Chatsworth House - Chesterfield

As someone has put it rightly - It is difficult to travel for over fifteen munites in UK and not stumble across some building that has been declared as a national heritage site :). So when hubby's itinerary included "Chatsworth house", I thought "not another royal home...must be like Buckingham Palace". But the reviews on tripadvisor and husband both convinced me otherwise and I conceded, without having much interest in looking it up on the net. However, not trying to find out more about the place was, in retrospect, a good thing, since it would indeed have spoiled the pleasant surprise that awaited us there.

Sheffield to Chatsworth House, or Matlock, was a good hour and half long journey by bus. Once again passing through the greenery of national park (as we did on our trip to peak cavern), the fields, scattered localities and occasional market areas kept us beautifully occupied and fresh on arrival. However, going on a long weekend also meant traffic jams and counting cars for as long as we could see. Umm, if you ask me cars should be banned in places like these ..with more public transport being made available. Not only is it unfair on the driver to not be able to truly enjoy the serenity, but the place can do without the fumes too.

Nevertheless.... the initial sight of Chatsworth house, a lone beautiful yellow tinged structure standing majestically all alone in the massive stretch of green is simply grand and ignites enough curiosity about what would it would be like on the inside.

We chose to do the garden first, which was Vedaant's decision. The entrance and the view gives absolutely no inkling of the amazing garden that lies behind the palatial home, which is now the only living royal home in the UK.

We thouroughly enjoyed walking through the not overly maintained garden. The wild plants and wooded places, the beautiful flora and fauna, the water areas, the rocks we climbed on , the maze and the art pieces took most part of our visit. 

The floral extravaganza in Chatsworth house gardens...awwwee inspiringg.....

The insides of the house were interesting and beautiful showcasing royalty in splendour. Much more impressive than Buckingham Palace, this place is a must visit if one goes to Peak District. Since we decideed to deposit the bigger n better camera and stroll around more casually, here are a few clicks with the mobile phone.

"Devil's Arse"


Interestingly, Peak Cavern, a major attraction in Peak District, was earliar known as "Devil's Arse"  - after the faltulent noises that used to come from the cave (lol lol). The name was changed to Peak Cavern during Queen Victoria's visit , but eventually the vulgar name made it more popular :)

Travelling to the caves from Sheffield on a rainy day, especially on top berth of a bus was beautiful. The road leads through Peak District's National Park ..a land greener than any other in UK. In fact, as I know it, since 34th if Sheffield lies in the national park, it boasts of the largest man to trees ratio anywhere in Europe! The road is wonderful, winding through the not very high, but hilly area through avenues, fields and scattered campsites, beautiful homes with ravising gardens from which old men and ladies waved to us as we passed.

Peak Cavern itself , mostly natural, is a series of 4 caves, out of which we were able to cover one.

The entrance to the cave at the end of a stream, is hidden beautifully during the walk to it and comes into view suddenly around a turn, which is quite a surprise. Me thinks, the grand entrance is much more fascinating than the caves itself. As for Vedaant, this place was straight out of "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" !!! So all the while we were inside, he was Jake, I was Izzy and daddy was Cubby :)

The caves are barren rock formations, without any carvings or sculputures, and thankfully no graffiti.Full marks to our guide, who made this place fantastically mysterious with her stories about the mine workers, ghosts, queen's visit, movie shoots. And for making us see all sorts of shapes like father Christmas, eagle etc. in the rock formations apart from freaking us out with spooky stories of her own experiences and those of others.

If you look closely in the last pic you will see a kind of rail track on the side. Mine workers had to lie on their backs, on a wheeled carraige which took them further inside the caves. This is where the caves are blocked for public. 

Once outside the "Arse" it was time to get some fresh air ... ...and a lil reward for being good :)

Markets of London

Borough Market
Enticing smell of 'fresh' veggies n fruits, vendors tempting with samples and customers trying to squeeze their way through crowds.I had almost forgotten after shopping in supermarkets what this felt like ! Today's borough market visit brought memories of childhood when we did a weekly trip to the huge vegetable market back home in India.
 Borough Market near London Bridge is one of the largest food Markets in London, with traders coming from many parts in the UK to sell their products.

Bekonscot Model Village

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When we decided to check out this place, less than half an hour from London, we had no idea what a delightful surprise we were in for. Tucked away in the serene setting of Beaconsfield, is the World's oldest litte Model Village.
Eons away from the techno entertainment and flashing images this absolutely delightful place was like a breath of fresh air. There were so many little model trains chugging through

On the train .......... chugging away

Long journeys by train are in special! We love them.This thread is a fond photo collection of the things we do during our train journeys
Doodling ....

Pondering....what huge chimney !

Sheffield - A delight ...

Cities , like people, have their own character. Sheffield is a city that is quick to make an impression as soon as you land. A city of young people, thanks to its universities, Sheffield appeared to us uniquely youthful and yet laid back at the same time – something difficult to explain. 

Something that instantly caught our eye was the graffiti and murals strewn around the city's walls. I personally loved it but, as I understand, the administration is trying to deal with its nusiance value too. While it threatens wiping out of the bright works of urban art , there are some graffiti lovers who are trying to encourage more tolerance and appreciation in support of letting the nicer works be.
I do hope they would leave some of the real artwork alone.


Random Beautiful things ...

Royal prams :)

I do wish i had carried a better camera..these were really cute !!!

Royal keys from Chatsworth home

Butlins - at Skegness

Butlins - A holiday resort in Skegness with "tailored activities" was not really our idea of a 5 day holiday. If given an option, we would rather be out somewhere out in wilderness, doing a river or a forest trail.  But with weather turning our fingers n toes blue, a resort like Butlins with a lot of indoor entertainment options seemed like a decent option.

Much to my surprise it turned out to be a complete blast !Not only did we enjoy the indoor entertainment, but weather turned out to be less hostile and the resort's outdoor entertainment options were a true treat.

Reaching for the sky

Street Performers of London

If  there is one thing I absolutely "LOVE" about London, then it is the street performances, and the professional way in which the artists go about conducting them. In a city that pretty much breaths Art with its endless museums, theatres and galleries, it is only but natural that art should spill out on the streets (though I do wish people had more time to pay heed).
A lone guitarist strumming away in a tube station to busy travellers, an artist painting on the banks of river thames, , a magician or an acrobat, people dressed as statues standing still making you wonder if they are really statues...........there is always something that will encourage you to pause and take a breather.

A drone pipe (also known as Didgeridoo) player - a regular at Canary Wharf underground. Amazingly trance- like music comes from the aboriginal instrument - over 2000 ( some beleive more than 40,000) years old with its origins in ancient Australia.

omg does he have bones ?

Gee Charlie Chaplin !
Vedaant and Veer trying to identify maps drawn by chalk on thames river bank
People who appreciated placed coins on their home country.

Invisible !!!!
Feeling shy with Mickey

On a corner in Camden Market, he bowled us s over with his singing ..there were loud claps, cheers as the crowd called for an encore !
Bubble blowers ...

Ice sculptor in Canary Warf

Magic in process ! 

Urban art

African music ...super


Girija in a sword fight ... 
This is one thread I promise to revisited again and again as I post an ode to street performers that give this amazing city more character.