The first episode of Secrets of the National Trust features Hardwick Hall, a 16th-century mansion that was the Elizabethan equivalent of The Shard.


It was home to Bess of Hardwick, who rose from humble beginnings to become the second most powerful woman in Tudor England behind Queen Elizabeth.

All the properties in the Channel 5 series are open to the public, but if you fancy discovering their secrets for yourself, then a stay in one of the National Trust’s holiday cottages could turn a visit into a holiday to remember.

Best of all, every stay contributes towards the charity’s conservation commitments.

Here are three unique cottages located near Hardwick Hall.

Rowthorne Lodge, Derbyshire

As a former gatehouse, Rowthorne Lodge is located in a secluded spot on the edge of Hardwick Estate. This one-bedroom cottage is the perfect couple’s retreat with each room tastefully furnished for a comfortable stay. The luxurious bathroom and comfy sofas around the roaring fire are ideal spots to unwind at the end of the day. Outside there is a pretty garden; the ideal location for drinks or dining on a warm day.

Guests of the cottage enjoy free access to the 2,500 acres of parkland, woodland, wetland and farmland, as well as the main house, which was once home to the formidable "Bess of Hardwick".

Sleeps: 2

Price: 3 nights from Fri 23 March £532


4 Stable Yard Cottage, Derbyshire

Located in the heart of Hardwick Hall Estate, in this former stable yard building, guests will find a welcoming cottage with period details. The canopied bed is sure to delight, as is the real fire, comfy sofas, and modern bathroom.

For those guests whose family includes a four-legged friend, the cottage and parklands are dog-friendly.

Dating back to the 16th-century, the formidable ‘Bess of Hardwick’ would have lived close by, in the main house. Guests enjoy free access to the 2,500 acres of parkland, woodland, wetland and farmland, as well as the main house.

Sleeps: 6 and 1 dog

Price: 3 nights from Fri 13 April £595


High Hazels, Derbyshire

Formerly the estate’s Brewhouse, this Elizabethan building has been transformed into a large six-bedroom holiday home. Spread over three floors, the property has been decorated to include luxury fittings. The modern kitchen is perfect for creating a feast to enjoy in the formal dining room.

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The bedrooms tie together the past with the present, with an antique half tester mahogany bed in one room and an antique brass bed in another, but it’s the large bathroom with its free standing roll top bath that really makes a statement.

Outside guests can dine al fresco in the private walled garden.

For a little added relaxation guests can request a meal on arrival, or during their stay from Hardwick Hall (extra charge).

Sleeps: 11

Price: 4 nights from Mon 16 April £847


To browse all the National Trust's cottages, go to:

Secrets of the National Trust with Alan Titchmarsh is on Tuesdays on Channel 5, 8pm