48 hours in Cheshire

Famous for silk, salt, cheese, and nowadays its famous footballing residents, Cheshire’s rolling vistas, pretty towns and idyllic villages are just the ticket, says Jenny Schippers.

This is a feature from Issue 6 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.

Friday lunchtime

At the heart of Cheshire sits the Roman walled city of Chester, easily accessible by train and road. It’s famous for its black and white timbered buildings and historic ‘Rows’. Clustered around the River Dee, which flows through the city centre, are independent shops and eateries, making it the perfect base for a weekend break. Oddfellows is a boutique Georgian house hotel in the city centre with one-of-a-kind interiors.
From here, the Roman walls that surround the city are within easy walking distance and will allow you to get your bearings whilst spotting the historic sites. Follow the walls as they run next to the river, and over the stunning Eastgate Clock Bridge (made famous in the opening titles of TV soap Hollyoaks!) before dropping down onto the high street.
From here you can enjoy a wander through the Grosvenor precinct before exiting onto the famous Chester Rows of Bridge Street. If you need a pick-me-up at any point, grab a coffee at the Jaunty Goat.

Friday afternoon

Settle yourself into the Palm Cocktail and Eatery. This pretty pink bar serves a creative afternoon tea, complete with edible lipstick, as well as bottomless brunches in an instagrammable setting. To counteract the cake, take a leisurely stroll past your hotel and over the Old Dee Bridge towards the racecourse. Or take a boat trip along the river. Chester Boat cruises depart every 30 minutes and go upriver, under the Queen’s Park pedestrian suspension bridge and past the Chester Meadows. Disembark to walk through the Roman Gardens past the ruined amphitheatre before looping back to your hotel for a refreshing drink in the ‘Secret Garden’.   

Friday evening

Start at Liquor and Co. on Watergate Street for an aperitif before dinner at 1539 Restaurant. The AA Rosette establishment has a stunning position overlooking Chester Racecourse and is named after the year horse racing began in the city. Book a table on the terrace if it’s warm.

Saturday morning

Following a hearty breakfast at Hanky Panky Pancakes, drive out of Chester towards the ancient woodland of Delamere Forest. If you’re the adventurous type you’ll be spoilt for choice – there are miles of walking and cycling trails, Segway tours available and a Go Ape high ropes course.

Saturday lunchtime

The family-owned Fishpool Inn is an 18th Century coaching pub-turned multiaward-winning gastro pub so book ahead to avoid disappointment. On a sunny day take a seat outside in the manicured gardens for views over the fields beyond. During winter, cosy up in front of one of the open log fires whilst sampling one of the famous pies, followed by a knickerbocker glory if you have room.

Saturday afternoon

Head back towards Chester via the medieval Beeston Castle, sitting proudly on the Mid Cheshire Ridge. Follow the signs towards the village of Tattenhall and you will arrive at the impressive Ice Cream Farm. Considered to be the world’s largest ice cream parlour, it has over 50 flavours of ice cream as well as a variety of activities, including adventure golf.

Saturday evening

On returning to your hotel enjoy a couple of hours relaxing before dinner in the nearby village of Hoole, a 20-minute walk away or a quick taxi ride. Pretty Hoole won the 2016 Great British High Street Award thanks to its huge choice of independent retailers and restaurants. Enjoy dinner at the cosy Sticky Walnut Bistro (pre-booking essential) and then have a night cap at The Suburbs, an intimate bar just over the road.

Sunday Morning

Check out of your hotel and visit The Flower Cup Cafe for a unique botanical brunch before leaving. If you have the afternoon free there are a number of magnificent day spas close by. The super-sleek Carden Park Hotel or the uber stylish Grosvenor Pulford Hotel are great options. If spas aren’t your thing, head to the famous Chester Zoo for a Sunday safari.

Girl About Travel Club

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This is a feature from Issue 6 of Charitable Traveller. Click to read more from this issue.