I was not going to leave Manchester without visiting Chatsworth House, the stately home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire in the Peak District of England. I just had to figure out how to get there.
Before flying out to Manchester, I debated whether to purchase a tour, or find my own way via public transport to the house. For someone not familiar with the public transport system, it would’ve been a lot easier to just purchase a tour. But with some tips from friends via Instagram, I was able to go to Chatsworth House from Manchester on my own. Instead of paying £66 (about USD $80), I saved about $30 for the day trip.
Here’s how I got to Chatsworth House from Manchester:
1. Purchase Train Ticket Prior to Your Trip
I purchased my ticket from Manchester Piccadilly to Sheffield through Trainline at home before my trip.
Cost: about USD $18 roundtrip.
Turns out it was open return (we missed our return train back, more on that later).
Download the app so you can send the ticket there. No need to use paper or collect your ticket at the station.
2. Navigate Your Way to Manchester Piccadilly Train Station
I stayed at the Midland Manchester, which was less than a mile walk to the train station.
3. Find Your Platform
When you get to the station, go up to where all the platforms are. You can check the timetable to look for the platform number where your train will be waiting. If you use the app, it’ll also update there.
You just need to scan the QR code on your ticket and the turnstile will open, allowing you to get to the platform. There are attendants all over at the gate who can help with any questions.
Note that multiple trains going to different places may share the same platform. So our train to Sheffield was all the way in the front, thankfully we asked before hopping into the first train car we saw!
4. Enjoy The Ride
It’s a short just under an hour ride and no assigned seats.
5. Arrive at Sheffield Station
Follow the Way Out signs to get out of the station.
6. Find the Pond Street Bus Stop
Once you’re out, walk straight out towards Sheffield Hallam University. Just walk straight from the station exit and cross the street, it’s just a 3 minute walk. This is how the bus stop looked like.
Wait for Bus 218. The sign said the bus would come every 11th and 41st minute past the hour. We got to the bus stop at 9:28 am and ended up on the bus at around 9:55 am, so not too sure how on time the bus is.
The bus driver was very friendly. He was probably very used to helping out tourists trying to get to the house.
Cost: £7 roundtrip (about USD $8.50) – try to get exact change just in case the driver doesn’t have change
Note: Keep the receipt! You’ll need it to return and for a discount at Chatsworth House.
7. Enjoy the Views from Sheffield to Chatsworth House
The ride was way longer than I expected – about 50 minutes. But the views were all worth it. Driving out of the city, I loved seeing all the houses, and then the landscapes of the Peak District.
The bus stops right at the parking lot just steps away from the entrance of the house. We had to wait an extra 10 minutes for a huge herds of sheep to cross the street while driving into the Chatsworth estate.
8. Purchase Your Admission Ticket
Once you make it inside to purchase your tickets, show your bus receipt. They’ll give you £4 off admission.
Cost: £18 (about USD $22) – this includes access to the house and garden
The same 218 bus also goes to Bakewell (the next stop after Chatsworth House). If you speed through the house and garden and have time to go to Bakewell, try the famous Bakewell Tart and browse the shops. I didn’t want to rush so I decided to spend more time at the house instead of going to Bakewell (the bus drove through the town though so I saw those cute shops!)
I really didn’t have to rush at the house because turns out there was a bad accident on the road so we waited at the bus stop for 1.5 hours… we missed the 6:11 pm train back to Manchester that we had booked on our ticket.
But I learned it doesn’t matter what time you book your return back, as long as you travel on an off-peak hour (the 6:11 pm train was also off-peak), you can use the same ticket.
Total cost breakdown for Chatsworth House day trip from Manchester:
- Roundtrip train ticket Manchester to Sheffield: $USD 18
- Roundtrip bus ticket Sheffield Pond Street Bus Stop to Chatsworth House: USD $8.50
- Admission to Chatsworth House and Gardens: USD $22
- Total: $48.50