In the beautiful Cheshire town of Knutsford, lies a precious, historical gem: Tatton Park and its gardens. Famous for its deer herds, long walk and beautiful mansion, Tatton simply must be visited. Knutsford town is the setting for Gaskell's Cranford and the filming location for Brideshead Revisted, so is steeped in culture and history. Walking on the grounds is ideal for any time of year, especially Boxing Day or a lazy summer's afternoon when there just doesn't seem to be anything to be done. You can bring your bikes, the children, your friends an the dog. The full walk from the gatehouse to the mansion is very long, but well worth it. The sights on the walk are wonderful for photographers, such as the lake, the deer, and the impressive sight of the Neo-Classical mansion coming into view as your walk comes to an end.
The grounds belong to the National Trust, and while walking is free, there is a fee to park your car or enter the attractions (including the rare-breeds farm, mansion and gardens) for non-members. Visitors at the mansion will also want to walk round the themed gardens, including the Japanese garden and species of plant from around the globe. The deer on the grounds are generally docile, but it is not recommended that you step near them or attempt to pet them. Those fascinated by history will also enjoy visiting the Old Hall, a Medieval structure built upon the ghost of the long-gone Tatton village. The only downside is that the grounds lie close to Manchester Airport, so there are often aeroplanes overhead.
Knutsford can be reached by train, which takes little more than 40 minutes, or accessible via the M56 or M6. In the summer, the grounds also play host to the Royal Horticultural Society's shows, as well as charity runs (like Race for Life), and Medieval Fayres concerned with the extensive history of the grounds. I once watched an adaptation of Cymbeline at the Old Hall, and found it to be the perfect setting.
There has been recent debate about a possible activity park being built upon the grounds, much to the displeasure of many residents of Cheshire. After one visit to Tatton Park, you will see just why the grounds must remain as perfect and unspoiled as they are, and not fall into the hands of a corporation.