Part of the Chatsworth Collection, the newly refurbished Stonelow Cottage promised to ‘accentuate the traditional, authentic style of the farmhouse, enhanced by modern, cost comforts and elegant design elements.’

And wow, how they have achieved that objective.

The careful refurbishment of this characterful and utterly charming farmhouse – all done with sustainability in mind – has been overseen by the Duchess of Devonshire herself, and it shows.

This spacious cottage has Chatsworth written all over it, and it’s all the better for it.

For a start, the front door and porch are painted in that unmistakable Chatsworth Blue. You feel part of the estate and are left in no doubt this is a place of character and luxury.

Great British Life: View of the courtyard from one of the bedroomsView of the courtyard from one of the bedrooms (Image: Nathan Fearn)

You also feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere – in a good way.

When we arrived and drove up to the property, we were met by two wild hares, one of which leapt to an unbelievable height and over the stone wall into the garden area.

The two hares remained around and about the cottage against the backdrop of Derbyshire scenery for the remainder of our stay, so much so they were both given names by our daughters!

Stonelow Cottage is a retreat in every sense of the word, but it also has tantalising opportunities on its doorstep.

Great British Life: A traditional fire, one of many features A traditional fire, one of many features (Image: Devonshire Hotels)

Yes, this is a place that shouts solitude, yet the delights of Chatsworth House lie just a few short miles away – perfect given that access to the House and Gardens are included in the package.

There is, of course, the temptation to simply stay put.

The cottage is remarkably spacious, the large courtyard to the back inviting, and the rolling hills viewed from all the quirky, quintessentially English cottage windows delightful.

Aside from the high spec mod cons (the aga was a personal favourite) there are nice touches, too.

The crockery is Chatsworth branded, there was a lovely mix of goodies to welcome us (including Chatsworth biscuits and a Duke of Devonshire-recommended bottle of wine) while there was already a bottle of milk thoughtfully waiting for us in the fridge.

Great British Life: The kitchen proved a real hit The kitchen proved a real hit (Image: Devonshire Hotels)

Of course, comfort needs to meet convenience and that is certainly found here. Expect private parking with ample space, central heating, complimentary WiFi, dishwasher, linen and towels, washing machine and more.

Finally, I’m struggling to decide whether Stonelow comes alive more during the day, or night.

At daytime, the private garden is just itching to be taken advantage of yet at night, the pull of the traditional log fire (logs are provided) is strong.

The perfect compliment I can pay Stonelow Cottage is that my wife, our seven-year-old, two-year-old all, and I enjoyed the stay in equal measure and saying our goodbyes to it at the of our stay wasn’t easy – especially for our eldest!

Before we arrived, I wondered whether such a property could pull off traditional-cottage-meets-Chatsworth-grandeur but it’s safe to say they have well and truly succeeded.

Great British Life: Stonelow Cottage is equally beautiful upstairs Stonelow Cottage is equally beautiful upstairs (Image: Devonshire Hotels)

Three surprises:

The kitchen

I was not prepared for how much time I would end up wanting to spend in this part of the cottage.

Whereas at home the temptation is to sit at the sofa with tea, it just seemed a waste not to utilise this huge, open space with its large wooden table, wonderful artwork on the walls, impressive beams and – the best bit – the huge windows which let in so much natural light even on an overcast day, offering wonderful views out to the back.

On the final morning, I sat at the table with a cup of tea looking out into the countryside and it was simply an all-out feeling of contentedness and bliss.

Great British Life: Lottie enjoying some downtime in 'the snug'Lottie enjoying some downtime in 'the snug' (Image: Nathan Fearn)

The snug

I’m not sure whether ‘the snug’ is the official name for this room but if feels very apt and was a label happily adopted by our family.

The whole of Stonelow Cottage is comfortable and classy and this room towards the end of the cottage is the icing on the cake.

Beautifully decorated and with sumptuously comfortable sofas, large cushions and throws, this is the ultimate place to settle down at the end of the day and relax – the ambiance is just perfect.

The shelves, too, are a joy – jam-packed as they are with myriad books and games to keep the whole family entertained, while the large TV provides another focal point, with a multitude of channels available.

The furnishings

What a treat to find delightful features in each and every room. The art on the walls – much of which depicts Chatsworth - is simply stunning, while there are numerous artefacts, statement furniture pieces and curiosities that will inspire and put a smile on your face.

I personally loved the classic light switches, which made me feel as if I was staying in a grand stately home. My daughter, on the other hand, was a big fan of her luxurious double bed with curtains and the ornamental pink fishes in the bathroom which fit perfectly with the colour scheme.

The old wooden doors are not just functional, they also ensure this property has lost none of its ‘cottagey’ feel despite its clear and impressive upgrades.