The quest for the fictional Mr. Darcy

Pemberely…it’s every girl’s dream.  The promise of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, and the greatest love story ever told is too tantalizing not to treasure dearly.  But what you don’t think about is the possibility that it is a real place…well, technically.  Chatsworth House was the sight chosen to pose as our beloved Mr. Darcy’s residence in the 2005 version of the brilliance that is Pride and Prejudice.  As you round the corner, admiring the beautiful British countryside, your breath catches in your throat when your eyes get their first glimpse of the house.  It is massive, impressive, and beautiful beyond belief.  It is the perfect time of year for a visit to Derbyshire: the leaves are changing for the autumn season, the sheep are lazily grazing, and when the sun is in full force its rays bounce off the gold leaf windows in the most enchanting manner.  Even though you have to resign yourself to the fact that some of your favorite literary characters won’t be making an appearance, to walk the halls of the 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’s estate is a once in a lifetime experience…unless you love it so much you make another trip back.

This trip was made possible by an amazing girl who I haven’t seen since the day of our high school graduation.  There are some people you grow up with that you have an incredible respect for, but for reasons unknown you run in different circles.  She was fabulous then, and she’s fabulous now in that she invited me along on this particular girls’ day out.  So Jenn and I hoped on a train, and we all headed north to the Peak District.

I think it’s a strange concept, opening your house to thousands of strangers a year while you’re away.  But for those of us who will never be so lucky to own such a lavish house, we thank you.  The family photos of relatives living and passed decorate the halls, and you are able to get a glimpse into some of the Duke and Duchess’ favorite pastimes.  While walking through the countless bedrooms, richly carpeted halls, and fantastic library is definitely a must for your list, my favorite experience of these visits is always to admire the architecture outside (both in terms of landscaping and structures).  The beautiful gardens, the cascading waterfalls, and the imposing stature of the house are the things that I love most.  For some reason the silver in the dining room, tapestries, and elaborate furniture are all incredibly beautiful but it’s what is outside that it most impressive to me.

While I took countless pictures during our amazing day, I can’t find any that I’m “in love” with…most of the time, I have several favorites but maybe the beauty of this estate just couldn’t be captured by my viewfinder this time.  Regardless, here are a couple of photos from northern England.

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The more time I spend here, and the more I get out of London to appreciate all that England has to offer, I really hope that my life here will extend past grad school.  One can only hope 🙂

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