Spoiler: I didn’t find him. 😦

What I did find were grand homes, beautiful countryside, and filling English breakfasts. The jury is still out on whether that was an even trade-off…

During my 2007 summer in Europe with my best friend, Teresa, we decided to take a week and drive through England, visiting as many places featured in the 2005 film Pride & Prejudice as we could. We had already enjoyed seeing Basildon Park (aka Netherfield) on our first day and now found ourselves in Derbyshire, home to two more filming locations.

We had arrived in the town of Bakewell the evening before, and after a good night’s sleep and a lovely full English breakfast, we were ready to explore! We walked out of our B&B to our rental car parked in the driveway and discovered that it had apparently been used for target practice throughout the night by every bird in the county. Seriously.

This picture does not do justice the magnitude of bird droppings on the car

This picture does not do justice to the magnitude of bird droppings on the car

At first we actually thought the car had been splattered by paint. It was so odd. And it only covered half the car. A couple of days later we found ourselves doing something I rarely do to my own car:

car wash

Good times

After mulling over our little Mystery of the Bird Droppings, we finally headed out and drove to Chatsworth House.

chatsworth house

This was used in the 2005 movie as Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s home. What an impressive estate! Even more impressive is the land it’s on – over 1,000 acres. Since we arrived before the house opened to visitors, we explored the gardens first.

chatsworth house gardens

Absolutely beautiful! We could have spent hours more than we did and not seen everything there was to see. One thing we did do was visit the hedge maze. I had never been in a maze before and was very excited to go into this one. It was a lot of fun – especially for those of us who got lost (ahem, Teresa). 🙂

hedge maze

On to the house! Should something this large even be called a “house?” It’s bigger than some castles I’ve been to!

We were the first visitors in the (okay, fine) house this day and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring the rooms and recognizing some from the movie.

chatsworth house collage

One of our favorite rooms was the Sculpture Gallery which contains many statues and sculptures, including the bust of Mr. Darcy. 🙂 (So I guess we did kind of find him…)

sculpture gallery

After touring the home, we walked through the gardens some more then left to go visit another filming location: Haddon Hall.

haddon hall

What a contrast from Chatsworth House! Haddon Hall is more like a medieval castle. This was used in the film as the Inn at Lambton (it is also featured in many other movies including Elizabeth, Jane Eyre, The Princess Bride, and The Other Boleyn Girl).

We walked through the home and it was pretty easy to imagine what it was like in medieval days. We then walked outside to the gardens – so many roses and other flowers! The air was perfumed with their scent! I wish I could have captured exactly how beautiful it was in a photo.

haddon hall 2

Back to our B&B to drop off our car and a walk into town to find a place to eat for dinner. Quite a contrast to the evening before as everything was open and many people were out and about. We settled on a pub called The Peacock and each ordered steak and ale pie with potatoes and veggies on the side. As I’ve found to be the case in much of the UK and Ireland, the sides were kind of ‘blah’ but the main dish was superb. 🙂

the peacock

We picked up a small chocolate cake at the grocery store and brought it back to our B&B to eat and plan out our next day of searching for Mr. Darcy…

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