The Garden House is a hidden gem in the small town of Marple outside Stockport, unbeknownst even to many locals. Just a short walk from the Marple Train Station, it can be found down an old farm track at the bottom of the hill near the Roman Lakes.
When you arrive, you can hear the River Goyt rushing by, and the trees rustling in the wind. The carpark sits on what used to be the old rubbish tip, but if you walk down the muddy path today you’ll find a magical home to a surprising array of animals. There are pygmy goats, Shetland ponies, alpacas, Kunekune pigs, Gloucester Old Spot pigs, geese, chickens, and even an aviary.
The animals are cared for by community volunteers are free to roam the meadow and interact with each other. On-site there’s also a quaint little cafe serving a variety of different foods and drinks. But the thing that makes the Garden House really special are the ruins of ‘the “Garden House” itself.
This Victorian-era house, once home to local factory workers, was sadly burned down in the late 1950s, but the remains are still able to be viewed today. The site was home to a cotton mill during the late 1700s, and local legend says you can still hear the sound of the cogs turning if you listen closely enough.
Know Before You Go
The easiest way to reach this location is by taking the bus to St Marten's Road or getting the train to Marple Train Station. There is also an on-site carpark. The farm is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.