Best Places to Visit in Cheshire
When high-income people in Liverpool and Manchester look for cottages, they often look south to Cheshire. As such, there is a peculiar diversity in the county, as it is just a few miles from the posh countryside with its earthy industrial towns, upscale restaurants and boutiques.
To the west, almost on the Welsh border, is Chester, a beautiful and extraordinary heritage city dating back to the Romans. To the east is the Wilderness of the Peak District, one of England’s most prized wilderness areas and a hiker’s paradise. In the countryside in between are Tudor saloons and Georgian mansions that are almost always open to the public.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Cheshire and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Cheshire
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Cheshire:
One of the last towns before the Peak District, Congleton is a smart market town with many handy bars and restaurants. Hikers can use the town as a starting point for tours of the national park, while nearby you can hike along the Dane River and Biedolf Valley Trail, a formerly coal-carrying rail line to Stoke Pottery.
But Congleton really shines for the Little Morton Mansion, a large half-timbered estate surrounded by a moat and overlooking formal gardens. Gradually constructed in the 1500s, this stunning building will give students of Tudor history goosebumps with its rich original furnishings, including leaded windows, interior frescoes, and an Elizabethan fireplace.
As you wander around Northwich, keep in mind that much of what you see is the legacy of salt mining that took place below the city from Roman times to the 20th century. Throughout its history, this has brought Northwich a decent amount of wealth, but the downside is (literally) subsidence, rivers diverting, and the occasional destruction of building foundations.
The award-winning Lion Salt Works provides the ultimate inside look at Cheshire’s salt industry, while Weaver Hall is a Victorian workhouse, a forced labor camp where people are eventually sent off if they can’t support themselves. Even more elegant is Arley Hall, a 19th-century building restored in the style of Tudor and Stuart palaces from centuries ago.
All of these luxury towns we mentioned in the introduction are clustered in an area known as the Golden Triangle, which has some of the most expensive streets in the Northwest. Knutsford is a place full of trendy boutiques, delicatessens, bars and expensive restaurants.
The town’s 18th-century townhouses and timber-framed buildings complete the high-end vibe. There are also a few days near Knutsford, such as the Austin-style Georgian mansion Tabley House. If you’re with the entire tribe, try Gauntlet Birds of Prey, which features birds of prey from owls to hawks and offers flight demonstrations that little kids will soon forget.
A disaster in the market town of Nantwich in 1583 was a godsend for us. Much of the town was destroyed in a devastating fire, and Queen Elizabeth I helped finance the rebuilding. This gives us a collection of well-designed Tudor buildings, all built at the same time.
Head to Main Street and Hospital Row to find some of the best. The Crown Hotel on Main Street stands out with its cantilevered upper floor with permanent windows. There’s also an exciting modern history surrounding Nantwich in the secret nuclear bunker at Hackgreen, a Cold War underground relic with many disturbing details like a medical room equipped to treat radiation burns.
If your Sandbach trip needs your first port of call, look no further than Market Square. The location couldn’t be nicer; The square is paved with uneven cobblestones, surrounded by historic buildings in the shape of a rustic old-fashioned pub with timber frames.
However, the most striking feature of the square is a pair of stone Saxon crosses. These date back to the 800’s and it’s exciting to see the intricate carvings still very much alive. These feature classic Saxon stepped patterns and vine scrolls, and if you examine the columns carefully you’ll find dragons, animals, and even religious images.
A narrow boat tour is a very enjoyable way to explore the Cheshire countryside, and one of the best places to start your journey is Midwich. The town has been served by canals since he requested that the Trent and Mersey Canal be diverted here to carry local chlorine and salt ash.
The waterway connects to the Shropshire Union Canal via the Waddell Canal, the shortest in the country at just 30 metres. If you’re visiting in June, you might catch the Midwich Folk Boat Festival, where hundreds of boats dock in town and the beach bar has a busy show schedule.
One of the best things about Cheshire’s old industrial towns is the way the world-class museums commemorate their former industries. The largest industry in Macclesfield was silk weaving, and the place was still known as the “Silk City” long after the industry disappeared in the 20th century.
The Silk Museum in the majestic Paradise Mill will delight industrial historians and lovers of vintage fashion and textiles. Macclesfield is now an affluent town with many independent shops to browse, and it’s all integrated with 19th century architecture, as the city was built during World War II. You can also replace the shopping streets with wilderness, as the Peak District is only a mile from town.
Once a coal mining town in the hilly countryside, Poynton is located on the lower slopes of the Pennines, within a green belt that protects the surrounding countryside. You won’t have to struggle to escape the scenery as Middlewood Road crosses Poynton on a former railway line from Marple to Macclesfield.
Your entrance to the trail is the Nelson Pit Visitor Center above the old coal mine. The fantastic Anson Motor Museum has more mining and general industrial history that belongs to an old mine. Here you can see one of the widest range of stationary engines in Europe with various types of pumps, turbines and generators.
The town of Crewe was key to the success of the Industrial Revolution in the North West, as it was the birthplace of locomotives and railways. Founded in 1840, the Crewe Railroad Company, in its heyday, employed a small army of 20,000 men to build and service the machinery that connected the supply chain.
Even today Crewe is described as a railroad town and the local football team Crewe Alexandra is “Railway Man”. Head to the Crewe Heritage Centre, which is built over the town’s old locomotive garden and has many old diesel and electric locomotives to visit.
One of Cheshire’s prettiest villages has a street with nothing but Victorian and Georgian brick houses lined with wrought-iron gas lamps for extra old-time charm. There are several bakeries and boutiques to browse, and there are four pubs in town for lunch or a beer.
A few minutes south is Beeston Castle, built in the 13th century on a sandstone cliff 100 meters above the Cheshire Plain. As is often the case, the castle was partially destroyed at the end of the Civil War to prevent it from being reused in the future, but the ruins are very evocative and the views are anything but majestic.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Cheshire. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Cheshire, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.