JC Travels: Dunham Massey + Hartshead Pike, Manchester UK
Although I’ve spent a whole lot of time up in Manchester in the past year, it is usually for work. This means I don’t usually get much time to explore. It’s more like work, grandparents, food, work and back to London. However, as my Manchester project is drawing to a close, I’ve been heading up on weekends instead. This is the perfect opportunity to get exploring the North, starting with this weekend – a trip to Dunham Massey and visiting the Hartshead Pike!
I love me some national trust and old country houses. Dunham Massey is found on the outskirts of Manchester, with a large house, gardens and a deer park. This was my second visit to the house since I moved back. It’s funny as the first time we visited, we noticed that some of the owners were ‘Booths’ – my surname. We always made a joke that this was our old family home. Since then, some of the family have done some geneology and traced the family line back to before 1000BC, and indeed somewhere in that plethora of people, is the owners of Dunham Massey! So really, it is like visiting the old family pad. If only it was still ours right?!
The first time I visited, we went into the house itself, wandering through the grand rooms and hearing more about Manchesters history. Going into the house also gives you access to the gardens, which are beautifully fashioned and full of sculptures. It really gives you a feel of how grand the houses would have been back when they were built – I mean they are still huge now, imagine it back then!
This time, as we were heading for lunch at 1.30, we just went for a walk around the deer park. This is free and you can get gorgeous views of the outside of the house, the pond and the local water mill. The park is huge and has a few wandering paths through the woodland, giving you some lovely views. You can easily walk around here for a couple of hours, and will hopefully get a view of some deer! They are also building a new visitors centre, and I have to say National Trust gift shops are always my fave, there is always some gorgeous UK art and bits and pieces – I have to be very strict with myself when I visit!
If you do visit the area of Dunham Massey, there are a lot of other properties also worth seeing – including Tatton Park and Quarry Bank Mill.
After our wander, we headed back for a bit of a pub lunch. We went to the Hare and Hounds in Luzley which is a country pub tucked away in the hills, only a few minutes drive from Ashton Under Lyne. The pub itself was lovely, and we got 3 course for £9.75!!! Starting with black pudding, a classic cheese and onion pie then all finished off with apple pie and custard. I can’t get over how good Northern prices are right?
Luckily, the pub is also near Hartshead Pike. The Pike is the big hill which overlooks Tameside and into Manchester. It was built as a celebration of a Royal wedding and used to be lit up to guide planes over the area. You can walk all the way up from Tameside to the Pike which we did see some walkers do, but as it was freezing, we drove round and parked near by.
Although the weather was freeeeezing, the pike and the city was extremely picturesque! The pike itself looks so impressive, big and tall over the green hilly surrounds. You also get a gorgeous view over the rest of Manchester, all the way to the city itself in the far distance. It’s a view you don’t get often when you are working and living in Manchester. It has such a country feel but so close to the city! I really want to go back in the summer and walk all the way around the surrounding area, the hills are beautiful.
So if you are in Manchester or the surrounds and looking for a day out, especially with the warm weather coming up – then first I really recommend a stately home. Dunham Massey is an ideal choice, but nearby Chatsworth House is equally impressive. Then if you are looking for a view, the pike is perfect for a hike.
Tell me, are you a fan of stately homes? Where should I go next on my Manchester adventures?