gardens is a Royal Horticultural Society garden. It isn't quite as 'manicured' as the likes of Chatsworth, but we all loved it. There is a wide range of different areas including an Italian garden, a 30m herbaceous border, a water garden, Koi Lake, and terraced lawns overlooking the stunning Peak District. There is an extensive range of plants.

We look forward to returning through the year to see the garden evolve through the seasons.

There's a wide range of plants available to buy (this area is situated just after the café, near the entrance). Many of the plants have been grown on-site from seeds, cuttings and divisions from the gardens.

Overall, we had a wonderful afternoon out at Thornbridge Hall Gardens. My Mum said it was the best day out she'd had in years (to be fair, she hasn't gone anywhere else because of covid!) and my daughter loved it too. I enjoyed wandering around in the fresh air and will definitely return.

Open: Monday to Sunday 10am to 4pm

No advanced booking required

Adults £7 each

Under 16's and RHS members FREE Homemade picnics actively discouraged Postcode for sat navs is DE45 1NZ.

Free parking

Words & Images: Molly Scott


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