Skip to content

Discover the estate at Lyme

A building on a hill covered in snow. People are walking up the path to see the building.
See the Cage in winter, Lyme, Cheshire | © ©National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

If you are in need of some fresh air this autumn, come and explore over 1,400 acres of historic parkland. Head out to the wider estate for walks through woodland and across the moor for far-reaching views. Seek out the built structures dotted through the landscape for some of the best views. There’s plenty of wildlife and nature to see along the way.

Find Follies in the Landscape

The Cage

Structures were built at strategic spots around the park to draw the eye across the landscape. An iconic view at Lyme, the original Cage was built by the warrior priest, Sir Piers V, in 1524.

It was used either as a hunting lodge or a watchtower, though its name reportedly comes from its use in the 17th century as a holding prison for poachers awaiting trial.

It was rebuilt in the 1730s as part of Giacomo Leoni’s works to the house. Leoni played up its fortress-like appearance but also made it more hospitable, possibly so that it could be used as a banqueting room.

Later still, the Cage became a home for estate workers, though it must have been a hard experience living at the top of this windswept hill.

The Lantern

The Lantern is another Lyme landmark. The top part of the sandstone tower is believed to originally have sat above the north archway of the house and was probably placed on the hill next to the woods in the 1720s. The view from the Lantern looks out over the park and the Cheshire plain.

It also creates a line of sight that leads the eye from the Dining Room windows, over the gardens and to the east. It is said that if Lord Newton could see the Lantern clearly from the Dining Room, it was good enough weather for hunting.

Paddock Cottage

Built from stone quarried on the estate, Paddock Cottage sits high in the south of the park. The interior is plain apart from a decorative heraldic panel, Sir Piers Legh IX's coat of arms. Paddock Cottage’s position, with direct sight line to the Cage, and ornate overmantel implies the building was used for ‘showing off’ to guests – possibly used for dining after the hunt. It was later used as a dwelling for estate workers.

Dog walking on the lead with its owner during Winter at Lyme, Cheshire
Enjoy a walk to the Cage in autumn and winter | © National Trust Images/Mike King

Autumn walks

With acres of woodland, moorland and meadows, Lyme is the perfect place to explore on a walk this autumn. Take in glorious views in a quieter area of the park on the Lantern walk, follow the Paddock Cottage walk to find Knightslow Wood, Pursfield Wood and Drinkwater Meadow, and see ponds and tree-lined avenue on the Lime Avenue Ponds walk. Dogs on leads are welcome and downloadable maps and step-by-step guides are available for each walk.

Watch out for wildlife

Red deer

There have been deer at Lyme for over 600 years and their presence has played a pivotal role in the history of the estate. Come and see them during the rutting season in October and witness the stags showcasing their prowess, or visit in June as we welcome baby deer to Lyme.

Nest boxes

Look out for nest boxes around the estate that provides a home for nesting birds. Last year one box was occupied by 10 blue tit chicks. This shows how healthy the environment is to provide enough caterpillars for 10 chicks.

Boxes are placed at various locations around the site. Oak trees provide the majority of caterpillars for blue tits and great tits so they like to set up near them.

You may well hear the chicks calling their parents before you see the nest box. Keep listening out as you walk and don’t be tempted to look inside.

Red deer stags sparring during rutting, above Coalpit Clough on the Lyme Park Estate, Cheshire
Red deer stags sparring during rutting, above Coalpit Clough on the Lyme Park Estate, Cheshire | © National Trust Images/Nick Garbutt

Veteran trees

Lyme is home to a number of veteran trees of different species. The oldest oak tree is around 550 years old. They are vital because they support so many animals, insects and fungi – sometimes up to 260 species.

Two deer at Lyme Park in Cheshire with the house in the background

Discover more at Lyme Park

Find out when Lyme Park is open, how to get here, things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

A whippet-type dog sits on grass, with a stone building in the background, looking up at its owner

Visiting Lyme with your dog 

With 1,400 acres of rugged moorland, ancient woodlands and formal gardens to explore, Lyme is a great day out for you and your pooch. Find out where your dog can go and the facilities available. Lyme is a two pawprint rated place.

A view of Lyme house covered in snow. The house can be seen in the frozen reflection pond.

Explore the garden at Lyme 

Explore all the different areas of the garden at Lyme. From the herbaceous border to golden Japanese maple trees, there's lots of autumn colour to find at the second highest garden in the National Trust.

The Long Gallery looking south towards the fireplace at Lyme Park, Cheshire

Visiting the house at Lyme 

In 600 years, Lyme has acquired all kinds of unusual objects and strange secrets. Dressed for the festive season, the house is open daily in December until Christmas eve. Here's what to look out for.

Visitors in the garden in autumn at Lyme Park, Cheshire

Activities for families at Lyme 

From running, skipping and jumping around Crow Wood play area and dressing up in period costume inside the house, to spotting red deer in the park, there’s something for everyone at Lyme.

Walker at Watendlath, Cumbria

Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.

A hiker wearing an insulated jacket and a backpack watches the sunset over snowy mountain peaks


Explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.

Five bare trees covered in snow. Two people walk underneath them.

Countryside and woodland in Cheshire and Greater Manchester 

From deer parks and grand estates to the rolling countryside and woodland, there is plenty of space for you to stretch your legs and crunch through winter frost in Cheshire and Greater Manchester.