Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Staycation part 2 - August (and a little of September) at home

Haddon Hall
Summer has somehow managed to come and go without me really having noticed it and although I'm still hoping for a weekend away with some (hopefully) warm autumnal sun, with our living-at-home daughter off in Italy for what seemed like most of the month (it wasn't really) I decided it was time to fall back on the staycation plan, trying to find things to do and places to visit on my doorstep. After all, plenty of people come to Derbyshire for holidays, to see the countryside, visit the stately homes etc, so as a local I should be able to find even more to do, shouldn't I?

Greenhill, Wirksworth

It turned out, as I might honestly have expected, that the problem wasn't finding places to visit but time to actually get round to it. When you're at home, the day to day routine of housework, laundry, and grocery shopping is much harder to ignore, and then there was a much more dramatic interruption from a stomach bug that laid me low for a week (!). Also there's less inclination to go out and about on a wet day. On holiday, I'd put on a waterproof jacket and go and throw stones at the sea, or hang around a local museum/art gallery/tea room, but at home there's less incentive to risk getting soaked.

Melbourne Hall
Another difference when you're away from home is that you're up and out early in the morning, busy doing something all day, then stay out till the sun sets. Even attempting to do that at home failed. A couple of days we managed to pull in two things but never did the 'stay out for the whole day' thing.

In the end, I'm not sure this really worked as a 'holiday' but it did certainly get us out and about a lot more than otherwise, and particularly had us exploring places which were new to us despite being on the doorstep!

House Style Exhibition at Chatsworth

Anyway over the past month we've been to stately homes and gardens - Haddon Hall (location for the films of The Princess Bride, and Jane Eyre) and Melbourne Hall (home of Queen Victoria's Lord M) - looked at, and played with, an interactive mechanical art exhibition at Haddon, seen the most fantastic clothing at Chatsworth, gone walking at Shipley ParkKedleston and along the Great Northern Greenway, admired the vast collection of rhododendrons at Darley Park, and explored the small market town of Wirksworth

Playing with mechanical sculptures

It's been a busy and enjoyable few weeks, and we've certainly discovered a lot of fascinating places all within an hour of home, but, sadly, it's not really felt like a holiday. I think for that I should have walked away from the household chores completely for a couple of days,been out of the house by 10 as if staying in B+B accommodation, and stayed out in the evening, eating fish and chips somewhere outdoors. Next time my daughter's away for a long weekend I might try just that!

Just some of over 500
 varieties of rhododendron at Darley Park


  1. I wanted to get to Chatsworth this summer but we didn't make it as its quite far for us. Sometimes a staycation is actually better. It looks great fun. #Tweensteensbeyond

    1. Hi,thanks for dropping by. To be honest I would rather have gone away to the seaside, but at least we have some fab places to visit nearby. Chatsworth is one of my favourite places, and being quite close to it we 'invest' in season tickets - and easily get our money's worth :)

  2. I too get bogged down in domesticity when I try a 'staycation'. It is just impossible to ignore what needs to be done! Nevertheless, you seem to have achieved a lot here and the places you chose looked fascinating. I do love a stately home! With a house full of teens this was not on my agenda. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TeensTweensBeyond

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sharon. Although we were just two empty-nesters this time, I'm lucky in that both of my daughters have been more or less interested in old buildings and art through their teenage years, so happy to tag along occasionally at least :)

  3. We did the staycation thing this summer too and although we had a nice couple of trips away it didn't feel like we really decompressed. We are heading off in October bu there is nothing like getting on a plane and going away for a burst of sun and Vitamin D to recharge your batteries. Thanks for joining us. #TweensTeensBeyond

    1. Thanks for commenting, Jo. Enjoy your late 'summer' holiday :)

  4. Totally get this and I agree that we never quite 'leave' when we are at home. I suppose there is a constant reminder of what 'should' be done. Nevertheless, you have a very impressive list of places visited there - oh and that dress! Thanks for joining us at #tweensteensbeyond

  5. Thanks for dropping by Nicky. Oh, there were so many fabulous dresses at that exhibition! It's on for a few more weeks so I might go back ... But you're right, housework and chores still niggle while you're at home.


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