The county of Cheshire is nestled in the beautiful Welsh Border country between Staffordshire and Lancashire. The county contains a latticework of canals which were the lifeblood of the region during the Industrial Revolution and are now a haven for holidaymakers taking to the water in colorful canal boats. The county holds some of the grandest old houses in the country and is famed for the picturesque timber-framed houses it contains, many of which are Tudor in origin.
The town of Chester alone contains more than five hundred and fifty individual listed buildings, some which date to the medieval while some are as modern as Victorian in a period. At just over 200 miles from London, the capital is within easy reach by train in around 90 minutes and around 3 hours by car.
Towns in Cheshire
There are a number of towns within the county which offer different attractions for visitors.
Chester is the region’s most important town and is widely regarded as the best-preserved example of an ancient walled city anywhere in the country. The town is filled with medieval architecture which sits happily alongside the more modern aspects of the town.
Ancient Tudor style timber-framed houses and old coaching inns add a great deal of character to this ancient market town. Chester Zoo is a hugely popular attraction as are the ancient Roman remains which have been unearthed, linked to the town’s earliest settlers.
This is the home of the country’s first and biggest canal based port. It is now home to the National Waterways Museum. Here you can discover how the town grew with the development of the canals.
It is also home to the impressive Blue Planet Aquarium, the largest undercover aquarium in the country which houses more sharks than any other UK aquarium.
Once the home of the Nation’s silk industry, the old mills are still very much a part of the town’s architecture.
Much of the town in medieval in origin and signs of the past are everywhere to see, from the ancient 15th-century graves at St Michael’s church to the traditional market square.
Parks and Gardens
There are many parks and gardens to enjoy around the county, some attached to interesting stately homes and historic attractions
Arley Hall & Gardens
The gardens here date from the time of Henry VIII, although the mansion house is a Victorian Jacobean styled building. Visitors can enjoy the ancient walled garden and tree-lined avenues, as well as a traditional though extensive herb garden, a woodland garden, and a wonderfully fragrant scented garden.
Arley Hall and Gardens are located in Northwich and are open between April and September between 11 am – 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
Victorian and Edwardian gardens, complete with a sunken formal garden, a lake, and an orangery await the visitor here. Surrounding the gardens is a large deer park and open parkland. The gardens surround a classically styled Italianate Palladian style palace set around a centrally positioned courtyard.
The original Tudor gated entrance to the property still remains. Located in Disley; Stockport the park is open Friday – Tuesday from February to October between 11 am – 5 pm.
Otherwise known as the Botanic Gardens of Liverpool University these gardens contain something for everyone with a love of gardening and horticulture. Water gardens, glass houses, terraced gardens and large expanses of lawn are all there to be enjoyed.
The visitor center offers lectures and a wide range of educational courses, plus many other special events across the year. Located in Neston the gardens are open daily between February – October from 10 am – 5 pm, and between November – January between 10 am – 4.30pm.
Attractions and Places to See
Secret Nuclear Bunker – Hack Green
A declassified, cold war defensive bunker located deep underground in Nantwich. Visitors can view rooms designated for missile control, communications and decontamination as well as crew quarters and recreation facilities.
The bunker contains a range of exhibits relating to the cold war and nuclear weaponry in general. Open daily during summer between 10.30am – 5.30pm and Wednesday to Sunday during winter. See http://www.hackgreen.co.uk/ for more information.
Jodrell Bank – Visitor Centre and Arboretum
Here you will find the Lovell telescope one of the biggest of its kind anywhere in the world. The visitor center offers the opportunity to learn more about astronomy and space, plus there are a number of interactive models for visitors to enjoy and test out.
Jodrell Bank is located in Macclesfield and is open from 10 am – 5 pm daily, visit http://www.jodrellbank.manchester.ac.uk/ for further information.
Located in Beeston the castle was largely destroyed by the Parliamentarian forces at the close of the Civil War. The ruins remain a dramatic outline on the region’s skyline. Parts of the gatehouse and inner ward remain as well as the deep though now dry moat.
Exhibitions within the castle museum provide a history to these dramatic ruins. Open February – November for 10am – 4pm. Visit the National Trust website for more information.
