Located in Derbyshire, near to Derby and Nottingham, Elvaston Castle Country Park encompasses approximately 321 acres of open parkland, woodland and more formal historical gardens. It's also the venue for our popular woodland festival.
At the heart of the estate lies Elvaston Castle, a gothic revival masterpiece (not open to the public) designed by James Wyatt in the early 1800s based on the original house dating back to 1633.
Wyatt's design, built for the third Earl of Harrington, became home to the Stanhope family until the estate was sold by the then Earl of Harrington to a quarrying company in 1968. In 1969 the then Derby Corporation purchased the estate from the company and in 1970 the estate was opened as one of the first country parks in England. Today both the buildings and gardens are registered (Grade 2 and Grade 2*) as being of special architectural and historical interest.
Within the estate, structures such as the recently renovated golden gates, Moorish temple and ha-ha wall provide a fascinating glimpse of the past.
The gardens are locally renowned for their rockwork structures and fine examples of topiary, originally introduced and designed by William Barron in the 19th century.
Whatever the season there's always lots to see and do in and around the park − walking, cycling, horse riding, bird watching, picnicking, kite flying, photography, exploring the park and nature reserve and much more.
Elvaston master plan
We've developed a master plan for Elvaston to restore and regenerate the historic castle and county park.
The proposals are intended to ensure a sustainable future for the estate, attracting more visitors, increasing income to help with the high running costs and protecting the heritage of the site.
Read the Elvaston master plan.
Entry and car parking
Entry to the park is free.
Car parking charges apply unless you are a blue badge holder.
Occasionally we'll apply pre-advertised special event charges, for example, the Derbyshire Woodland Festival.
Pay and display machines
There are 5 pay and display machines in the public car park off Borrowash Road:
Three accept coin, card and contactless payments:
- on entry, next to the public toilets and eagle sculpture
- next to the children's play area
- next to the site information board (at the entry point to the lakeside walk, near the ice cream van)
Two accept card only:
- on entry to the showground
- next to the coach and horse-box parking area
A single season ticket can be registered to 2 vehicles, and costs £80 for the year. This allows you to visit any of our listed countryside sites using either car (but not both at the same time) providing it's clearly displayed on your dashboard.
If you would like to purchase a pass or change or add a vehicle to your existing pass, please visit us at the Rangers Office opposite the Information Centre and Shop from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday with cash or a cheque. If you would like to pay by card, please visit during shop opening hours (11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm every day during school holidays, Friday to Monday term-time). Season tickets can also be purchased at the other Derbyshire countryside sites.
We'd strongly advise against parking in the main public car park without your pass on display. We can arrange for alternative parking while your pass is being amended or reissued.
Elvaston Castle Country Park is low lying and after periods of rain can be muddy underfoot. Please take extra care at such times.
The park is open all year round. Opening times are:
- 9am to 5pm from October to March
- 9am to 8pm from April to September
Elvaston Castle and Country Park
Borrowash Road (A6120)
Tel: 01629 533870
Getting to Elvaston
The estate entrance and only car park for visitors arriving in vehicles, is off Borrowash Road between Borrowash Village and Thulston. Just follow the brown tourist signs from either direction and they'll direct you right to us.
Some sat navs direct vehicles off the A6 Derby bypass into Elvaston Castle Country Park via a slip road to Bridlegate Lane, Alvaston. There's no access to the park via this route (nor turning room along its length should you commit to it). The lane is clearly marked off the by-pass with a 'dead-end' highways sign.
Your sat nav may direct you into the estate by a sealed bridle path off Borrowash Road, which also leads to Elvaston Cricket Club's grounds. This access route is for authorised vehicles only, with no visitor parking permitted.
Please see the Elvaston park location leaflet attached to this page.
There are no bus services that stop directly outside the main entrance to the park. You can find out the most suitable bus and rail services from:
Information panels, which include site maps, are located:
- within the main car park (one close to the lakeside path entrance and another on the exterior wall of the public toilets block)
- underneath the arch within the central courtyards
- within the information centre and shop
- in the castle entrance corridor
- at the end of South Avenue opposite the bus stop
- at the entrance to the park via Alvaston Lane and footbridge
A site map is attached to this page. Or pick up a free site leaflet and map from our information centre and shop.