An hour outside of Liverpool city centre and you’re in the affluent Cheshire East. It’s prime footballer country. (For any readers not from England, this is where you’ll find the plush homes of Wayne Rooney, Mario Balotelli etc. Heck, even David and Victoria Beckham lived here and average house prices in the ‘football belt’ triangle of Alderly Edge, Prestbury and Wilmslow.)
Nestled in the middle is 1,000 acres of deer park. Yes, among the £450,000 super cars (yup, you read that right) are elegant deer roaming freely. ‘What is the name of this little piece of serenity?’ I hear you ask. Why, it’s Tatton Park.
Tatton Park is a great day out at any time of the year, as there’s so much going on. For instance, history buffs can visit the Mansion and Old Hall, which dates back to the 1500s. Outdoors types can make the most of the formal gardens, or roam the park’s wilder areas. For younger visitors there’s also an adventure playground and miniature train that takes you round the estate.
Then there’s the farm. Oh the farm! This is where most of the visit was spent. The first residents we met were the two newly-arrived baby reindeers. Their cuteness meant that the doe-eyed calves got completely overlooked.
In addition to the usual suspects, I got to feed a pregnant donkey and get up close and personal with these guys:
Yes, I know, apologies, it’s the blurriest photo in the world – I was just too giddy. Even better, the good people at the farm run a rare breeds program.
It’s worth baring in mind though, that different attractions are open different times throughout the year. Our visit happened to be in low season, which meant the mansion wasn’t open. Personally, I wasn’t too bothered by this, preferring a leisurely walk through the grounds in the winter sun.
For me, the only downside really is the cost. Each individual attraction is around a fiver, although there are some more cost-effective ways – see below. We also managed to sneak in to the gardens for free, entirely by accident, after getting lost. Given the weather, the rose garden wasn’t exactly in bloom and the veg patch was rather barren, but still, there was something fascinating and gothic about the thorny rows of plants with no buds. It was also the perfect opportunity for my plus one and I to discuss his official name. You can find out what we plumped for here
And you’re off…
Tatton Park is easy to get to, with lots of information on the website. http://www.tattonpark.org.uk/default.aspx
It costs £5 to get in to the park by car.
Entry to the farm costs £5.50 With feed costing a snip at 50p
Entry to the gardens and mansion are also £5.50 each. It’s worthwhile buying a ‘Totally Tatton’ ticket, which for £10 per adult gains you entry to the mansion, old hall and gardens.
Tatton Park is looked after by the National Tust. Members can get free entry to the mansion and gardens, plus 50% off farm entry.