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Recommended experiences in and around Knutsford
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Reviewed 28 December 2018

We have been to Tatton a number of times over the years, went today, both myself and my daughter are national trust members, checked the book for house opening etc before we went so knew about the car park charge. however since out last visit, noticeably more delapidated and charges for various parts have increased markedly. In particular the farm, refused to pay for entry, so gave it a miss, also the mansion was closed but we did not know this beforehand, and no signs at the entrance to say was closed. I appreciate that upkeep of these places are expensive but the whole estate appeared to be geared around getting as much money as possible out of visitors. I have been a member of the National Trust for a long time and was extremely disappointed with the visit and the appearance of Tatton today, as such I will not be returning for a further visit and at the present time would not advise anyone else to make the trip, poor signage, lack of information and poor value for money.

Date of experience: December 2018
2  Thank Barbara S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2018 via mobile

Spent a rainy day here yesterday.

Forstly we visited the farm. £26 for the three of us to get in which I thought was a little steep after already paying the £7 to park. There was a very small brass band playing and a trip to see father Christmas in his grotto is included (my son is autistic so we didn't see santa, not they did give us a gift for him to open on his own). There were a couplod fairground rods and a hook a duck, these we £3 each but I thought the prizes were very poor. The feel in the farm was lovely. The donkeys had their Christmas coats on and there were 2 reindeer. We spent around a hour on the farm before walking towards the courtyard.

The courtyard had lots of sweet little shops,and a restraunt. Food in the reastraunt was lovely. Just sandwiches, soup and a biscuit but was perfect. Again there were some fairground rides at £3 each.

After the courtyard we made our way to the Christmas Mansion. It was due to open at 1 so we got there for 12.50. It was a very wet and windy day so even with coats and umbrellas we were getting very wet. At 1.20 we were still stood outside the mansion waiting to get in. No one came outside and explained the delay. Once the doors were opened again there was no explanation, you que in a stairway and I lost count of the amount of times we had to move and press up against the walls while what appeared to be large instruments were carried down the stairs. My husband went and sat on a bench just past the desk with my son while I stayed in the que, the staff clearly had no understanding of Autism when I explained why he was struggling to que whilst being squashed by instruments. She looked at me like we were trying to que jump or something! The mansion cost us another £26 to get in. As we paid we went into the first room, only to be pushed back as a bride and groom were having their pictures taken. ( Now this explained the delay and instruments) I felt terribly sorry for the newly wed couple as lots of people appeared during their photoshoot. We were then ushered away meaning that we missed the first 2 rooms ( out of the 12 days of Christmas) meaning my son couldn't do the activity properly ( count the sprouts) causing him anxiety as he needs to follow procedue and doing the rooms in numerical order. We decided to stand in a corner for ten minutes until the madness had passed. After that the mansion was amazing. Each room with a different food of Christmas theme, totally magical and we all loved it.

It was a lovely day, but the unorganised entrance to the mansion did put us off a little. We did get the whole day there but think there are equally as nice places without the hefty price tag, for our family of three here's our rough spend..£7 to park, £26 farm, £26 mansion, £35 3 sandwiches, biscuits and a drink, £15 fairground rides. So over £100 and that was without going in the gift shops.

Date of experience: December 2018
2  Thank samanthandjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tatton P, Manager at Tatton Park, responded to this reviewResponded 24 December 2018

