Thursday, August 18

For $4,000, You Can Kick Back with a “Cuppa” at This Jane Austen-Inspired Cottage in Devonshire

If you’ve ever wanted to take a vacation like an aristocrat, one estate in England is offering the chance. The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have 24 cottages on their 35,000 acre estate, with the newly renovated Gardener’s Cottage opening up at the end of June.

This newest cottages, like the other 23, can be rented weekly, and depending on the season the cost to stay in Gardener’s Cottage ranges from £1,197 to £2,391 per week (or $2,035 to $4,065 USD). (The cheapest option on the property, the Stone Annexe, sleeps two for four nights at £188 or $300 total.)

Gardener’s Cottage is considered the most luxurious cottage on the estate. It was built in the late 19th century and can sleep six.

The inspiration from the decor, according the Duke and Duchess, comes from author Jane Austen. The Duchess decorated it herself over the course of a year, using some of the furniture taken from the attic of the couple’s home, Chatsworth House.

The interior of the cottage includes a four poster bed, two free-standing clawfoot bathtubs and antique furniture. “We really want people to relax and enjoy themselves,” Amanda Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire stated in an interview, noting that the estate is the perfect place to kick back and have a cup of tea during a visit.

Like hotels, cottages and other luxury vacation destinations take furniture and layout into serious consideration.

Chatsworth House, which sits on the Devonshire estate, is 500 years old and draws in 700,000 tourists annually, who can view the dozens of rooms open to the public.

The house has historic links to Henry VIII, Queen Victoria and Mary, Queen of Scots. American history buffs are sure to enjoy a visit there, as well; John F. Kennedy’s sister, Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy married into the Duke’s family during World War II, and her grave sits on the grounds.

While guests are not able to rent Chatsworth House, they have their choice of 24 cottages, with some dating back to the 17th century. Gardener’s Cottage is located the closest to Chatsworth House.

Visitors to the estate, staying in the cottages or not, can experience the local pubs, hotel, brewery, pool, golf course and farm shop. The remainder of Devonshire estate included farms, quarry interests and 500 other cottages, which the local villagers lease.

The estate at Devonshire is located 150 miles North of London and employs over 600 people. The estate is run as both a for-profit business as the Devonshire Group and a non-profit charity, the Chatsworth House Trust.

The not-for-profit side earns over £10 million ($17 million) annually, thanks to tourists who visit the house and its gardens; that money is used to pay the staff and maintain the property.

The estate has also become known for displaying large art exhibitions, which is helping to attract a younger crowd of visitors. Peregrine Cavendish, Duke of Devonshire notes the house’s “very sophisticated program” devoted to mostly contemporary art exhibitions.

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