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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A Visit to the Historic Hatfield House

The weather was wonderful the past weekend and we decided that we should make the most of it rather than just lazing around at home. So, we planned to head out to Hatfield House. Located in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Hatfield House is the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family.

Hatfield House

Hatfield House

Hatfield House


Hatfield House is around 21 miles from Central London and fast trains from Kings Cross take around 20 minutes making it a perfect day trip option. It was only a 30 minutes drive from our home to Hatfield House and we reached there shortly after the opening time of 11:00 am. The West Garden, park and shops open at 10:00 am though.

Exploring the Hatfield House

This Jacobean House was built by Robert Cecil, the 1st Earl of Salisbury in the year 1611. Robert Cecil was the son of Lord Burghley, the chief minister of Elizabeth I. The Old Palace and the deer park which surrounds the house were owned by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII. It was while living in the Old Palace,  that in 1558 Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne. So when you visit this place, it is like you are following in the footsteps of Henry VIII and his children - Edward, Elizabeth and Mary who spent some years in this House enjoying the fine d├ęcor and the beautiful landscaped gardens.

Hatfield House

Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House is an excellent example of Jacobean craftsmanship with the Grand Staircase holding the prime spot. The staircase is elaborately carved and includes cherubs and lions holding shields of arms. The walls are lined with a deep red silk paper and covered with opulent tapestry. This is how traditional should be and Hatfield House does it with elegance.


Hatfield House
The Grand Staircase


Hatfield House


Every single room in Hatfield House, whether it is the King James Drawing Room or The Chinese Bedroom have an elegant character. There is  an extensive collection of portraits, photographs, beautiful tapestries and furniture. I loved it all, but my favourites were the Long Gallery and the Library. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always wished that I had such a library at home - beautifully carved wooden shelves lined with rows and rows of books. And not to forget the beautiful views from the library windows. The library overlooks the Old Palace and the West Garden. The Long Gallery was stunning. The length of the gallery is around 170 feet and the ceiling is covered with gold leaf providing a beautiful contrast to the dark brown wood.


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House


Hatfield House

We spent a little over an hour looking at all the rooms in the House and then we headed out to enjoy the gardens. The East Garden is Lord and Lady Salisbury's private garden and is open to the public only on Wednesdays. As we visited on a weekend, we could not view this garden. However, we did enjoy the other gardens that were open to the public for viewing: The West Garden, the Sundial Garden and the Woodland Garden. We also had a quick look at the Old Palace and its garden. The Old Palace is normally in use for functions but a small part was open on the day we visited.


Hatfield House


Coincidentally during our visit to Hatfield House, the Living Crafts event was on at the Showground field of Hatfield House. Needless to say we visited that as well. Living Crafts was an amazing craft experience with Britain's finest designer-makers exhibiting their works at the event. You can read more about Living Crafts in my previous blog post.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Hatfield House. A day well spent.

Have you visited Hatfield House? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.

Hatfield House
Hatfield
Hertfordshire
AL9 5NQ
Tel: 01707 287010
For general enquiries you can get in touch via email: visitors@hatfield-house.co.uk.
You can check the opening times and prices here.



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Disclaimer: Complimentary entry was provided to us but all views expressed are our own.


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