Busy days and planning your visit to Lyme

Cycling at Lyme Park, Cheshire

Lyme has become increasingly popular over the past few years and this means busy days are becoming more frequent, particularly at weekends and during school holidays. Find out how to best plan your visit and get details on the free bus service from the local Park and Ride.

Ways to get to Lyme

To avoid queuing on busy days we’d recommend using local transport links that take the stress out of driving. Our driveway is 1 mile long, but we don’t expect those arriving by foot to walk. Our shuttlebus runs from the admissions kiosk at the entrance to the house, Information Centre and facilities from 10.30am until 5pm at weekends and house open days over the winter months.

Disley train station is half a mile from the entrance and there is a bus stop with regular buses by the entrance gates, running from Stockport and Buxton. You can find times and details on the Transport for Greater Manchester website.

Our car park

We have 900 parking spaces when weather is at its best and ground conditions are good and this is usually more than enough to accommodate our visitors. However, 500 of these spaces are on grassed surfaces and their use depends on dry weather to keep them from being too muddy to drive over. This often impacts the number of vehicles we can welcome in to the estate on busy days.

What happens when it’s busy

Staff and volunteers in the car park work hard to direct visitors and closely monitor the spaces that we have available. Closing the park is always a last resort and something we try to avoid.

When we near capacity, we share this on social media and then close the park to vehicles for a minimum of half an hour, which allows us to find spaces for vehicles already in the park. Once enough spaces are available to accomodate more visitors (at least 40), we can re-open to vehicles. We let people know when we  reopen on our social media channels and on the website too.

When the park is closed to vehicles, there will be signage at the entrance and a member of staff will be positioned on the A6 waving cars by to prevent a gridlock. It is not safe for vehicles to wait on the A6 until the park re-opens. It also causes major traffic disruption to the local area.

When are we busy?

While we cannot predict which days we are busy, weekends and sunny days are always popular, and visits tend to peak between 12pm and 2pm.

If you want a quieter visit, why not visit mid-week? If you are coming at the weekend, coming earlier in the day or after 2pm can help avoid the queues. You can find out the opening times of the house, garden, estate, shops and catering outlets here.

What we’re doing to fix the problem

We appreciate Lyme’s infrastructure has not kept up with the demands of the growing visitor numbers and we recognise the need to address this, so we’ve been planning and researching ways to provide suitable year-round parking and better visitor facilities. The National Trust is a conservation charity, so we need to ensure any changes we make don't negatively impact our special places in the short or longer term.