Thank you for your feedback, we appreciate the time you have taken to do this.We really value all our visitors' comments and will make sure all the relevant managers see your review. Unlike the majority of properties owned by the National Trust, Tatton Park is financed and managed by Cheshire East Council and so all entry charges paid today contribute to the cost of conserving and maintaining this heritage asset for you and future generations to enjoy. We do benchmark our admission prices against other similar attractions and we are confident that we offer good value in relation to these. You don't say in your feedback whether you notified the Farm staff about your son's needs but we would have been happy to provide the gift from Santa for him to open on his own. We're pleased you found the rest of the Farm experience lovely. We are really sorry you experienced a delay in getting into the Christmas mansion and the initial experience while queuing was not as good as you expected. As you have highlighted, we were hosting a private event in the morning which unfortunately over-ran due to a number of reasons. The safety of our visitors is always paramount and unfortunately we were not in a position to open the mansion until slightly later than advertised. Unfortunately, as you experienced, we were very busy on Sunday so it did take a bit of time for us to help the queue of visitors come inside and out of the rain. We're very sorry we didn't communicate the reason for the delay in opening sufficiently well, but we were trying to ensure as many people as possible entered as quickly as possible. Our Visitor Assistants have received Autism training so your experience is disappointing. We will make sure the relevant members of staff are aware of your concerns and endeavor to make sure we learn from this feedback. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.

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Reviewed 23 December 2018

It is disapointing that this National Trust property charges for parking when every other one I have been to doesn't need to do so. We pay for the upkeep of the property through our National Trust membership and what we spend in the restaurants and the gift shop. £7 to park, £43 for lunch for 3, £ 13.50 for 3 hot chocolate and mince pies and £ 30 spent in the gift shops, so yes, I object to paying £30 entry for 3 adults to see the overcrowded mansion decorated in plastic tat on top.
Having read the responses from Tatton Park about this I must say that your take it or leave it attitude is appauling. There were a number of private functions going on whilst we were there today and I can't help thinking that your national trust visitors are subsidising these private events. We left with the distinct impression that Tatton Park's sole aim is to make as much money as possible. If you find it necessary to charge so much for everything then perhaps the Trust needs to Audit you to see why you are unable to budget or operate to a budget that doesn't leave your visitors feeling fleeced.

Date of experience: December 2018
2  Thank Mark57mark57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tatton P, Manager at Tatton Park, responded to this reviewResponded 24 December 2018

Thank you for taking the time to feedback about your visit. You may not be aware but unlike the majority of properties owned by the National Trust, we are managed and financed by Cheshire East Council. This arrangement began in 1961 after the last Lord Egerton died without heir. He bequeathed Tatton Park to the National Trust, unfortunately without sufficient assets to continue to maintain this wonderful place. At this time, Cheshire County Council offered to manage and finance Tatton Park to enable the property to become open to the public and this responsibility was transferred to Cheshire East Council in 1997. For over fifty years the Council has continued to invest in Tatton, both in terms of ongoing maintenance and conservation requirements and also major investment projects e.g. the restoration and conservation of new spaces in the mansion to enable them to be opened and used by the public for the first time and more recently, in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the restoration and conservation of several buildings at Tatton Park's Farm - some of which are open to the public for the first time.

We work closely with the National Trust on all major investments such as these and we are very grateful to them for all the support and advice they provide to us. Our arrangement with the National Trust does mean however that, unlike other National Trust properties, we do not receive any direct financial support via your National Trust membership. It is therefore critical that we generate sufficient ongoing income to enable us to continue to be open to the public and provide a level of service that encourages visitors to come back and recommend us to their friends and family. Therefore we need to charge a vehicle park entry fee for all visitors and also charge for admission to individual attractions and special events such as Christmas. National Trust members do however benefit from free entry to the mansion and gardens and receive a 50% discount to the farm during the majority of normal opening times throughout the year. We do benchmark our admission prices regularly against equivalent heritage and other equivalent attractions and we are confident we provide good value and receive many positive comments in this respect from our visitors. Our 'Food Glorious Food' mansion experience this year has been generally very well received by visitors, with some returning with family and friends on another day. Every penny spent by visitors at Tatton Park stays here and helps us look after Tatton for you and future generations to enjoy.

