I am not obsessed but ever since reading the fascinating biography of The Mitford Sisters, I have been intrigued to learn more about these six controversial sisters especially when I realised that the youngest daughter is still alive and is now the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, aged 91 and until recently lived in Chatsworth. Her son, the 12 Duke of Devonshire, and his wife now live there. Richard and I had a weekend sans children and used it to explore Chatsworth and what a fabulous time we had – the palace is soaked in history and yet is also a family home. Opening it to the public has given us a great privilege to enjoy treasures in the house and gardens. It helps when you have ‘Capability’ Brown and Paxton in your landscaping retinue and a number of the dukes were collectors of treasures and sculptures on a grand scale. I loved the surprises around each corner – wickerwork entwined into trees like giant seed pods, bronze Greyhounds against a stark background and a sculpture gate incorporating the scenery. When Richard had enough of my photography, he decided to try some silly walks… and we left to find our hotel. Want to know more, read the following books: The Mitford Girls and Wait for Me. Even better, go and visit Chatsworth itself.

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