By Carmella De Lucia
You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Cheshire. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.
Cheshire is so beautiful with so much to offer that you’re spoiled for choice with just 48 hours to spare. If it’s history you’re most interested in, head to Chester’s ancient city walls to make the most of this picturesque walled city.
You’ll see the Water Tower, the remains of the Roman amphitheatre, the tower where Charles I stood to watch the Battle of Rowton Moor, the much-photographed Eastgate Clock and the castle that was originally built by Chester’s very own Norman “Wolf”.
Afterwards, explore the large variety of shops as you roam the magnificent streets which are lined with black and white Jacobean-style buildings, making sure to pay a visit to the stunning cathedral where you can not only observe its rich history, but you can also take a tower tour which truly enables you to immerse yourself in a unique blend of medieval and modern history.
Reward yourself with afternoon tea in the old Cathedral Refectory, or if you’re still up for a stroll – enjoy a drink at the ancient (and haunted) Pied Bull pub just up the road. That’s if you’re not scared of meeting its resident ghost, John Davies, who was said to have died in the pub’s cellar in 1690.
Chester has some fascinating art galleries – including The Watergate Street Gallery and the Alison Bradley Gallery, which features some stunning local paintings, so make sure you have a browse. Head to the city’s Dining Quarter on Pepper Street for a choice of several cuisines for lunch, including Las Iguanas and Opera Grill.
Head slightly out of the city to burn off your lunch at Caldy Valley Nature Park, a delightful small area of wetland, woodland and meadows which is perfect for an afternoon stroll. Not too far away is Delamere Forest, with its dry sandstone paths or gentle forest roads and trails which are suited for the less able or families with children.
For something a little different you might want to try The Blue Planet Aquarium in nearby Ellesmere Port. Ideal for families, you can get up close to awesome sharks and see real scuba divers in the daily feed shows in the centre’s Aquatheatre.
There are plenty of food outlets to try in nearby Cheshire Oaks, but if you’re heading back to the city centre, take your pick from several cuisines. If Italian is your palate of choice, look no further than La Fattoria on Lower Bridge Street. Ask any local and they will say this is without doubt one of the finest Italian eateries outside of Italy itself.
Head slightly out of the city to burn off your lunch at Caldy Valley Nature Park, a delightful small area of wetland, woodland and meadows which is perfect for an afternoon stroll
Enjoy a different side of Chester – the riverside and take a trip along the beautiful River Dee. Choose from a half-hour city cruise taking in the city’s rich Roman, medieval and industrial heritage, or sit back and relax on our Iron Bridge Cruise, a two-hour trip into the glorious Cheshire countryside, through the Duke of Westminster’s Estate. The routes along the Dee are full of interesting things to see and amazing wildlife so have your camera ready.
It’s a bit of a drive from Chester but you can’t visit Cheshire without going to Tatton Park in Knutsford. Welcoming more than 800,000 visitors a year, it boasts a stunning 19th-century mansion, 1,000 acres of parkland, a working rare breed farm and Tudor old hall. No wonder Tatton is regarded as one of Britain’s finest historic estates.
Or why not visit the Lion Salt Works in Northwich? Lots of time and money (£10 millon to be precise) has been spent to provide a fascinating and fresh insight into the story of salt, brought to life with fun, interactive and imaginative educational exhibits.
And while you’re in the area, grab some traditional pub fare at The Hayhurst Arms which combines classic British dishes with ingredients from around the world and is simply oozing with rural British charm.
End your day back in Chester by sampling some afternoon tea at Oddfellows with its stunning, huge Georgian windows, before heading over to Chester Cathedral for weekly choral evensong in the Quire. It really is a wonderful way to round off a trip to this beautiful county.
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