Lyme Park – National Trust

Lyme Park – National Trust

We live close to Lyme Park, which is a National Trust site yet it isn’t somewhere I have ever taken the children.

On the final Friday of the school summer holidays we went to Lyme Park and met my mum, auntie, my cousin and her two boys. The weather forecast was for a dry day with rain expected around 4pm. We decided to take a picnic and planned to head up to the gardens and take on the Gruffalo trail that had been there over the summer period.

Lyme Park Gruffalo trail

My mum and the children and I got there around 10am. It costs £7 to park up so after parking up we headed across to the children’s play area. This is pretty good and has stuff to cover most age ranges. Mr D and Miss E had great fun running through the tunnels and clambering over the tree trunks. My cousin and her children along with my auntie arrived not too long after and her boys (who are a little older) soon headed up the climbing frames and slides.

Lyme Park Playground

My cousin’s youngest son got stuck at the top of one of the climbing frames, and, as the park was beginning to get busy, I climbed up to help him down. Climbing frames are not made for 30+ year old mums! He then headed off to the large slide with Mr D and they had great fun sliding down together.

Mr D and my cousin’s son (W) then headed back across and onto the climbing frame. Luckily W was much more confident second time around and managed to get up and across the rope bridge. Mr D, however, panicked slightly. Had it not been so busy I think he would have got across the rope bridge. However there were children much older than him who didn’t really want to wait whilst he made his way (slowly!) across. He then looked to me and declared that he needed help. So, up I clambered again to bring him down.

We then headed out to find a picnic spot. Miss E was on my back and my cousin and I headed back to the car. Only half way there the heavens opened. And I mean opened. So much for the dry day that had been forecast! We had nowhere to shelter at the time and the rain was bouncing down. We made it across to a small covered area close to the car park and waited for the rain shower to pass. It did and by the time we had got the picnic from the car and found somewhere to sit it was glorious sunshine again!

The children enjoyed their picnic so we then headed up to the gardens. It’s a steep walk up but they all managed it. As we were in the queue to get tickets Mr D got very fidgetty and declared he needed the loo. A frantic run to the toilets and we found a queue where people had been waiting 20+ minutes. When I asked if he could go ahead (you know with him being only 2 and quite literally dancing he needed the loo so much) I was greeted with a ‘well we’ve all had to queue’ so I dashed out and into the (thankfully empty!) disabled toilets.

Lyne Park Gardens

By this point I was feeling pretty harassed but we found  my cousin and headed into the gardens and sought out the Gruffalo trail, much to the children’s delight.

Lyme Park Gruffalo trail

The gardens are beautiful. They really are and it’s worth a visit. We followed the trail and found ourselves in a sensory garden which the children all enjoyed. The full trail takes you on a lovely walk all around the gardens and we had great fun spotting the Gruffalo footprints and various characters and were having a lovely time until the heavens opened. Again. We took shelter under some trees only to set off again into yet more rain.

Lyme Park sensory garden
Lyme Park sensory garden

We hurried along the final bit of the trail as we had four tired children on our hands and we were all slightly soggy after being caught in too many rain showers. We did stop by to see the exhibition of original artworks by Axel Scheffler and this was superb. Children’s book illustrators are so important and it was great to see the wonderful work of Axel being recognised independently of Julia Donaldson.

Lyme Park Gruffalo trail

Lyme Park is a lovely place to spend the day. I think if you had a larger family and were visiting the gardens and hall then it could work out expensive. D and E were free (due to age) but it cost me around £14 for the gardens and parking. It was a full day out, and a one off but not something I could afford on a regular basis. If we had National Trust membership it would be a far better option, and as I’ve mentioned before membership is something we might think about soon.

Lyme Park is a National Trust site and has a lovely extensive play area and gardens to explore. The perfect family day out

Life Unexpected



  1. 8th September 2015 / 06:43

    The sensory walk looks like a great idea. We’ve lived 30 mins from lyme park for 8 years now and I still haven’t visited. I must take the ladybird soon.

  2. 15th September 2015 / 12:42

    It does sound like a lovely place. We have just joined NT and so far, it’s definitely been worth it.
    Shame about the showers, but it’s still nice to have a day out with family and the Gruffalo trail sounds like a hit with the sensory garden.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

  3. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)
    15th September 2015 / 20:40

    Sounds like a great day though boo to all of the rain!! I visited lyme park in prw children days and thiught it was gorgeous. Looks like a fantastic gruffalo trail for the kids too and how wonderful to see all the original artwork too! Xx

  4. 15th September 2015 / 22:27

    Flipping eck places can be expensive. We try to do a lot of things during the annual Heritage Open Days to cut expense. I love the idea of a trail for little kids and hope we can find one when my Lil Miss is old enough to toddle round one. #LetKidsBeKids

    • 17th September 2015 / 07:58

      Yes they can be cant they! We had planned to do stuff over the heritage weekend too but my children were a but snuffly with colds etc so we did a trip to a model railway exhibition then a lazy afternoon x

  5. 7th October 2015 / 09:40

    We have National Trust membership and it really does pay for itself throughout the year – get one! #whatevertheweather

  6. bekalynn02
    7th October 2015 / 14:19

    What a beautiful and educational place for kids! Linking up with you at #whatever the weather 🙂

  7. 7th October 2015 / 21:26

    That looks a fantastic place to visit. I would love to go on a Grufallo trail, and I imagine the kids would love it too!! A shame it was raining later on, but you seem to have managed to have a lot of fun before they were too tired. I would have been so annoyed at the others in the toilet queue if they wouldn’t let a 2 year old go first, clearly they need to go as soon as they tell you and not wait in a 20 minute queue! Oh well, at least there was a disabled toilet available.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  8. 8th October 2015 / 21:21

    We saw Lyme Park at the Manchester Dig this City festival over the summer and had great fun doing some wild art with them. The Gruffalo art exhibition looks fab, wish we had managed to get there but it’s just a bit too far for us for a day out.

    • 9th October 2015 / 20:20

      the Gruffalo exhibition was really good – I think it is touring so you might be able to see it somewhere closee to you x

      • 9th October 2015 / 20:50

        I hope so! (Although I sometimes think I’m more the Julia Donaldson fan than my boys!) have you seen the news that the BBC are doing a Stick Man animation to be on at Christmas? I can’t wait! x

        • 10th October 2015 / 19:23

          yes I saw that – we LOVE stick man here too xx

  9. 9th October 2015 / 15:11

    We used to be member of the NT and it was great if you use it (even if just for the free parking!) It is something we will definitely do again when baby is a bit older. We visited Lyme Park last year and really enjoyed it, I’d love to go again one day #whatevertheweather

    • 9th October 2015 / 20:19

      yes, I think it’s worth it if you use it… but I don’t tend to go to many NT places. We keep thinking about it though x

  10. 11th October 2015 / 19:24

    I really think investing in a National Trust membership would be worthwhile too. Thanks for reminding me to get one! 😉

    This place looks so cool. We are HUGE, HUGE fans of the Gruffalo in our house. Our daughter would love it here! (ok I lie I’d love it here!)

    I’m glad the rain didn’t ruin the day too much. The play park sounds like it would be great if it was quiet. I’m sure in no time your cousins youngest will be play park confident. It can be so hard taking small ones to parks when they’re busy can’t it.

    The people not letting you queue jump have made me so annoyed for you!! Some people are unbelievable. You really can’t help it if you’re 2. I’m glad you managed to find an alternative toilet.

    Thank you so much for linking to #whatevertheweather lovely xx

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