I have been a bit under the weather recently so we decided to take it pretty easy on the weekend. A walk to the Trafford Centre on Saturday and some midday miles around Tatton Park on Sunday. A perfect way to get in some fresh air and exercise while not overdoing things.
I absolutely love Tatton Park in the autumn. There are plenty of trees turning all manner or oranges, yellows and browns to fill that part of the Pantone spectrum. Plus views of the low sun peeping through. Then as the day comes to a close, the setting sun in burnt oranges behind the silhouetted trees.
Picnic in the park
Well, it was actually more picnic in the car in the park! As it was rather chilly and we had to prepare our lunch we decided it was best done in the car. Parking up in the far car park over looking the lake we had the perfect view for lunching. I have to say that we are huge fans of picnic lunches as you can make the most of the day without spending much money. We all know how much buying out lunch adds up so bringing lunch makes it more fun and affordable.
And I think you’ll agree that this is a far better view than the inside of a crowded stuffy cafe somewhere! After filling out tummies we drove over to the main car park. It is a good place to start your walk as there are toilets, which is useful. The views aren’t so nice over that side though, hence the lakeside picnic.
Tatton Park is one of our favourite go to places for a walk when we need somewhere that will limit our exertion. It is pretty flat and has hard standing for wet days too, which is useful when you’re in the North! It also benefits us by being part National Trust. By part I mean that you still have to pay for parking as the parkland and car park are Council owned, but the Mansion and garden are National Trust. So you have extra places to explore, which is a nice addition when you need slowing down a bit.
We decided to stick to the hard road so that we could make sure we didn’t get too excited and clock up the mileage. And it worked out well for us to have a wander around Knutsford village, which we also enjoy.
Along the Mere
The main path takes you through the middle of the park and alongside Rostherne Mere. It is a great spot for seeing the vast array of autumnal colours on the different trees lining the mere.
The brilliant thing about the hard standing road in Tatton Park is that you can easily walk and it is accessible for buggies, wheelchairs and bikes. You do have to watch out for cars though as they do share the road. We tend to stick to the grass verge though as it is dry enough and means that you can nose around you without having to watch too closely for oncoming cars.
Low autumn sunshine and blue skies
That low autumn sun makes for the most glorious of sunburst through the trees. I think it has something to do with the sun and the amber leaves that I love so much about the season. Although, it did feel like we should have been clad in sunglasses and bobble hats judging by our often squinted eyes.
We carried on our walk all the way to the Knutsford entrance to the park, making sure to snap some autumnal pictures on the way. I always find it amazing how quickly autumn comes and then ends. Like with the blink of your eye. Now our cherry tree though, I know when that has done its autumn things when I have to spend the afternoon picking up soggy leaves! Who’d have a cherry tree, hey?
Knutsford is a lovely village with a lot of history – we are going to do the history trail one of these days! There are quite a few shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs and charity shops, so something to browse while you wander. The pavements are rather narrow though, so you do need to squeeze by oncoming people traffic from time to time.
I didn’t take many photographs on our Knutsford wander because of the blazing sun! I couldn’t get much with the sun shining beautifully into my lens. Especially as we were heading up and down narrow alleyways and back streets – you know what I’m like!
We wound around back streets, up through little hidden alleys and then made our way back towards Tatton Park. We didn’t want to spend too much time in the village as it is another trip that we have planned – to so the history trail. And besides, we had autumnal trees to enjoy. The village can be enjoyed when the leaves have gone in the park.
The setting sun
As we walked back into the park the sun began dipping behind us. The glow from the trees on the other side of the mere lighting up the way. I love the different colours that come through in the different light, even between a few hours.
Even the clouds decided to roll in to join in the orange fun! The smaller lake by the bird hide is always a great place to grab a photo of the changing sky and this occasion was no different. I caught the orange glow right over the water.
The final part of our walk was heading back towards the mansion and the main car park. It is another opportunity for looking back into the sunset (well, almost in this case as it was too early for it) and to enjoy the last bits of our evening miles.
The geese were out in full force too. There were loads of them swimming about in the lake breaking the silence with their honking. Not that we minded, we’re pretty big fans of geese.
Opportunity to look back
With the sun setting behind us, it gave us the perfect excuse to stop and look back every so often. Making sure that we didn’t miss any of the glorious orange clouds. Sometimes I really enjoy looking back on a walk so that I can see it from a new angle and enjoy the feeling of how far I have come. And when you see something like this behind you, you certainly have to stop to admire it for a moment or two at least.
I do actually love ending a walk with the sun setting and sending us into the early night. It kinds of feels like you’re getting that little bit of closure to the adventure and sends you into rest mode. Not that we managed much of that as we forgot to have a foot bath again! But you know what I mean, it gets you ready for relaxation
Winter is good for that and it was the early nights that we enjoyed very much on our new year trip to Aberdaron last year. Walking until nightfall and then coming home to light the log burner, slip on our slippers and relax without distraction. Cosy and warm.
Ahhh, now I really need to find somewhere with a log burner for this years getaway!
Have you been to Tatton Park? Do you have a favourite place to walk on autumn evenings?
Let me know in the comments below.
Tatton Park, Mereheath Dr, Knutsford WA16 6QN