Earlier in the month we decided to take advantage of the clear skies and head out to nearby Dunham Massey.
Dunham Massey is situated in Altrincham, Cheshire and it was very easy to find, taking us about an hour to reach from Southport. It is owned by the National Trust and consists of an ancient deer park, winter gardens and a beautiful Georgian house. I always love driving through Cheshire as it's such a stunning part of the country. With clear blue skies, the sun beaming down and rolling green countryside surrounding us, it felt like the perfect day to head out. If only the outside temperature could have been as generous!
One of the main draws for us visiting Dunham Massey were the gardens and the ever increasing signs of Spring that we were hoping to discover. Snowdrops, daffodils even some irises were all in appearance during our visit and although it was bitterly cold it was nice to see the signs of warmer times ahead beginning to crop up.
We weren't able to see inside the house (which might have been for the best with all the energy Eli had brimming inside him) and we ended up being too chilly to really make the most of the surrounding parkland but we spent a couple of hours exploring the gardens, completing a trail and visiting the Orangery where some children's activities were taking place.
The National Trust staff members we met were all very friendly and helpful, pointing out good places for us to explore, sharing with us about the activities in the Orangery and suggesting what we could do whilst at Dunham Massey.
One of the things I really like about the National Trust is that there are nearly always family fun activities taking place; ways to keep little ones interested. Dunham Massey is no different and both Meg and Eli enjoyed the puppet making on offer and the garden trail.
As it was a clear day, it was really quite busy when we arrived and we had to queue for a short time to get into the car park. I can imagine that in the summer it would be even busier but the park is so big that it never really felt like we were on top of everyone else.
Feeding the ducks, tree climbing, running around; even if you don't head into the house then there is still lots to keep families occupied.
It would certainly be a great place to head in the summer, armed with a picnic and some garden games I can imagine spending many more hours just soaking up the picturesque surroundings. I can confidently say that we will be returning later in the year.
Dunham Massey is free entry for National Trust members. Paid entry is £14 an adult for entry to the House and Garden or £8.80 for access to the Gardens only.