Lyme Park

Small daughter, having got back into the late starts and even later evenings with remarkable ease over the Easter holidays, is not looking forward to going back to school tomorrow, as you can imagine!

Me, on the other hand … I’m looking forward to the routine of the weeks again.  Not the early alarm call, to be sure, but the up-and-out by 8.30am so that I’m ready to get into my work day when I get back.  Ha!  I say “work” and it’s certainly true that working for yourself means you often work far harder than you ever would in an office working for someone else, but I love what I do so it never feels like work at all.

Still, I have enjoyed taking it more slowly for the last couple of weeks and it won’t be long before the schools break up again at the end of May … this year is really trundling past at a rate of knots, isn’t it?

Small daughter and I went out for the afternoon on Thursday.

A stately home seen across a lake.  There are daffodils around the lake and a blue sky above

Do you recognise it?  It’s Lyme at Disley, near Stockport, but if you ever watched the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, you might recognise the house as Pemberley.  Small daughter decided over Christmas that she wanted to read the book (I don’t know if she’s actually finished it though!), watch the TV series (she thought Colin Firth was rather dashing as Mr Darcy) and watch the later film (she was less taken by that Mr Darcy, although I’m sure he’s a lovely man) and to visit Pemberley as she discovered that it isn’t too far away from us.

She also wanted to see this …

A sculpture of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the lake at Lyme Park
Source: https://www.austenauthors.net/a-tour-of-estate-houses-used-in-pride-and-prejudice/

It’s a 12ft Colin Firth as Mr Darcy in the lake outside the house, put there to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice – although as you’ll see from my photo above, he’s no longer there (the man in the ticket kiosk didn’t sound too sad about that when we asked him about it!).  

I’m not quite sure why the TV series had Mr Darcy diving into the lake as Mr Darcy doesn’t do that in the book, but I am quite sure it did Mr Firth’s career no harm!

Anyway, small daughter soon got over her disappointment and we were able to tour the gardens with the dog (who came with us to see Colin but didn’t say if he was disappointed about him not being there or not).  

There are walks around the lake and through the woods, with a small stream running down to the big lake you can see.  The walk along the stream is called Killtime which seems like an odd name for a footpath, but I imagine that it was used just for that as there wouldn’t be nearly as many distractions for earlier inhabitants of the house as there would be today!

A small wooden hut and bridge over the stream leading from the lake at Lyme

A view of Lyme house across the gardens with the orangery on the right.  There are ornate borders filled with narcissi

A closer view of the house.  The sky is blue and the sun is shining on the brickwork

From the house, we walked up a hill just outside to a structure called The Cage which has been variously a hunting lodge, watchtower, banqueting room, holding prison for poachers awaiting trial and a home for estate workers.  

A square building sits on a hill in the distance.  It is surrounded by more hills and the sky is blue with white clouds

A closer view of the square building on the hill

Small daughter took the next two photos.  We’d thought from a distance it looked like the Tower of London, but as we got closer we thought that even more!  Oh, and in case you’re wondering (and so that I can remember in the future!), the flag is at half mast to commemorate the death of Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, who died on 9 April 2021 at the age of 99.

A worn footpath across a grass bank leading to a square stone building with symmetrical windows, turrets and a flag at half mast

A square stone building on a grassy hill.  There are 8 windows and turrets on each side.

We couldn’t go inside but I found this video on YouTube from a day when it was opened to the public if you’d like to take a look.

If you look at the middle window on the left, you can see that it’s not a real window at all.  Small daughter had never heard of the Window Tax in the 1700s (a property tax based on the number of windows in your property – you can see bricked up windows in lots of buildings from that period once you know to look for them!) and we found sundials (you can see one of them above the big window in the centre) on three of the faces so we had a discussion about why that might be and why they might all have their numbers in different places.  It’s not something you need to think about when your clock doesn’t rely on the sun!

It was a glorious day, you could see for miles.  This view is across Manchester and although you may not be able to, we could see each of the tall buildings as they rose out of the cityscape.  Small daughter had been into Manchester with her friends the day before and couldn’t quite believe that the place that had seemed so enormously big to her when she was there was now contained within a photograph on a phone.  Perspective is a funny thing, isn’t it?  

A view across rolling green fields to Manchester

We walked back down to the house.  I’d promised small daughter an ice cream in lieu of a view of Colin and personally, I think that was a better deal as it was very good ice cream from the kiosk in the car park.  

Imagine if you were walking down this hill knowing that “home” was just over there … now that makes my mind boggle!  

A large stately home sits at the bottom of a hill.  The path is leading to the house

I just had to take a photo of this tree, too, although I don’t know if a photo will quite show off what I could see.  The leaves were starting to show and they were shining gold in the sunlight, it lo0ked quite amazing.

New leaves are shining gold on a large tree outside a stately home

The sun is shining again today so I’m going to spend some time in the garden before sitting down with my knitting and a brew.  

I’ll be back soon – I hope you have a lovely day too! 

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10 Responses

  1. LuAnn Ferrin says:

    Thank you so much for the lovely article about your trip. You would make a wonderful travel guide. My distant relatives lived in the Cambridge area. Their house also had limited windows. I appreciate all you do for this group.

  2. Juliana says:

    I am a total anglophile, and I absolutely LOVE Pride and Prejudice (the book, but also the A&E production), so your post today was wonderful reading for me! I had no idea that there had ever been a Colin Firth statue in the lake, and I love that idea!

  3. Judith says:

    Lyme was my “house” at school (Macc. High)

  4. mary's twin says:

    Thank you so much for the tour. Is this a private home or a museum?

  5. kathleenalice says:

    Thank you for the lovely post. Lyme Park is on our to do list, even more so after seeing your photos 😃

  6. Carol Fieldhouse says:

    We have been up to Lyme regularly during lockdown, as it’s local to us in Macclesfield- another great walk is up to the Bowstones, on the edge of the park. More stunning views and apparently Robin Hood and his men used the stones to help re-string their bows…..

  7. Maggieann says:

    What lovely pictures and looked such a beautiful day makes you want to go and have a look but we live too far away. Look forward to your email blogs arriving so I can start my day with good thoughts. Margaret 😘

  8. Susan Rayner says:

    We visted Lyme Park when we came and stayed for The Open (when we met up at Black Sheep Wools) lovely scones in the tea room there as well as the lovely walks – the house is beautiful inside too! So nice to see it in sunshine – it was pouring with rain whe we were there – typical July summer holiday weather! Such good photos! Enjoy the normal routine again!

  9. irune says:

    What a beautiful place to spend some time outdoors!! I'm sure you enjoyed the visit a lot😉

  10. happy hooker says:

    It's a long time since I've been to Lyme Park. Once things open up properly, I must visit again, and have a nosy round the house, too! xx

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