Lyme Park

Given that I live in a city, getting out into the country tends to be a rarity for me now, but if I have a spare day, I love to travel out into the green and pleasant lands of the nearby Cheshire, Yorkshire or Derbyshire. Recently we drove to the beautiful Lyme Park in Cheshire for a day surrounding ourselves in the beautiful and opulent surroundings.IMG_1897 IMG_1468Built of rose-tinted stone and dominated by a large classical pedimented portico, with the large lead figures of Venus, Neptune and Pan astride, this is a grand imposing building. The land of Lyme was won for the Legh family in 1346 on the battlefields of Agincourt, and Lyme remained the home of the Leghs for 600 years, before passing to the National Trust. Any avid Pride & Prejudice fans may also recognise Lyme Park as the home of the swoon-worthy Mr Darcy.

Unfortunately an American media company had decided that we needed to have a reincarnation of the fictional heart throb, with a larger than life statue emerging from the lake in front of the house.IMG_1876I think it did actually have a fairly good likeness to Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy, but nevertheless, it was rather odd, and I don’t think that it particularly enriched the view! Apparently it’s only a temporary installation that the National Trust have been forced to accept, and won’t be there on an ongoing basis. Aside from this slightly bizarre modern intrusion, the rest of the gardens were gorgeous. The present layout and planting of the garden is essentially Victorian, with large expanses of lushious green grass, a gentle stream feeding the beautifully tranquil lake, and a series of formal walled gardens, filled with vibrant flowers.IMG_1874 IMG_1470 IMG_1902IMG_1894The Orangery had been beautifully restored and was wonderfully peaceful, with the gently trickling fountain and delicate flowers.Lyme Park Orangery Lyme Park Orangery FountainIMG_1893 IMG_1890 IMG_1889When I was little (well, littler than I am now!), whenever we visited National Trust houses, my parents always bought me the children’s guide book, which I would read aloud to the rest of the family, steering us round the property, sharing interesting facts and searching for any notable decorative features of the rooms. In time-honoured tradition, I again took control of the guidebook for our tour of Lyme Park. IMG_1465 IMG_1905I love learning about the history of an old house and the lives of the people who lived there. These must have been extraordinary families to be able to call somewhere like this their home and live in such splendour.

On a more girly note, the family portraits are always brilliant to see the changing fashions through the ages.

lym_loan_20-croppedHow awkward must it have been to wear a dress like this? Goodness knows how she was able to sit down!

Another thing that always blows my mind is how these massive places used to run without all of the modern conveniences of electricity and heating that we have today. They must have seemed very cold and dark in the winter when lit just by candle light and heated from the fireside.Lyme Park The Saloon towards the fireplace, mirror and walnut harpsichord, at Lyme Park, Stockport, CheshireThe sheer size of these houses is phenomenal and at times it can be hard to conceive that this was once somebody’s home, rather than the museum piece that it is today. These houses must have required a very large army of staff to maintain, from the estate manager, to the kitchen staff, to the footmen, to the gardeners.

Wandering around the stunning house and gardens, I try to imagine what it must have been like to have lived here, although I think that my glamourous Grandma would have made a much better lady of the manor than I would have! Grandma Lyme ParkIf you’re in the area, I’d really recommend paying a visit as you can spend all day walking around the wonderful park land, admiring the pretty gardens and gawping at the elaborate interiors. We ended up being super lucky with the weather on our visit, but we needn’t have worried, as the National Trust had a stash of cheeky umbrellas for any visitors at risk of getting wet!IMG_1872

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P.S. Thanks to the National Trust’s website for the pictures of the interiors, as visitors aren’t allowed to take any photographs inside!
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8 Responses to Lyme Park

  1. mature but mellow says:

    Some of your photos are of exceptional postcard quality!! A sunny day too, lucky you!

  2. Hannah says:

    I visited with my boyfriend it’s such a beautiful building such an amazing atmosphere x

  3. Sofie says:

    This is such a beautiful place to see in real life! I thought I recognised the castle from somewhere 🙂 My sister and I would love to visit other places like this on our next visit to England.
    Mr Darcy in the lake, it looks a bit creepy … Who came up with that idea, haha. The umbrella is so cute.
    You’ve made some gorgeous pictures of the view. I really like that because now I can enjoy those places of England where I haven’t been yet (but really want to go), from my home.

    Sofie x

  4. Karla says:

    Wow! That is amazing! It’s so beautiful. I’m so jealous. Now I want to go someplace nice. There has to be something worth seeing around here where I live. :/ Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos! 🙂

    I hope you’ll have a chance and stop by my blog. All about Beauty. Life. and DIY. If you ever have an OTD, LOTD, hair or nail tutorial, or a fun fashion DIY, I’d love for you to share it at “That’s my Style” Link party every Friday. Don’t have anything to share? Stop by anyway for beauty tutorial and fun DIY projects. Hope to see you there. 🙂

    Karla @

  5. What a gorgeous place, can’t say I’ve ever heard of it before now though but I know Yorkshire has a lot of similar places to visit! I love looking at the old portraits, especially those of the Tudor era and wondering who they were and what their life was like. I’m a bit of a daydreamer like that!

  6. Ruth says:

    Looks beautiful 🙂

  7. Krystal says:

    oooo!! What a beautiful place to spend the day! Looks like just the ticket!

  8. Pingback: Life lately | The New Northerner

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