When you think of the 1995 television adaption of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth, there’s probably one thing that comes readily to mind: that lake scene.
Named as ‘one of the most unforgettable moments in British TV history’ by the UK’s Guardian newspaper, the iconic scene put Cheshire country house Lyme Park – the backdrop to Mr Darcy’s fictional ancestral home Pemberley – firmly on the tourist map.
The largest estate in Cheshire, Lyme Park sits on the edge of the Peak District National Park; the mansion house is a grade I listed building and is surrounded by 15 acres (6 hectares) of formal gardens, not to forget that lake, of course.
One of the most famous country houses in England, thanks to Colin Firth’s wet breeches, the park is owned and managed by the National Trust and open for visitors. The house and grounds are open to the public from February to October, while the park is open all year round.
The mansion has been renovated several times over the years and retains some Elizabethan features, alongside Palladian and Baroque. Inside the house, you can see famous Mortlake tapestries dating back to the 1600s; the great Dining Room, considered an early example of renaissance style, as well as the Elizabethan Drawing Room and Stag Parlour.
Lyme Park also holds the Lyme Caxton Missal, the 15th Century prayer book bought recently by the National Trust for £465,000; this is on display to visitors in the Library. Guests can even browse through the pages via a digital display.