Tatton Mere, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, England

Tatton Mere, Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire, England

Everyone needs to be able to fit in a quiet amble from time to time and Tatton Park next to the town of Knutsford should fit the bill with its thousand acres of parkland open to the public. Amazingly, that's in spite of the proximity of Manchester International Airport along with busy thoroughfares such as the M6 and M56 motorways and the A556 isn't quiet either as I discovered on my last visit to the area on a hot Sunday afternoon at the end of one May.

While it's the extensive parkland replete with its two meres, Tatton and Melchett, that is the major draw for me, there are other attractions too. First up, there aren't one but two halls. The older of the two, now restored, was used prior to the Egertons coming into possession of the estate in 1578 and is situated to the north of Tatton Mere. In fact, there was a village surrounding it that was removed as part of later landscaping works though signs of Tatton village still remain. The new hall is the better known of the two and sits on the site of that earlier building constructed by John Egerton on his arrival in the sixteenth century. The current one was built around the turn of the nineteenth century and is surrounded by formal and informal gardens, not inappropriate then that the RHS descends upon the place for a week every July.

A certain lack of descendants was what propelled the park into National Trust ownership in 1958 though there would seem to be little sign of that fact with the local authority taking on the actual management of the park, with Cheshire East Council having its signs everywhere. It isn't the only such property in Cheshire that has been handed over to the National Trust in undesirable circumstances with Lyme Park near Disley being a similar example.

See more photos from: Eastern Cheshire, England