Easter 2013 at Calke Abbey (Derbyshire, UK)

The car park at Calke. Busy considering the inclement weather of late.

Despite it being nearly April, the UK has been experiencing some fairly inclement weather. Even here in the normally temperate East Midlands, there has been significant amounts of snow, which has lead to typical travel chaos. Having been trapped indoors with the kids for the entire week we decided as a family, plus a few friends, to visit the National Trust property at Calke this Easter. There was an egg hunt organised so there was no trouble persuading individuals to wrap up warm and get hunting. We were surprised to see the car park so full and the queue for picking up the egg hunt materials snaking out of the door.

There was a brisk trade to join in the egg hunt.

Unlike previous years, where the clues have been hidden around the gardens, this year they were in a more confined area surrounding the stables. This meant less time needed spending in rooting them out and a much swifter return to the judges to collect the prize.

Isobel, William, Sophie and Charlotte get ready to join the great Easter egg Hunt.

Needless to say, the children were very pleased with their efforts. Having stored the chocolate for later consumption we then set off to look around the great house (vintage circa 1740) and the grounds.

This brief tour ended at the Ice House; even in the 19th century the landed gentry could have ice in their ‘G&T’!


Despite it being rather chilly, a good time was had by all. We’re all looking forward to popping back when Spring has finally arrived.

The ice box 1820’s style! Back then, the servants would chip the ice of one of the ponds in the depths of winter and store it in this building where the thick walls and flow of water through it would keep the temperature just below freezing.

How the other half lived. The great house at calke.