It was a beautiful autumn day on Sunday. far too nice to stay in doors decorating the house. So after dinner (the midday meal in the north of England) we decided to drive over to Dunham Massey, the property, gardens and deer park owned by the National Trust – the painting can wait until a rainy day!
Dunham Massy is south of Manchester on the border with Cheshire (although historically in the county of Cheshire) on the outskirts of Altrincham. The house and estate used to be owned by the Earls of Stamford and was left to the Trust when the last Earl died childless in the mid 1970’s. We’ve visited the estate many times before as it’s only about 30 or 40 minutes drive away. We didn’t bother going inside the house but spent a pleasant afternoon walking round the gardens and parkland. Lots of other people, not surprisingly, had had the same idea so the park was busy. There’s a large car park so we were able to find a space but it was pretty full.
The park and gardens are very flat, and although I like a few hills to climb, sometimes it’s nice to have an easy walk in some pleasant surroundings.
Given the time of year the trees were displaying their autumn colours. In a few weeks there probably won’t be many leaves left on their branches but they looked very attractive.
There’s a good selection of plants in the garden providing colour and interest throughout the seasons
The NT are continuing to develop the garden. They’ve added plants that display colour and create interest to create a winter garden and we noticed that they’ve been creating a new rose garden that will open next summer.
There was a great view over the lake at the back of the house
Walking around the park we spotted some deer
near to the “deer shelter” – a folly really as deer don’t like being indoors.
As it was the rutting season the majority of the herd had retreated to the deer sanctuary. There were some strange noises coming out of there as the stags were trying to attract mates and we spotted some stags and does in the distance almost hidden amongst the trees and bracken.
We carried on walking through the parkland back towards the house, past the ponds that were originally used to supply water to the estate.
We had a coffee and cake in the cafe, upstairs in the old stable block before heading back to the car and setting off back home.