While the 18th-century mansion at Tatton Park is certainly impressive, it’s dwarfed by the gardens and parkland surrounding it, in which you can quite easily get happily lost for a day. There are 50 acres of landscaped gardens to explore – our highlight being the Japanese Garden (you can view the Japanese garden from the perimeter, or step inside on a guided tour, which we’d really recommend enquiring about). Outside the gardens is a Repton-designed, 1,000 acre deer park, complete with red and fallow deer herds.
Like Tatton Park, it’s Dunham Massey’s gardens that we feel are the real attraction. We love its seven-acre Winter Garden, which features plants chosen for their colour, structure or scent during the winter months – including snowdrops, cyclamen and irises which you might just be able to catch the tail end of. But, at this time of year, it’s the impressive displays of bluebells, tulips and flowering trees such as magnolias and crab apples that we can’t wait to see. There’s also the deer park to discover which is home to an excellent selection of ancient trees (you can even download a walk to explore them all).
At only 40-minutes away from our store, we couldn’t not touch on a trip into Manchester itself. The city has a particularly interesting collection of museums and galleries to explore (and which will hopefully be open again soon): Manchester’s rich history as a setting for political and social change means the People’s History Museum is well worth a visit, as is the Science & Industry Museum, while bibliophiles shouldn’t miss out on Chetham’s Library (the oldest public library in the English-speaking world) or The John Rylands Library (a gothic masterpiece). And, for of the moment culture, we love Home – a contemporary art gallery, theatre and independent cinema.