In keeping with Lymm's appreciation of picturesque and truly wonderful landscapes, there's a beautiful selection of stunning parks, gardens/historical estates to go and enjoy all. With a superb display of wildlife, flowers/flora, historical architecture and some exception gardens there's some fascinating places to explore for a very pleasurable day out.
For a unique home and garden experience, head to Willow Pool Garden Centre, Lymm's very own unofficial open-air horticultural museum. The 6 acre, 15 year old establishment is renowned for weird /wonderful collections of antics and furniture. From the chimney pots, decorated railings, and selection of water fountains to the attractive array of mirrors, lamps, fireplaces and other very random yet beautiful interiors, the place is packed to be brim with treasures. Wander round in amazement in what can only be described as a magical Aladdin's cave!
Take a stroll around the stunning garden and plant areas and be truly inspired by the mix and match of unexpected items. The listed pond is home to ducks, displays and even a pirate! With the delightful combinations of statues, old fairground figures and antique baths the garden art is truly exhilarating.
An absolute essential experience at the centre has to be a trip to the tea room. With a scrumptious selection of coffees and hot chocolate and some truly legendary puddings it's a tea room with a taste to meet the equally mind boggling surroundings.
Set in 1000 acres of stunning parkland, Tatton Park is a place full of treasures. The lakes, woods and tree-lined avenues provide a fantastic setting for walking, fishing or enjoying a picnic. With herds of red and fallow deer there's some beautiful wildlife to be seen. The 50 acres of fine gardens offer a huge selection of superbly kept landscapes from grand vistas to secluded beauty spots. The truly inspiration setting can be seen as one of England's finest landscapes and features some award winning gardens.
Why not explore the two historical houses and get a real feel for the heritage of the place. With the richly decorated neo-classical interior and wonderful collections of furniture, glass ware, porcelain and fine art the rooms of the mansion create a historical atmosphere. The huge kitchen and servant quarter help to create a picture of the domestic lifestyle at the time. With its magnificent presence, this mansion really helps to enrich the unique value of the park. The Tudor Old Hall supplements the history of the estate, where you can take a tour and learn some interesting facts about the people of the Tudor times. To top it all off, a working farm, speciality gift shops and enjoyable programme of special events add to the character of the park.
One of the North West's great gardens, Dunham Massey boasts a truly beautiful ancient garden filled with ponds, tree-lined avenues and wildlife. The 250 acre deer park is a fascinating spot to view the fallow deer and many rare birds. Explore its attractions such as the fully restored giant waterwheel by the sawmill, or the stunning Georgian mansion. The elegant building is packed with marvellous compilations of artwork and furniture. It is home to some of the finest collections of Huguenot silver in Britain. A glimpse of how the country house was run can be witnessed 'below stairs' in the service wing. Other attractions of the park include a magnificent plantsman's garden filled with native favourites, a rare Victorian bark house and a Georgian orangery. Why not take part in a guided tour of the mansion and be captivated by the fascinating tales of scandal and romance of the family history, before treating yourself to one of Dunham's famous cream teas and a delicious cake from the generous range on offer in the tea room.
With over 100 acres of gardens and parkland, Arley Hall is a truly charismatic place with an ancient history. It has been owned by the same family for more than 500 years. The original hall can be dated back to 1486 when it was built by Piers Warburton, along with the cruck barn and other outbuildings. The present hall and chapel which are built in the Victorian-Jacobean style were constructed by Rowland Egerton-Warburton between 1832-1845. With its glorious library, superb collection of family furniture and pictures, and the fine plaster work and panelling the hall has a unique charm and character.
Voted one of the top 50 gardens in Europe, the beautiful Grade II listed gardens and parkland provide a fascinating variety of landscapes and designs. It's easy to see how it can be ranked amongst the finest in the country with its double herbaceous border, a pleached lime avenue and a walkway of Quercus Ilex shaped like giant cylinders. Not to mention the herb garden, yew hedges, walled gardens and fine collections of roses, rhododendron and azalea shrubs. With a delightful gift shop and beautifully converted 16th century barn to go for lunches and refreshments the park makes for a great day out. Special events are often held here including the Arley Garden Festival, the Arley County Fair, the Christmas Floral Extravaganza, along with a variety of concerts, weddings, dinners, cocktail parties and corporate events.
With rolling parkland/ spacious lawns, Walton Hall Gardens was originally part of a much larger estate purchased by the Greenall family in 1812. The wealthy family were famous for their success in the brewery industry. The estate was bought by the Warrington Borough Council in 1941 and since 1945 has been made available for the public to enjoy and explore.
The beautiful ornamental gardens feature a variety of trees and plant life from all over the world and there's some equally exciting wildlife to be found. With woodland birds, busy squirrels and even the old weasel there's plenty of creatures to look out for. Bats, foxes and owls are also usually spotted in the evening. The Heritage Centre by the old stable yard is home to some fascinating possessions and belongings that give a glimpse on what life use to be like on the Walton Estate in the 19th Century. Exhibitions also include a tour of the natural history room which features a bird watching window over the feeding yard, and an insight into the life of Lewis Carroll- a locally born author. The children zoo has to be one of the most popular attraction with an excitement assortment of birds and animals.
Outdoor games such as golf and bowls also go down well with the parks visitors or if you'd rather, why not treat yourself to a coffee and cake from the wide selection at the park's