Since buying our National Trust membership last month we have now visited 4 places and are really enjoying exploring these new places. On Father’s day we decided to visit one close to home, Dunham Massey.
Dunham Massey is in Altrincham, Greater Manchester and about 40 minutes from Chester and is one of the largest National Trust placed in the North West.
Things to do?
Dunham Massey is lovely for walks. There are some lovely paths that lead from the main reception area over a bridge and round a pond. You can then enter the main area through a turnstile where you will find the large deer park. This is great for walks and exploring with the children. There are trees to climb and grass to run across and the deer roam free and get really close which is exciting to watch. In this area you will also find a mill that you can go in and explore as well as the main house.
The main house requires a ticket but if you are a national trust member then it is free. The house is very large and very beautiful and takes about 30-45 minutes to look round, although you could stay longer if you wanted to read everything and speak with the staff.
I looked around the house with my eldest who is 8 and he was given an activity sheet to do as we went round and he enjoyed looking for certain things with his magnifying glass.
In the Gallery you have the chance to watch a video about the main house and how it was used as a hospital during the war, which I found fascinating although bare in mind it’s not aimed at children. However, if you do want to watch the video and you have small children I would recommend you go to the far side of the room and watch it from there as there is also a dress up area that will keep the children entertained whilst you watch the short clip.
From here we wandered through another room that was full of outfits and jewelry and then found ourselves in the ward from when it was a hospital.
As with all the great National Trust houses they try and make them interactive and Dunham Massey is no different as here the children can touch some of the equipment and try their hand at applying bandages.
To the left of the main house is the entrance to the gated gardens, again you need a ticket for this but it is free for National Trust members and dogs are not permitted in this area. These gardens are beautiful and surround a large green area where we were lucky enough to listen to some live music, so check the website for special events.
Eat and Drink?
There are two cafe areas serving a variety of food and drink as well as an ice cream parlor which is a must on a hot day. There are a few benches dotted about but not many with tables but there is certainly enough space to lay out your pic nic blankets and enjoy your own food and drink on the grass if you wish.
Can you bring dogs?
Dogs are welcome at Dunham Massey and we took Buddy with us but there are a few rules you need to follow. There is a specific area to one side where dogs are welcome and are also allowed off the lead, which we hadn’t seen at a National Trust place before. Once you pass through the main reception all dogs must remain on the lead but there are lots of paths where they can be walked including around the deer park. Dogs are not permitted in the house or in the gardens, however these are both ticketed so you wont be able to accidentally walk into the gardens with your dog so feel free to wander where ever you want.
As National Trust places go I would highly recommend a visit to Dunham Massey. It is suitable for the whole family, parking is free for National Trust members, and you could easily stay for at least half a day, longer if the weather is nice.
It is a great place to take the dog for a walk but do remember they are not allowed in the main gardens so if you want to visit these for an event like live music you may need to leave the dog at home.
Check out our round up of National Trust reviews for the whole country.