Each year Chatsworth House, the lavish home of the Dukes of Devonshire in the Derbyshire Dales, gets a major Christmas makeover. The lower floors of the house are transformed into a festive wonderland, with a different theme every year. It’s been Pantomime Villains and Dames, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Nutcracker in the past, but for my trip the decorations were inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
November might not be the most obvious time for an English country break, but I love the combination of autumn leaves, misty mornings and evenings by the fire. Despite over 30 years living in the UK there are still big chunks of the country I haven’t gotten around to visiting yet, and the Peak District is one. So it was time to put that right, and we couldn’t have chosen a better spot than Douglas’s Barn – one of two holiday cottages attached to a Derbyshire village farm.