One place that is great to visit if you have a couple of hours spare and plenty of energy to burn is Poynton Park. Situated just on the edge of the small village of Poynton, this decent sized country park is a great place for young and old to spend some time, take in some fresh air and stretch your legs. We often head there when we don’t know what else or where else to go in the late afternoon. But what’s so good about Poynton Park is that it is a perfect destination throughout the year with something different in each of the seasons.
Perhaps you know Poynton Park thoroughly and it’s a regular haunt of yours. Or perhaps, it’s somewhere to check off, next time you’re passing south through Stockport, perhaps heading to Lyme Park or further into the Peak District to check out the Blue John Cavern or the underground boat tours of Speedwell Cavern, read on to find out why we love it so much!
- What’s the History of Poynton Park?
- So Why Do We Love Poynton Park So Much?
- But Beware! There is a Risk to the Trees
- Where Is It?
What’s the History of Poynton Park?
It’s hard to imagine it now, but the park was once dominated by grand mansions for much of its recent history. Take a walk around the park and you will notice a ‘lime tree avenue’. This is all that remains of the country estates that used to grace the parkland, with evidence taken from maps showing that this lime tree avenue dates back to at least 1770.
The first hall (Poynton Hall) was built around 1550 by Sir Edward Warren and it is likely that this replaced a previous older manor house. The hall was a timber framed building, similar to many of the manor houses of Cheshire at the time (take a drive to Bramhall Hall for a good example). A second more modern hall was built by one of his descendants – Sir George Warren. The gardens were laid out in the style of the famous landscape architect Capability Brown and an ornamental pool, now known as Poynton Pool was built.
The first hall would appear to have largely been left to go to ruin. By the late 1830s the estate had passed to the ownership of the Vernons and a booming coal industry had developed across Poynton. In 1839 the local miners however went on strike and the estate was used to house some ‘scabs’ – miners brought in from Staffordshire, with up to 160 men lodged in the house. They were besieged by the local miners until soldiers were called in to support the police to restore order.
By the 20th Century the estate had fallen on hard times and after the Second World War the house was pulled down. Sadly all that is now left is the lime tree avenue and the pool.
So Why Do We Love Poynton Park So Much?
We have some really fond memories of Poynton Park. Firstly, there is no traffic whatsoever so it’s a perfect spot for kids (and adults) to run free. We have been here numerous times since the kids have been alive and it’s somewhere that you can feel comfortable letting them go on ahead, or fall back if they get distracted by freshly ripened blackberries or find some interesting wildlife – we’ve spotted deer, baby toads, lizards as well as sheep and plenty of dogs.
When I fancy doing a particularly long jog, I also sometimes head to Poynton Park as part of my route.
Gently Sloping Paths – Perfect for Learning on the Balance Bikes
It’s relatively flat, but with some gently sloping paths. This has made it a great spot for the kids to get safe adrenalin bursts whilst on the scooter, but also to start honing their skills on the balance bike and now for Mila, the push bike. These gentle hills give them sufficient momentum to pull their feet up and let go but also learning how to balance their movements going uphill.
Some Great Tree Trunks for Climbing and Free Movement
We’re fans both of local health podcaster Dr Rangan Chatterjee, but also Erwan LeCorre – two proponents of natural movement.
Situated near the pond is a fantastic course of felled trees for kids and bigger kids (us) to let loose and get balancing and embrace natural movement. There have been a few stumbles, and a few tears over the years, but it’s a great place for the kids to practise scrambling around on their hands and feet. It has also given me and Noemi a good few chuckles too. If you’re lucky, especially around autumn, you may also find some little doorways for local fairies and gnomes in the tree trunks.
A Dog Friendly Park
We don’t have a dog yet (much to Noemi’s disappointment), but it’s a great place for people to walk dogs, which makes it an even better place for the kids to find new dogs and to play with them. We met Luna today and had a great time throwing things into the pond for her to chase!
Plenty of Free Parking
If you’re not local to Poynton you may be reliant on the car to get there. There’s a great little car park situated next to Poynton Park that is free. We’ve also never had problems getting parked there.
Not Far From Poynton and its Many Restaurants and Cafes
A trip to Poynton Park without heading to the nearby Pizza Express is just something that is inconceivable to the kids. This has become such a family tradition that before we even get in the car to head off, Mila remarks:
I’m going to have a Pollo Pizza once we’ve got parked up
If Pizza Express isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other independent bars, restaurants and local pubs. If you’re going to be there for less than two hours, you can get away with parking in the local Waitrose (not that we told you).
But Beware! There is a Risk to the Trees
There is a proposal from Cheshire East Council to remove at least 44 trees with another 37 trees at risk of removal. The trees are situated at a local pool, known as Poynton pool, which is a Site of Biological Importance and also a Habitat of Principle Importance. The reason given for the removal is a 1 in 10,000 chance of the pool flooding per year from a 2 square km catchment area.
If you wish to sign the petition, follow this link.
Where Is It?
📍S Park Dr, Poynton, Stockport SK12 1BS
Poynton Park is situated just a few minutes drive out of Poynton Village Centre. It’s about 5-10 minutes drive from Hazel Grove and a similar time from Bramhall. There is a train station (Poynton) on the Stockport line and would be about a 25 minute walk from the train station.