Family Picnic- Lyme Park, Cheshire: As the glorious sun was shining, we headed to Lyme Park, Cheshire for our first family picnic of the season. Lyme Park is a large estate managed by the National Trust– it was my very first trip to Lyme Park, so I was excited to see the deer, gardens and of course the mansion house.
First impressions: Arriving at the outer gates of Lyme Park it was clear that the grounds were vast, the drive up to the car park from the gates must have been a mile at least! The long winding drive through the rolling hills revealed the Hunting Lodge, an impressive structure that sat proudly on top of the hill.
The Picnic: We arrived around lunchtime, so we set about having our picnic pretty much straight away. Theresa made gluten-free sausage rolls and potato salad, Mother had packed a veritable feast including our favourite homemade Glo bars and I brought the dips and chips- perfect! The sun was beaming down on us as we grazed and napped in the heat.
Following our picnic we dumped our bags in the car and set off exploring beautiful Lyme Park…first stop the Hunting Lodge!
The Hunting Lodge: The first building you see upon entering Lyme Park is the rather impressive Hunting Lodge, the first structure was built on this site in 1580 and was later rebuilt in 1737 and repurposed as a place to lock up prisoners! The Lodge is very symmetrical and felt a little like something from a Monty Python sketch as we approached, like we should’ve have been clapping a pair of coconut halves together and galloping in a comedic fashion (in case you don’t know the scene, watch it HERE)At the very top of the hill we sat in front of the lodge, due to its elavated position it was pretty windy (which was most welcome as the sun was hotting up) it proved a great place to sit and stare at the view.
The Mansion House: Lyme Park mansion house is the largest in Cheshire and dates back to the 16th century. Most unusually, the house was privately owned by the Legh family from 1346 and was passed down through the generations right up until 1946, when it was given to the National Trust.
The Gardens: Lyme Park mansion house is surrounded by extensive parklands (1,359 acres!) with mature trees and deer that graze peacefully. Immediately surrounding the house are 15 acres of formal gardens, including the beautiful Italian Gardens, the rose garden and an of course an orangery. I particularly appreciated the Italian Garden and only wish I could’ve seen it a week or two earlier when the tulips would have been in full bloom!
What could be better than a sunny day, family, walks and a delicious picnic! Ah the unbridled joys of spring…
‘Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower’ -Hans Christian Andersen