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Time Off: A grand day out; Mike Price and his family lord it around stately Lyme Park.

Byline: Mike Price

OH my giddy Aunt, this place is big'' said Ash a when we entered Lyme Park. Now we have no idea who the giddy aunt is -but we have no hesitation in agreeing with our young daughter on the size and splendour of Lyme Park and Hall -the setting for Pemberley in the BBC's adaptation of Pride And Prejudice and the scene of Colin Firth's fully-clothed dive into the lake.

Lyme Park sits on the edge of the Peak District and is home to a wonderful mansion house,graceful gardens and glorious sceney.

It is huge and it takes an age before you arrive at the car park from the entrance gates. One of the first sights you see is the Cage,an 18thcentury hunting lodge which is surrounded by a medieval deer park.

Before we started our sightseeing we ate in the Ale Cellar restaurant. The food was lovely, reasonably priced and set us up for the rest of the trip.

As the weather was nice we decided to walk through the gardens which boast impressive bedding schemes, a sunken parterre and an Edwardian rose garden.

Sadly for Ash a the rose garden was not quite blooming but the rest of the garden -famed for its displays of daffodils and tulips in April and May -got the kids' seal of approval.

On the walk around the gardens it is amazing to think of anyone actually living here -this was the seat of the Legh family for 600 years before it passed to the National Trust.

As well as the 17 acregardens, which are home to the superb reflection lake, the reare also 1,400 acres of woodland,parkland and moorland.

Francescaand Ash a enjoyed running free around the miles of pathways which span the gardens and, even though it was a busy weekend, you could still find plenty of space.

We reluctantly left the gardens to visit the house which was originally a Tudor mansion. I think Ash a summed it up by saying: ``This is a bit bigger than our house,isn't it Dad?'' Well,only a little bit dear!

The inside of the house is grand to say the least and when we were there they had a trail for the kids, which meant they where occupied while we could look at the paintings, tapestries and decor of each room. Francesca was so impressed she fell asleep. Asha,however,is intrigued by ``the old days'' and loves stately homes.

Winding our way through the house took the best part of an hour.

Asha completed her trail and received a chocolate treat for her troubles,as did Francesca in spite of her more leisurely take on the trail.

Outside,Francescaawoke and was ready to run around again.

Now with their faces full of chocolate the kids ran themselves sleepily through the deer park where Ash a spotted Bambi. After a little time marvelling at all the animals and birds, we left for home.

We took away with us two shattered children and some great memories.

Fact file

Address: Lyme Park,A6,Disley, Cheshire.

Tel: 01663 762 023 n

Opening: House -until October 30,1pm to5pm. Park -until October 31,8am to 8.30pm.Garden -until October 30,11am to5pm.(Times vary after that).

Admission: House and garden: adult, pounds 5.80; child, pounds 2.90; family, pounds 12.50.House only: adult, pounds 4.20; children, pounds 2.10.Garden only: adult, pounds 2.70; children, pounds 1.40.

Directions: By road,entrance is on the main A6, six miles from Stockport and 14 miles north west of Buxton. By train,Lyme Park is half a mile from Disley Station.


STATE OF EXCITEMENT: Ash a pretends to be a statue at Lyme park (right)
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 20, 2004
Previous Article:Time Off: Kids with an arty touch.
Next Article:Time Off: Arabella McIntyre-Brown.

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