Exciting times ahead - major improvements are coming to Lyme!

A busy car park at Lyme, Cheshire

Closures, muddy car parks and queuing traffic. We know all too well just how frustrating these problems can be for our visitors. But we have some good news; our plans to improve parking and visitor facilities at Lyme have been given the green light.

We are excited to announce that Lyme has had the go ahead to invest significantly in developing and enhancing its infrastructure and facilities.

We know Lyme has struggled to cope with growing visitor numbers and we look forward to making improvements so we can give a better welcome to our visitors.

What changes will we make?

  • Improve our car-parking to ensure spaces can be used all year round, even when it rains, whilst being sympathetic to the beautiful landscape.
  • Make big changes to the Timber Yard to improve our eating and shopping facilities.
  • Change the way our visitors enter the house and gardens by using historic pathways. This will also mean that our visitors will get a more impressive view of the house as they arrive.

Why is it needed?

In the last five years, the number of cars we have welcomed to Lyme has increased by over 55,000 a year, meaning an estimated 150,000 more people are visiting the estate. Some of our facilities are being stretched and struggle to keep up with demand. Not only is it an opportunity to fix things that aren’t working as well as they should, it also creates an opportunity to inspire our visitors by rediscovering some of Lyme’s rich 600 year old history and sharing that interpretation with our visitors both through new visitors routes form the carparks and in the redevelopment of the Timber Yard, once the pulse of Lyme’s activity.

There are many things to consider when planning major changes to a place like Lyme. The estate is Grade II* listed and buildings across Lyme, including those in the Timber Yard, are also listed. Lyme’s 1,400 acres are a protected Conservation Area, as well as being a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS). We have to make sure that any work we do is sensitive to this special place and that our commitment to caring for land, outdoors and nature is at the heart of any decisions we make.

For the love of Lyme

We know that Lyme is loved by our visitors, staff, volunteers and residents for many reasons. The views, the buildings, the deer, the wildlife, the woodland, open moorland, the geology, and the dramatic weather.  We love all these things too.

It’s a place to find tranquillity, adventure and inspiration in equal measure. We want to keep what’s special about Lyme special and cause as little disruption to the landscape, views and wildlife as possible.

What happens next?

We’ll be busy working on detailed plans and designs to make sure we get it right.

We’ll need to speak to specialists and get advice from authorities, and make sure our plans are in accordance with all the various sensitivities.Then we will apply for planning permission and get ready to start the work. We’ve lots to do.

We hope to start the work at the end of this year. We hope to have the initial works complete by summer 2019, with further works then scheduled for completion in  2020.

While the work is happening, we'll keep the disruptions to a minimum so our visitors can still enjoy Lyme. We'll let you know more in the coming months, so please do keep an eye out for updates and thank you for your patience and support.