Why go there?
One of the most iconic scenes in a British period drama is when a soaking wet Mr Darcy (Colin Firth) emerges from his swim in front of a startled Elizabeth Bennett in the hit BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
In the show, the scene takes place at Pemberley – the estate of Mr Darcy – but in reality, the stunning building is Lyme Park in Cheshire, on the border with the picturesque Peak District.
What to see
With its 1,300-acre estate populated with herds of red and fallow deer, walking around Lyme Park is just like travelling back to Edwardian times. Restorers have done everything in their power to make Lyme Park as it was during its ‘Golden Era’.
Visitors can walk around the house enjoying its expertly preserved lavish interiors. While some estates might restrict people from touching objects in the house, guests are able to read books in the library or play the stately piano. You can even dress up in period costume!
For those with more of a taste for the outdoors, the estate also has a beautiful Edwardian rose garden overlooking the lake, made famous by Pride and Prejudice.
Where to stay or eat
If you work up an appetite walking around the gardens, then the estate’s restaurant The Ale Cellar offers a wide range of delicious hot and cold snacks, soups and cakes (not to mention a lot of Mr Darcy memorabilia).
If you want to stay on the estate, the East Lodge is a stunning Edwardian cottage that was built in 1904. With spectacular views of the Peak District as well as free access to Lyme House and its gardens, it’s the perfect place to stay if you want to live in the world of Jane Austen’s characters.
How to get there
The estate is open all year round and is easy to reach via the A6 main road. Naturally, as the site is located near the Peak District, a drive to the estate offers stunning views, especially if you’re coming from the likes of Sheffield.
Simply follow the A6 from Buxton to enjoy the rolling hills and green countryside – perfect to cast you back to 19th century Cheshire and Derbyshire.