Quarry Bank Mill
Located in Styal, this well-preserved cotton mill dates from the 18th century. It is powered by both steam and water and visitors can try their hand at either traditional spinning or weaving techniques.
The mill is also surrounded by picturesque woodland walkways along the river. Open daily March – October 11am – 5pm and November – February between 11am – 4pm. Visit http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/quarry-bank/ for further details.
Things to Do
Cheshire is a county filled with wide open spaces and a landscape designed for you to enjoy.
Visitors can try their hand at clay pigeon shooting, air rifles, paintballing, archery, quad biking and falconry at this outdoor adventure center. Visit http://www.adventurecheshire.co.uk/ for more details.
With more than 11,000 animals of more than 400 different species, everyone will find a favorite animal here.
Keeper’s talks, animal displays, and interactive areas will keep everyone entertained from morning until closing time. Visit http://www.chesterzoo.org/ to learn more.
Enjoy a day at the races at one of the most stunning courses in the country offering views over the ancient city walls and River Dee.
Events are held here across the year, visit http://www.chester-races.co.uk/ for further information.
Chester Golf Club offers players the chance to test their skill on a meadowland course nestled within a winding loop of the River Dee. Rounds of 18 or 27 holes are available to play. See http://www.chestergolfclub.co.uk/ for more details.
Hampton Springs Fishery offers day ticket fishing in the shadow of the Bickerton Hills. There are eight well-stocked lakes to choose from offering different kinds of fish,
there is something here to suit all levels of experience and ability. See http://hamptonsprings.co.uk/ for more information.
Afternoon Tea Ideas in Cheshire
Indulge in a delicious afternoon tea in one of the counties hotels and tea rooms.
Enjoy afternoon tea in an Edwardian manor house set within its own grounds and gardens. Enjoy an array of finger sandwiches, pastries, cream cakes and biscuits along with your choice of tea of freshly brewed coffee for £12.95.
Afternoon tea is served daily between 3 pm – 5 pm. Visit http://www.inglewoodmanor.co.uk/afternoon-tea.html for more information.
The Old Hall Hotel
Located in Frodsham this atmospheric 16th-century country hotel offers a traditional take on afternoon tea from Monday – Sunday for £9.95.
Afternoon tea is available between 12 pm – 5 pm, visit http://www.oldhallhotelfrodsham.co.uk/ for further details.
Wedding Venues in Cheshire
With so much history on the doorstep, there are some incredible wedding venues to choose from.
Located in Wirral, this is the ideal venue for a country wedding. Beautifully landscaped gardens provide the perfect photographic backdrop.
The couple can choose from a ceremony in the Manor House or a luxury marquee in the grounds.
Situated on the top of the Peckforton Hills in Tarporley the castle offers a unique setting for your wedding.
This is a castle straight from the pages of a fairytale. It has been used as the setting for films and TV shows including Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Who.
This is a fabulous Tudor, Grade I listed building situated in Crewe. With two bridal suites to choose from,
one of which dates back to the late 1400’s and houses a four poster bed believed to be linked to the Spanish Armada it is a truly unique venue.
Campsites / Caravans
There are upwards of eighty campsites to choose from within the Cheshire region, some of which require you to be a member of the Caravan Club to enter.
Caravan Club Sites
• Delamere Forest Camping and Caravanning Club Site – Delamere, Northwich, Cheshire.
• Chester Fairoaks Caravan Club Site – Little Stanney, Chester, Cheshire.
• Shrewsbury Arms Certificated Site – Little Budworth, Tarporley, Cheshire.
• Woodside Farm Certificated Site – Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.
• Lymefield Farm Certificated Site – Broadbottom, Hyde, Cheshire.
• Elm Tree Farm Certificated Site – Elworth, Sandbach, Cheshire.
• Lady Heyes Caravan and Camp Site – Frodsham, Cheshire.
• Manor Wood Country Caravan Park – Coddington, Cheshire.
• Lamb Cottage Caravan Park – Whitegate, Northwich, Cheshire.
• Elm Cottage Touring Park – Little Budworth, Nr Tarporley, Winsford, Cheshire.
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