With Britain's wet and wild winter weather taking hold at the moment you would be forgiven for thinking days out and about exploring might be limited for the coming weeks. But that shouldn't stop you planning ahead and so this month we're bringing you a dog walk we think you'll love.
As we continue our series finding the best pockets of the UK to visit and explore with your trusted four-legged friend, this month we visit the Lyme Park Estate in Stockport.
Those of you who have watched (and re-watched) the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice will immediately recognise this estate for its infamous scene with Mr Darcy, but its history dates back to the Edwardian era.
Photo Credit: Joe Wainwright
Located on the edge of the Peak District, Lyme Park is a 1,300 acre estate. In its heyday it was a great sporting estate and is still home to a medieval herd of red and fallow deer who enjoy roaming the hills. The photograph, below, shows where they roam today. It also shows 'The Cage', an 18th century hunting lodge at Lyme Park.
Photo Credit: MartinHansV
Originally granted to Sir Thomas Danyers in 1346 by Edward III, for his service to the Black Prince in the Battle of Crécy, the estate passed through the generations of the Legh family.
When in 1415 Sir Piers Legh II, who then managed the estate, was wounded in the Battle of Agincourt, his mastiff stood over and protected him for many hours through the battle. His mastiff was later returned to Legh's home and this began the estate's association and love affair with all things canine. His mastiff became the foundation of the Lyme Hall Mastiffs, which were well regarded until the line died in the early 20th century.
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The estate was built onto over the years with additions (such as the formal gardens), restorations and changes made by the generations who managed the estate but in 1946 Richard Legh, 3rd Baron Newton, gave Lyme Park to the National Trust.
The home closes for the winter period but the grounds of the estate are still open. If you're looking to experience a shorter walk, you can stroll around the Edwardian rose garden, ravine garden or around the lake (where Mr Darcey met Miss Bennett on the TV show).
Those of you looking for a longer more energy consuming walk can take in much more of the estate. Countryfile have a recommended path that's well worth considering and will see you cover more than five miles! You can find their recommended trail here: http://www.countryfile.com
In addition to this recommended trail, there are others which start a little outside the estate but venture through, such as the Nelson's Pit Walk number 2. More can be found about this here: http://www.visitcheshire.com/
Photo Credit: Duncan Hull
The estate has huge potential to explore and enjoy, from the roaming countryside and woodland surrounding you can see why this beauty spot is as popular as it is with fellow Jane Austin buffs, walkers and dog lovers alike.
How to find the Lyme Park Estate
Parking located nearby at the Middlewood Way car park off Lyme Road.