We were fortunate enough to visit Dunham Massey for my birthday in early January – it’s one of our favourite places. Situated in Greater Manchester between the sprawl of urban Manchester and the rural tranquility of Cheshire it’s a great haven for families to walk, explore and have fun.
Deep in history
Dunham Massey is part of the National Trust and is open all year round. It’s home of two great families, the Booths and the Greys and the history of Dunham is intimately tied to an empire. A fortunate marriage to an East India heiress saved the property at the beginning of the 18th century.
Stunning parkland and views
Whenever we visit Dunham Massey it always takes my breath away. As you enter from the car park you come into a reception area where there is a lovely little gift shop which has a range of products from books, to gifts to clothing and postcards.
As you walk over the footbridge towards the main estate you instantly see the beauty surrounding you. There is a huge lake with lots of birds and ducks milling around…the swans especially enjoy chasing the kids for their snacks!
Follow the path and you will instantly see the park land surrounded by wide paths and roaming deer. The hardest part is choosing which route to go. Most paths go round the estate and are easily accessible for all ages. The paths are mainly stone so good for pushchairs, bikes and scooters. The day we went though they were covered in ice – which was a hit with the kids as they enjoyed ice skating down them…not good for my Mum nerves though!
The paths are surrounded by woodland and we managed to build a den of wood and sticks. Our children really enjoy hiding in them! There’s always plenty of running and climbing to be done.
Dunham Massey is home to a deer park which has been part of the estate since 1748. The park is lucky enough to have 4 different coloured deer. At first sight the deer look friendly and tame but there are plenty of signs around the estate telling you not to feed them or approach them. We enjoyed watching them from afar and a few deer crossed the path right in front of us which the children loved to watch and take photos.
Please note dogs must be always kept on a lead to not scare the deer.
A team of dedicated volunteers look after the Honeybees at Dunham. Over the past few years Dunham’s hives have grown from three to eight. Whilst six of the hives live outside of the visitor route in the walled garden, you will be able to see two of the hives in the Rose Garden. Between April and November, the beekeepers can be seen maintain the bees. We paid a visit but couldn’t seem to spot the beehives, so we’ve saved that for another trip.
Dunham Massey has three main food and drink places – The Stamford Café, The Stables Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlour. All offer varied menus. We grabbed a coffee and cake from the café, which was take away only due to the latest Covid restrictions. Please check website for opening times and bookings (non Covid restrictions).
There is an extensive events itinerary throughout the year with Ranger events and lots more. Please check the events calendar on the website for more information.
Highly recommend for all ages
Dunham is one of our favourite places to meet up with friends, grandparents or just a stroll. It’s perfect for passing a few hours, letting the children have a good run around and explore. We always wear wellies though as it can be muddy in parts but even when the children were young and in pushchairs, we found it very relaxing to have a nice walk around the estate. We would highly recommend a visit – and make sure you go at different times of the year as you will spot different things! Enjoy!