Built around 1703, quirky Calke Abbey was occupied by a dynasty of eccentric and reclusive baronets, resulting in a ramshackle maze of rooms crammed with furniture, mounted animal heads, dusty books, stuffed birds and bric-a-brac spanning three centuries.
Calke is 10 miles south of Derby off the A514. Arriva bus 2 from Derby to Swadlincote stops at Ticknall (£4.20, 1¼ hours, hourly), a 1.5-mile walk from the house.
Some of its rooms are in fabulous condition, while others are left much as they were found, with crumbling plaster and peeling wallpaper.
Don't miss the chilly brewhouse tunnels and the ancient oak forests of Calke Park, preserved as a National Nature Reserve.