The Lost Words at Lyme

Gemma Gibb, Associate Editor
National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

The Lost Words at Lyme, Cheshire, 23 March–1 September 2019, Lyme admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) £2.50 for trail - Visit now

Head to Lyme for a new family adventure trail which brings to life the language of the natural world.

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is a magical book of acrostic “spell-poems” and bewitching gold-leaf illustrations about twenty common nature words – from “acorn” to “wren” by way of “kingfisher” – at risk of disappearance from modern childhood in our increasingly urban and technologised world. It has fast captivated hearts and minds across the land since its publication

Nine Lost Words installations, specially created by local artists, form a new experience, waiting to be discovered across Lyme’s garden, house and parkland.

See a colourful, swooping flight of paper starlings, and hear a magpie’s call as its name is spelled out through the trees.

Watch a fern unroll and grow as you spin a magical zoetrope. See how Lyme’s landscapes were once swathed in a sea of purple heather.

Learn some of the words, folklore and legends connected to the humble acorn – from a fairy’s drinking cup to a symbol of royalty.

Listen to the wind through a willow sculpture, and whisper your own secrets to it. Trace the twists and turns of golden ivy, watch and hear giant bluebells ring, and discover where the dandelions grow.

Lyme Park in Spring. Image courtesy the National Trust. Photo by Robert Morris.

You can either spot these natural treasures as you explore or by a keepsake trail booklet, including illustrations from the original book and quotes from Robert MacFarlane’s poems. Tick off the words as you find them and create your own drawings and spells to help bring the words back to life.

We love that this trail takes in the whole of Lyme so both favourite and new haunts can be explored and discovered alike.

Keep your eyes peeled for other nature-related activities across the school holidays. Don’t forget to leave time for spotting the medieval herd of red deer, clambering up to the Cage to take in panoramic views, play hide and seek in the gardens and run wild in Crow Wood playscape – the king of all adventure playgrounds.

Venue admission charges apply. National Trust members go free.


The Lost Words at Lyme, Cheshire

23 March–1 September 2019
Lyme admission prices apply (free for National Trust members) £2.50 for trail