From Salford to South Cheshire, Greater Manchester and the surrounding counties boast a peerless selection of grand stately homes and fascinating manor houses, each steeped in unfathomably rich history spanning Regency, the Victorian era, the Tudor period and even the Middle Ages.

Here are some of the best stately homes around the region.

Tatton Park | Knutsford

Nestled majestically within over 50 acres of gardens, which itself forms the heart of 1,000 acres of breathtaking landscaped parkland, the achingly opulent neo-classical Tatton Park Mansion houses some of Cheshire’s most fascinating historical objects with a collection of over 14,000 items once owned by the Egerton family, as well as one of the National Trust’s finest libaries.

From the State Rooms to the Servants’ Quarters, the mansion offers a wide range of fascinating insights into 18th- and 19th-century domestic history, while recent films and stories reveal its rich musical pedigree and a flawlessly preserved collection of Gillows of Lancaster furniture provide vivid details of interior design throughout the ages.

Tatton Park Mansion is technically closed until 27 Mar 2024, but you can visit on selected dates throughout December to enjoy the magical Welcome to Wonderland: The Christmas Mansion series, complete with festive illuminated displays, a Magic Forest, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and more. Tickets are £10 for children and £14 for adults, while under-2s go free.

Tatton Park, Knutsford WA16 6SG, Tel: 01625 374400
Dunham Massey | Altrincham

Perfect for history buffs, dog-walkers and meandering Sunday family strolls, Dunham Massey enjoys a deserved reputation as of the region’s favourite tranquil day trips. The house, situated in the centre of a 300-acre deer park and all-season botanical gardens, boasts an extensive historical collection and an endless labyrinth of ornate chambers and quarters, including a Great Gallery, much of which is dedicated to portraits of beloved pets owned by the Booth and Grey families.

While the house is closed until March 2024, you can still visit Dunham Massey for unrivalled outdoor adventure along the trails and natural woodland, explore 400 years of history at the Dunham water mill and spend an enchanting festive evening on the Christmas light trail.

Altrincham WA14 4SJ, Tel: 0161 941 1025
Ordsall Hall | Salford

Dating back over 820 years, Ordsall’s idyllic hidden gem sits within an unlikely oasis less than a mile from the glittering urban frenzy of Salford Quays. Today, the immaculate Elizabethan house features a staggering variety of rooms and galleries, including the jaw-dropping Great Hall, the Star Chamber and the Italian Plaster Ceiling Room.

Ordsall Hall is completely free to visit, and is open Sunday to Thursday (closed Thu 21 Dec – Sun 2 Jan).

Click here to find out about the various Christmas events and activities on offer throughout December.

322 Ordsall Ln, Salford M5 3AN, Tel: 01618720251
Lyme Park | Disley

Sitting on the edge of the Peak District, Cheshire’s Lyme Park is the archetypal National Trust day out. With a thousand-acre deer park, woodlands, cafes, off-lead dog walking areas, the Old Hall and a neo-classical mansion at its centre, Lyme Park is an accessible slice of history amongst the county’s best scenery. Once a renowned sporting estate, the park is home to the largest house in the county, an imposing and unique manor which bears examples of Elizabethan, Palladian and Baroque architectural styles across its grand portico and within its cavernous interiors.

Visitors can step back in time to the high Regency Era – the park was the shooting location for the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice – with a comprehensive guided tour of the house, before setting out across the rolling hills and sweeping plains for one of Britain’s best picnic spots, where a hilltop folly overlooks some of the best unspoilt countryside in the land.

Entry to Lyme Park costs £6 for adults and £3 for children, while family passes are available for £15.

Disley, Stockport SK12 2NR, Tel: 01663 762023
Elizabeth Gaskell's House | Manchester

A stone’s throw from Manchester Royal Infirmary, the exquisitely preserved former home of a local literary titan offers captivating insights into the renowned novelist and her esteemed guests with regular events and exhibitions which grant access to historic period rooms, first-edition books, original furniture and a Victorian-style garden.

Widely regarded as one of the best female authors of all time, Elizabeth Gaskell lived at 84 Plymouth Grove from 1850 until her death in 1865, and hosted guests from all echelons of society, including Charles Darwin and Charlotte Bronte, whose posthumous biography she penned at her desk in 1857.

Visitors of all ages can explore the house on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, with expert-led guided tours and child-friendly literature trails hosted by Cranford the Cat.

Admission costs £7.50, while under-16s can enter for free.

84 Plymouth Grove, Manchester M13 9LW, Tel: 0161 273 2215
Bramall Hall | Stockport

Surrounded by lakes, woods and manicured gardens, Stockport’s Tudor manor house features a dizzying array of objects and original interiors of supreme national importance, from 16th century wall paintings and Elizabethan plaster ceilings to Victorian kitchens and even timber held together with wattle and daub.

Throughout the festive season, Bramall Hall is delightfully dressed up for Christmas in a ‘Claret and Champagne’ theme, and hosts a number of seasonal events and garden trails. Find out more here.

Tickets to the hall cost £6.50 for adults and £5 for concessions, while supervised under-16s can visit for free.

Hall Rd, Bramhall, Stockport SK7 3NX, Tel: 0161 474 2020
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 29 Nov 2023