Lyme Park is a stunning mansion house that closely resembles an extravagant Italianate palace surrounded by gardens, moorland and ancient deer park. The park is rolling countryside with loads of open space and if little legs will allow there are plenty of substantial walks.
First stop for us was Crow Wood, an enormous playscape built primarily from wood. The two huge towers, the tallest being 12 metres, had to be helicoptered in, which is no mean feat considering the play area is on a steep slope and surrounded by mature trees! When you’re ready for a break, head to the Timber Yard where you’ll find a coffee shop, toilets and a plant shop. It is set by a lovely stream and pond but Lyme Park advises against playing in the water as it can be deep in parts and, because it runs off the moor, it may contain Weil’s disease.
A manageable walk with younger ones is to the Cage, an old hunting lodge on a hill to the east of the approach driveway. It isn’t open all the time and the route to it is not pram-friendly, but if you take the spiral staircase to the top, the views back to Manchester are fabulous. It also contains a large wooden 3D jigsaw of the Cage for children to play with, which fascinated my four-year-old.
The house itself is as beautiful as you’d imagine it to be and the Victorian garden around the house is a lovely short walk, with its roses, sunken parterre, hothouse and a reflection lake.
If you are looking for somewhere to take the children where they can run around in wonderful surroundings then Lyme Park fits the bill, and with all the slopes here it is the perfect spot to head for sledging when it snows.Check website for up-to-date information on seasonal dates, opening times and prices.
Lyme Park, Disley, Stockport, Cheshire SK12 2NR Tel: 01663 762023 nationaltrust.org.uk