Once home to a grand house and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown landscape, Trentham held one of the most celebrated gardens in the country in the 19th century.
Look out for the fairies dotted around the Trentham Estate. Joe Wainwright Photography
However, the area’s growing pottery industry impacted on the estate with pollution making its way into its streams and lakes, leading the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland to abandon the house in 1905. The property was offered to the county council who declined to take it on, and six years later the contents of the house were sold and the property itself went to a local builder who demolished it for recovery of materials.
Dare to bare your tootsies on Trentham’s Barefoot Walk
The estate’s current owners took over in 1996 with a desire to return some of the elegance and grandeur that the estate once possessed.
Today, visitors can enjoy strolling past the fountains and flowers of the Italianate gardens, making their way through the maze, and wandering at a leisurely pace around the lake.
If all that wasn’t enough, visitors can also dare to bare everything from the knee down and take in the Barefoot Walk at Trentham. This unusual section of the estate is the first of its kind in Britain and sees adults and children alike shedding their shoes and socks to make their way across a range of surfaces, including bark, pebbles and mulch (thankfully, hot coals didn’t make the list).
The 1km walk employs the historic principles of Sebastian Kneipp, a German pastor who advocated going barefoot to prevent and cure a range of ailments. Kneipp believed that going barefoot helped to stimulate the cardiovascular system and regulate blood pressure, but whether or not you believe in the medicinal benefits of the exercise, the squeals of delight that can be heard as visitors squelch their way through mud and paddle through streams suggest the practise is, at the very least, good for the soul!
Tel: 01782 646 646