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Touring The Peaks with Austen

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

What better way to introduce you to the natural beauty of The National Peak District than through the much beloved novel written by Jane Austen, "Pride & Prejudice".

Much like Austen, and other authors and artists from yesteryear, we find ourselves inspired by the history and stunning landscape of The Peak District. Let's take a tour of some of the locations that inspired the author and the subsequent television & film adaptations.

Pride and Prejudice

The 1813 novel sees the heroine of the story, Lizzie Bennet ('Prejudice'), accompany her aunt and uncle on a touring holiday of "The North". Their original plan of visiting The Lake District is curtailed, which sees the party of three spend their remaining holiday in the wild and bleak Peak District of Derbyshire.

The visit marks the turning point of the story, when Lizzie visits Pemberley, the home of Mr Darcy ('Pride') and realises she has judged him too harshly previously, paving the way for a happy ending.

"What are men to rocks and mountains?"
Jane Austen

Austen was no different to her peers and contemporaries in that she often took inspiration from her surroundings. It was from her visits to The Peak District that she was inspired to include several locations in her novel. Bakewell was renamed Lambton and the magnificent Pemberley Hall (home to the romantic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy) was directly inspired by Chatsworth House.

Like Lizzie, Austen was not high born, and like visitors of today, would have arrived at the grand houses such as Chatsworth as a tourist. With a number of rooms open to view and peruse, Austen would have likely been introduced to the grand halls and interiors much in the same way as Lizzie was in the novel. It is this relatability of the character that has made it such an enduring story; we have all been bowled over my one grand house or another at some stage, have we not?

Interestingly, the Sculpture Gallery, as featured in the 2005 film adaptation was not completed over 20 years after the novel was published. Furthermore the Veiled Vestal Virgin, that Lizzie (played by Keira Knightley) is so taken by in the 2005 adaptation, did not arrive at Chatsworth until 1999, but we can forgive them this as they continue to keep the novel's original intentions alive by highlighting the Peak District in such a cinematic way.

Like in the Novel, the film & television adaptations have been pivotal in ensuring the popularity of the area, filming much of Lizzie's time in the Peaks in the actual surroundings.

Haddon Hall, still privately owned (like Chatsworth House), was used in the 2005 production for interiour shots of the inn in the village of Lambton aka Bakewell.

Bakewell, though not featured in the films, has not changed a great deal in the 200 or so years since the novel was first published. It is still a popular tourist destination now as it was in Austen's time; though our heroine and author would not have known of the famous Bakewell Pudding, baked by Mr Greaves the landlady of The White Horse, with it being introduced in the 1820s.

Stanage Edge

Stanage Edge has one of the most breathtaking views of The Peaks worth visiting and you can see why it was chosen in the 2005 film.

Lizzie contemplating her future while looking out across a landscape, much unchanged from Austen's time, is one of the highlights of the film.

Also true to form for The Peaks is the weather; typically dramatic, with Lizzie (the poor thing) facing gale force winds as she looks on!

Close by, the Prospect of Dovedale was used in a similar vein in the 1995 television adaptation.

Both vistas and shots accentuate the raw beauty of the Peak District, regardless of season. In fact, the more dramatic the weather, the more breathtaking the view - in our humble opinion.

The age old saying of there is never bad weather just inappropriate clothing is never more true when exploring The Peaks, and it is easy to understand why our signature range includes knitwear.

So, regardless of season, there really is no need to delay a visit to the wonderful Peak District and be sure you arrange an appointment to visit our shop on your way.

Feeling inspired?

Why not take a look at the Biggs Range of Knitwear

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