Mud, deer and plane spotting

Last Sunday we had planned to spend the day in Wales visiting Aber Falls & Conwy Castle. We had bought the picnic food the day before, planned our route, charged the cameras and I even bought new walking boots as my old ones had died a horrible death several weeks back and I have been wearing my trusty welly boots everywhere since then

Unfortunately, we had to postpone our trip into Wales for a few weeks and we found ourselves stumped on where we could spend the day on such short notice. We decided we did not want to travel far but really wanted to go somewhere we had not been before. So, I suggested Tatton Park!

This is when hubby looked at me with a puzzled look and gently asked me if I was OK as we had been to Tatton many times over the years, from visiting the Farm with school, running the 5k Race for Life, wandering around VW Northwest and visiting the Mansion and Gardens at least once a year. It was definitely not somewhere new and different!

But I pointed out to him that for all the times we have visited Tatton Park (and it is a lot!) we had never walked around the parkland. We had always visited the attractions, wandered around the courtyard and visited events on the field but we had never walked onto the parkland. I had only ever seen the deer as we drove in or out of the park. So it was decided, we would visit Tatton Park.

We arrived at the park around 11am, driving along the avenue past the deer and towards the main carpark nearest to the courtyard and farm. It was very busy when we arrived and we were a little unsure as to whether or not we had made the right decision to visit on a Sunday. Mia can be very nervous around dogs, especially small ones and there appeared to be a lot of small dogs all pulling their owners around and yapping at each other. We managed to find a quiet picnic table towards the end of the courtyard and we tucked into our picnic, distracting Mia from the other dogs with a cocktail sausage now and again.

There is plenty to see and do here, with a café, gift shop and “farm shop” all open and offering all the standard “National Trust” wares. We have visited the Gardens many times over the years and love the events they hold. During this half term they have a scarecrow trail which is movie themed, however, dogs are not allowed into the gardens so we had to give this a miss this time.

Upon heading into the Parkland we found that we also left the crowds behind. Tatton Park has over 1000 acres of parkland to explore so we were able to wander along for nearly all of walk avoiding bumping into anyone. A few doggies would trot over and say hello and Mia made friends with a beautiful Retriever who wanted to play, but on the whole we felt like we had the park to ourselves

Mia loved running through the long grass and kept sticking her head into the occasional rabbit hole. She was particularly intrigued by all the mole hills and gave quite a few of them a really good sniff!

We headed towards the old hall and followed the boundary of the park in an anti-clockwise direction. The parkland is beautiful, full of ancient woodlands, babbling streams, lake and of course mud!. Even though it was an overcast day we still had stunning views towards the Peak District hills and could watch the planes taking off from Manchester airport.

Eventually we came across some of the deer, all stood together, some keeping their watchful eye on us. Mia really wasn’t bothered by them and carried on her merry way getting more and more muddy by the minute. But it was lovely to see them “up close and personal” and not just from the car window

We arrived back at the car 3 hours later, 4 miles under our belt and freezing cold. But we had all had a lovely walk and we were ashamed that we had never taken advantage of such a lovely parkland before.

I love Tatton Park and have fond memories of visiting over the years, but it was lovely to make some new memories together as a family – from our daughter being daft and saying that beavers lived in the mole hills to Mia running straight through 7inches of mud and stopping to look at us as if to say “ha, look at this guys! good luck cleaning me later!!” Husband even had us in fits of giggles as he tried to track the deer footprints, however, there were hundreds of prints and he had us laughing at him as he spun round in circles pretending to be a professional tracker

We are definitely guilty of taking Cheshire for granted but we are proud to call it our home and welcome anyone who wants to come and visit! So, if you are ever stuck for somewhere to visit – head to Tatton Park, leave the attractions and the noise behind and head out into the rolling green parkland and enjoy some fresh Cheshire air, you won’t regret it!

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