We had a late start the morning we visited Lyme Park. My mother-in-law was flying into the Manchester Airport, and had planned Lyme Park for that day because it was less than 30 minutes away. Well, the best laid plans and all. My mother-in-law’s flight was an hour late getting in and a long line at customs delayed her. Fortunately, we hadn’t planned on picking her up right when her plane landed, so it wasn’t a big problem. Her not knowing what terminal she was in did, however! Then, traffic was a bear between the airport and the house.
First off, Lyme Park is huge! And I don’t just mean the house. There are outbuildings, which require a bit of a hike to visit, and that’s on top of the house–it took us over an hour to walk through the tour. Lyme Park is easily a days outing!
For those who know my Jane Austen obsession, a trip to Lyme Park was a necessity. I was eager to see the house that was the exterior of Pemberley in the 1995 BBC mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, and I enjoyed walking into the courtyard and down the paths that were featured in the movie.
Photographs are not allowed of the interior, which was a disappointment. Some of the furniture is on loan and privately owned, so they do not allow photography–much like featured shows in art museums and pieces on loan. There were some beautiful aspects of the house. It certainly shows its age with a few large cracks in a corridor where the house has settled.
Down in the servant’s area, near the butler’s pantry, they have a room of Edwardian clothing for people to dress up in, but my children showed no interest. One of my daughter’s mentioned later that the clothes smelled a bit funny and had pit stains.
I loved the orangery, which had an exhibition of Axel Scheffler, a german illustrator most famous here for his work on the Gruffalo. Once you walked through the plants on one side, there was a door that led back to the exhibition. The children present were thoroughly enjoying the pictures, which was nice to see.
Due to our later arrival, tea we had in the tearoom, and having to depart before closing to reach where we were staying for check-in, we did not get to explore a great deal of the gardens. We managed to view all of those around the house and some of the paths that circled the lake, so we could get the picture that is most commonly seen of Lyme Park.
I would love to go back to finish the walks around the grounds!
©L. L. Diamond 2015