I'M BEING CHASED BY THE NATIONAL TRUST
A visit to Hardwick Hall places you not only in the clutches of the NT but also that of English Heritage who have the Old Hall next door. The idea in the 15th century was simple. Fed up with your collosal mansion. Build a bigger better one right next door. At least that was Bess of Hardwick did and she was only a shopkeeper's daughter. Ah, life might have been brutush and hard, but you could still make something of yourself with some pale make up and a fancy ruff. I mean, you wouldn't mess would you?
Little did she know that 500 years later there'd be coach-loads of M&S'd up trippers tucking into butternut squash soup in her kitchen... never mind the stuff in the gift shop. We bought a stress ball, a frisbee, a travel mug and some Joy Division oven gloves. Now that's a cultural day out.