In regard to our two restaurants and five shops, our visitor survey data shows Tatton regularly scores highly and in 2017, our Gardeners Cottage tea room won the Cheshire Life annual award for best Café/Tea room in Cheshire. The dishes offered in both our restaurants are all freshly prepared using the best locally sourced produce including Tatton Park estate and farm reared meat and garden produce. We also regularly receive positive feedback in online review sites and social media for the food quality, service and ambience in our restaurants. Locally sourced produce, Tatton venison and other estate reared meat and produce are also available throughout the year in our popular Housekeepers Store. Freshly picked produce from our historic walled kitchen garden and orchard as well as many local and rare varieties are available in our Garden shop. Eighty percent of our visitors have visited before and over 30% visit a few times a year.

I hope this information has gone some way to explain more about Tatton Park and why we do need to charge for what we offer.

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Reviewed 23 December 2018 via mobile

Have to say a little disappointed that, as a National Trust member I was charged full price for parking and entrance to the hall. I appreciate it was a Christmas exhibition but a discount of some sort would have been a nice gesture.

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank JAM011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tatton P, Manager at Tatton Park, responded to this reviewResponded 24 December 2018

Thank you for taking the time to feedback about your visit. We do review our operational arrangements on a regular basis and will include your suggestion as part of these discussions. You may not be aware but unlike the majority of properties owned by the National Trust, we are managed and financed by Cheshire East Council. This arrangement began in 1961 after the last Lord Egerton died without heir. He bequeathed Tatton Park to the National Trust, unfortunately without sufficient assets to continue to maintain this wonderful place. At this time, Cheshire County Council offered to manage and finance Tatton Park to enable the property to become open to the public and this responsibility was transferred to Cheshire East Council in 1997. For over fifty years the Council has continued to invest in Tatton, both in terms of ongoing maintenance and conservation requirements and also major investment projects e.g. the restoration and conservation of new spaces in the mansion to enable them to be opened and used by the public for the first time and more recently, in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the restoration and conservation of several buildings at Tatton Park's Farm - some of which are open to the public for the first time.

We work closely with the National Trust on all major investments such as these and we are very grateful to them for all the support and advice they provide to us. Our arrangement with the National Trust does mean however that, unlike other National Trust properties, we do not receive any direct financial support via your National Trust membership. It is therefore critical that we generate sufficient ongoing income to enable us to continue to be open to the public and provide a level of service that encourages visitors to come back and recommend us to their friends and family. Therefore we need to charge a vehicle park entry fee for all visitors and also charge for admission to individual attractions and special events such as Christmas. National Trust members do however benefit from free entry to the mansion and gardens and receive a 50% discount to the farm during the majority of normal opening times throughout the year. We do benchmark our admission prices regularly against equivalent heritage and other equivalent attractions and we are confident we provide good value and receive many positive comments in this respect from our visitors. Our 'Food Glorious Food' mansion experience this year has been generally very well received by visitors, with some returning with family and friends on another day. Every penny spent by visitors at Tatton Park stays here and helps us look after Tatton for you and future generations to enjoy.

We hope the above has helped to explain why we need to charge visitors for what we offer.

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Reviewed 23 December 2018

Went for afternoon tea, bought for us as a gift. Got to the gate only to be charged £7 for parking ! What an absolute rip off! Even motorbikes get charged £7.... for what?!!! Certainly won't be going back. I can see why the courtyard & few shops were deserted, the prohibitive entry cost must put so many people off going that it must be helping to kill those businesses off.

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank janethoughton999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tatton P, Manager at Tatton Park, responded to this reviewResponded 24 December 2018

Thank you for taking the time to feedback about your visit. We’re sorry you were not aware of our vehicle park entry charge which is communicated via our website, social media and off site leaflets. The vehicle entry charge gives you access to over 1,000 acres of beautiful parkland including two meres, several sites of scientific interest and associated flora and fauna, several signposted walking trails, a children’s adventure playground, the Stableyard courtyard area including three shops, a restaurant, the Gardeners Cottage tea room, visitor toilets and information as well as the car park area. We do offer free park entry for walkers and cyclists.

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