I am in the process of catching up on things since coming back from California! Not wanting to leave you without inspiration, here is a quick little post about our Autumnal wander at Tatton Park.
Even though the sky might be a little bit dull in the Autumn (not always, just sometimes!) it doesn’t mean that it is not nice out there. There are so many stunning golden and amber colours at this time of year that the colour of the sky is often negligible. Actually, I think that the grey skies make the leaves glow even more.
One of the main reasons that we like to go for a wander in Tatton Park during Autumn is because they have so many fantastic trees in varying colours that look stunning against the sky and the lake. Every year we make our Autumnal visit, wrapping up warm, and enjoying the views. Luckily it tends to be pretty quiet too, so we get unspoiled views and peaceful walks. Oh yeah and a great view of the majestic deer too!
Depending on time when we visit Tatton Park we try to get as longer walk in as possible. With the early sunset, this means that we can usually head over after lunch (or for a picnic) and make it around Tatton Mere from the playground car park and back again. It is a lovely walk and if the ground is muddy, there are usually places to leap from or balance so that you don’t get too bogged in!
The walk to the lake offers you the chance to nip to the loo and have a browse around the shops. Or you can even a walk around the garden if time permits. There is a Roald Dahl event on at the moment which is quite fun (even for adults)
From the shops, head past the house and turn past the War Memorial heading down the hill through the trees. This route takes you along the right hand side of Tatton Mere and gets you up close to the old Oak trees. You might also even catch a glimpse of some deer resting beneath the trees.
Follow the path
The way around the lake is easy to spot as you’ll see where everyone else has traipsed. This is also helpful for identifying boggy bits and the best way around them. There are parts where the small wall is the best option and you get to do your best impression of an Olympic gymnast as you walk across and dismount. It’s not just us who do that, right?
As it is still rutting season, you will want to keep a bit of distance from the large male deer as they can be a bit easily startled (which can cause them to charge). However, they do hang around a lot, so there are plenty of opportunities to get your zoom on and take some pictures. They really do look fantastic in the golden leaves with their huge antlers.
Playing in the leaves
I don’t think that it matters how old you are, you’re never to old to rustle your feet through the leaves!! And at Tatton Park, walking around the Mere, there are plenty of leaves to play in! We had a great time prancing about in them, listening to the crunchy sounds and watching them fall to the ground after kicking them into the air. There’s something totally transformative about playing outside – however
old young you are!
Towards the lake
The path will end at the Mere Entrance and lead you across the road to a tiny car park, this is where you head down to the waters edge. This part of the walk can go one of two ways – either really boggy or really dry. And you can never quite tell which it will be until you get there. Even if you know what the weather has been like.
On our visit the other week, despite the rain that we had it was pretty dry.
You will usually find a lot more dog walkers to this side of the walk – I think the dogs like the smell of this side much better… If you’re a fan of dogs, like I am the walk will take way longer than you think with having to say hello to them all!
As you follow the lake around, the path gets a little more uneven. You can walk on the road if you need a more stable surface and still get the enjoyment and views of the lake though. So you won’t miss out! We often walk on the road around this part when it is really soggy and muddy and we have inevitably forgotten our gaiters.
Follow the lake around and you will get to the perfect point to look back and see how far you have come. I say this because on a clear day, you can see the church in the distance and the lake in front which looks absolutely amazing. It wasn’t quite so clear when we were there and it was starting to get dark. I am sure you can see the beauty in it anyway though.
Back the same way
Rather than walking down the road, we like to cross over by the Allan Hide (bird hide) and head down past the other lake so that we get more of the grass beneath our feet being that we urban wander all the time. It is pretty good to walk on with worn paths and you get lovely views over the lake and towards the autumnal trees that we saw on the way in.
Follow this pathway around and it will lead you to the right and back up to the path that you started on. If you’re lucky there might be some more grazing deer for another photo opportunity.
Back to the courtyard and car park
This is only a small snippet of the amount of parkland that is available to explore! We like this little walk as it isn’t very hilly and perfect for a relaxed wander.
From the path, follow the road around towards the house and head into the courtyard for a final browse and toilet stop before walking back to the car park. There are often events going on in the Old Hall, so keep an eye on the website to see what is going on. Sometimes the events can mean that the car park is busy, but the walks are quiet.
When you need something to blow the cobwebs away and are looking for some wildlife, water and greenery, then Tatton Park is a good option for you. Quick and easy to get to in the car (there is a £6 parking fee) from the M56.
If you are yet to plan your weekend wanders, how about an autumnal wander at Tatton park before all of the leaves fall.
Here’s to getting outside this weekend and enjoying the fresh brisk autumnal air.
Remember to wrap up warm, it is going to be pretty chilly tomorrow!
Do you love autumnal walks? What is your favourite thing about Autumn?
Let me know in the comments below!
Tatton Park, Tatton Park Gardens, Mereheath Dr, Knutsford WA16 6QN
National Trust House and Gardens (charge applies to non-members)
Free toilets and big play area, dog friendly, cafe, restaurant, gift shops and local produce.