We simply love being members of the National Trust, and recently wrote up whether we considered being members of the National Trust still offered good value in this current time of rising pressures and squeezed family budgets. We’ve also scoured the web to find some of the best offers for joining the National Trust. Perhaps a good example of why we love the National Trust so much however, can simply be summed up as ‘Lyme Park Gardens’.
For those of you local to the area, you may already be familiar with the gardens! For those of you that don’t know. The exterior of Lyme Park – notably its gardens – served as the exterior filming location for Pemberley in the mid-90s BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.
Think of “that scene” with Colin Firth in a wet and white shirt, getting out of the pond! If you don’t know which one I mean, here you go….
So why do we like the Lyme Park Gardens so much?
Lyme Park Gardens are Free…..Kind Of!
Well firstly, because we are National Trust members, this means that we can come and go, as often as we want as many times as we want each year. This is great, because if only you go for 20 minutes to get your perfect ‘Insta snap‘ that you want to go viral, you really don’t mind!
Of course, if you aren’t members, then this isn’t the case. But it’s one of the reasons why we’re such strong advocates of becoming members.
With over 500 National Trust properties across the country (and membership granting you access to similar sites in many other countries including Italy, Czechia, Canada and Ireland to name a few it just makes sense to become a member.
We often end up using National Trust properties as impromptu service stations when making long journeys as the food is better, the gardens and grounds are much more exciting for the kids and there are often other events going on there.
Lyme Park Gardens are Huge!
The grounds around Lyme Park including the actual Lyme Park gardens are simply huge. This is great, because even after visiting about 10 times, there are still new areas we are discovering.
We know the formal grounds fairly well having done various different special events at the house – Easter trails, Halloween spooky detective trails etc. but we’re still discovering the wider parkland – we’ve still yet to make it all the way back to Disley and only once have we made it up to the folly.
Lyme Park Gardens are Stunning
Encircling the grandeur of the Lyme Park house lies a breathtaking expanse of formal gardens, spreading across an impressive 6 hectares (15 acres), set within a vast deer park that spans about 550 hectares (1,359 acres).
This remarkable landscape has earned its prestigious Grade II* listing in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, a testament to its historical and aesthetic significance.
The gardens boast an array of intricate structures that enhance their beauty.
Among these is the Dutch Garden, a serene haven to the west of the house, near the former mill pond. The south side of the garden gently slopes towards a tranquil pond, leading to the quaint ravine known as Killtime, adorned with a charming stone bridge.
The Dutch Garden itself, a masterpiece created by William Legh, features meticulously designed formal flower beds centred around a striking fountain.
Adding to the splendour, the orangery is surrounded by a variety of formal flower gardens, including exquisite rose gardens, offering a feast for the senses. Lyme Park Gardens are not just stunning; they are a vivid portrayal of nature’s artistry intertwined with historical elegance.
Lyme Park Gardens has a Fabulous Playground
The kids demanded that I put this into the article!
But I’d agree, sooner or later we are going to do a rundown of our most ‘epic playgrounds’ and Lyme Park will definitely feature in the top 10! Along with one of its other National Trust counterparts – Tatton Park in Knutsford!
Quite some way from the house and car park, is a brilliant play area including both natural and functional play activities as well as various different climbing frames, slides and a fort!
You do need to head up past the cafe and timber yard to get there, so be prepared for a good 5 – 10 minute walk depending on the size of legs in your family!
So Why Are you Still Here? And Not There?!
Lyme Park Gardens is not just a mere visit; it’s an experience that encapsulates the essence of nature’s splendour and historical elegance.
Whether you’re a long-standing National Trust member or a first-time visitor hoping to catch a sneak peek of Colin Firth, the park offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and family-friendly fun.
From the awe-inspiring Dutch Garden to the adventurous playground, every visit promises new discoveries and cherished memories. Wandering through these gardens reminds you of the timeless beauty that nature and heritage can offer, a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Lyme Park Gardens stands as a testament to the enduring value of preserving such places, making National Trust membership not just worthwhile, but a gateway to exploring the hidden gems of our countryside.
As you plan your next outing, remember that Lyme Park Gardens isn’t just a destination; it’s a journey through history, nature, and the joys of family adventures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Visit Lyme Park Without Paying?
“Discover Lyme Park Gardens, a National Trust property in Cheshire. Explore 1,400 acres of rugged moorland, ancient woodlands, and formal gardens. Admission is free for members, and £6 per adult and £3 per child for non-members”.
Is Lyme Park Worth a Visit?
“Discover the beauty of Lyme Park Gardens, a 1,400-acre estate with rugged moorland, ancient woodlands, and formal gardens. Explore the facilities and dog-friendly areas. Lyme is a two pawprint rated place.”