Cheshire is a county synonymous with history, culture and scenes of rural majesty. Wedged neatly between the Welsh border and the great cities of Liverpool and Manchester, the county is home to a substantial amount of first-rate tourism hotspots.

    From crumbling medieval castles to sprawling forests, Cheshire offers no shortage of things to do for both locals and visitors to the area. Let’s look at some of the region’s most impressive historic structures.

    What are the best things to do in Cheshire?


    Chirk Castle

    An imposing 13th-century fortress

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    • Photo

    Chirk Castle is one of the best examples of a medieval castle to be found anywhere in the UK today. Completed in 1310, the structure is a breathtaking site atop its perch on an outcrop above the Rivers Dee and Ceiriog.

    With acres of gardens and lawns, all meticulously groomed, the castle continues to attract many visitors to this day. You can enjoy a glimpse of centuries of local history here, with Chirk Castle museum showcasing the building’s long and varied past.

    Location: Chirk, LL14 5AF, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1691 777701


    Tatton Park

    Splendid Tudor estate with gardens and deer

    Tatton Park is a collection of gardens, halls and parks clustered around a beautiful neo-classical mansion. With an adventure play area, woodland play trail and den building zone, it's very popular among families with children.

    Adults come for the exquisite Victorian interiors and wickedly delicious cream tea served in the Park’s dainty cafe. Tatton Park hosts a variety of significant events, playing a significant role in the artistic and cultural life of Cheshire, with hundreds of activities taking place each year.

    Location: Tatton Park Gardens, Mereheath Dr, Knutsford, WA16 6SG, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1625 374400


    Blue Planet Aquarium

    An extensive marine and freshwater aquarium

    When Blue Planet Aquarium opened back in the 1990s it was the largest aquarium in the country. While no longer holding this mantle, it remains Cheshire’s best place to encounter all manner of water-dwelling species including sharks, rays and tropical fish.

    There’s a huge variety of exhibitions at Blue Planet Aquarium, with most visitors making a beeline for the shark tunnel. There is also a large Cayman crocodile zone as well as areas dedicated to amphibians and lizards. A major highlight at the Blue Planet Aquarium is the opportunity to dive with sharks. Failing this, you can always catch a feeding by checking the times shown at the reception.

    Location: Cheshire Oaks, Longlooms Rd, Ellesmere Port CH65 9LF, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)151 357 8804


    Chester Cathedral

    A gothic-style cathedral dating back to the 11th century

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    • Photo

    Chester Cathedral is undoubtedly the city’s most imposing structure. Right at the heart of old Chester, the Grade I-listed building dates back to 1093. Highlights include climbing the 216-step tower for unparalleled views across the city and surrounding countryside. 

    Visit when the choir is in action for a particularly atmospheric and memorable time. Today, the cathedral has come something of a cultural hub for many in Chester, hosting everything from musical performances to art workshops.

    Location: St Werburgh St, Chester CH1 2DY, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 324756


    Chester City Walls

    Ancient protective wall system with towers and gates

    The Chester City Walls stands as a memorial to the city’s ancient past. When the Romans constructed their fortress Deva Victrix here between 70 and 80 AD, they created a series of ramparts to fend off attacks. Some 900 years later, the Normans would resurrect the walls to defend the medieval city.

    The walls are a major tourist site in Cheshire, providing a 2-mile route around the city from which you can take in almost 2,000 years of history. With a series of Grade I-listed gates and towers, the walls offer a unique vantage point from which to view Chester and the surrounding area.


    Beeston Castle

    Ruined castle atop a rugged sandstone crag

    • History
    • Photo
    • Couples

    Beeston Castle is one of Cheshire’s most atmospheric sites, a crumbling medieval structure perched over 300 ft above the countryside. Although spectacular, the 13th-century castle is only a small part of what this area has to offer. With a woodland walk, roundhouse and extensive exhibition space, it's great for families looking to spend a full day out in Cheshire.

    The Sandstone Café offers delicious homemade snacks and quality coffee, while Beeston Castle's onsite souvenir shop stocks a range of medieval-themed mementoes.

    Location: Chapel Ln, Tarporley CW6 9TX, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)370 333 1181


    Delamere Forest

    Sprawling woodland area with a lake and activities

    Delamere Forest is Cheshire’s largest single woodland area, covering over 960 ha of forests, meadows and lakes. Home to countless trails and isolated spaces perfect for soothing busy minds, Delamere Forest is also a top spot for outdoor activities in Cheshire. 

    Delamere Forest is home to a branch of Go Ape! activity centre, which challenges your climbing ability through a series of obstacles set high above the ground. Whether you want to try out an orienteering course, Nordic walking or even rent out a Segway, this spot is packed with fun.

    Location: Ashton Rd, Frodsham WA6, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)19287 40393


    Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

    Major observatory with a number of radio telescopes

    Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is a prominent observatory and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Cheshire village of Lower Withington. The area is home to the Lovell Telescope, which has a diameter of over 76 metres, making it the 3rd-largest steerable telescope in the world.

    Other activities at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre include exploring the telescope pathway, joining a telescope talk, and checking out the centre’s famous arboretum. This is a particularly exciting opportunity for those with small children interested in learning about science and the universe.

    Location: Macclesfield SK11 9DL, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1477 571766


    Quarry Bank Mill

    Preserved textile factory from the Industrial Revolution

    Quarry Bank Mill is a perfectly preserved textile factory dating back to the 18th century. Located in the Cheshire village of Styal, it serves as a key industrial heritage attraction that continues to operate to this day.

    Quarry Bank Mill provides a unique look at life in a cotton mill during the Victorian period. Through a series of exhibitions and demonstrations taking place throughout the mill and its adjacent buildings, you can get up close and personal with heritage machinery and preserved living quarters.

    Location: Styal Rd, Styal, Wilmslow SK9 4LA, UK

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1625 527468


    National Trust - Lyme

    Beautiful house surrounded by gardens, forest and a deer park

    • Photo
    • Couples
    • Budget
    • Adventure

    National Trust - Lyme is a 1,400-acre sprawl of park centred around an imposing home. Sitting on the fringes of the Cheshire Peak District near Disley, it was once a great sporting estate home to the aristocratic Legh family.

    The site is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, who come for the herd of red deer resident here since medieval times. Inside, the splendid Regency-era home offers a glimpse into the area’s noble past, whilst you might recognise the nearby Rose Garden from the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice.

    Location: Disley, Stockport SK12 2NR, UK

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1663 762023


    photo by Smabs Sputzer (CC BY 2.0) modified

    James Connolly | Guest Writer

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