Guide To Holidaying In Cheshire
A guide by Hayley Harp
James Bond himself, David Craig was born in Chester and the northwest county could be said to have as much going on as a Bond film.
Cheshire is home to numerous rural towns and villages, Warrington is the largest and others to visit include Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Macclesfield. The affluent areas of Alderly Edge, Wilmslow and Knutsford also lie within its borders.
Where to go, what to see
The county is an excellent base for visiting Liverpool, Manchester or even the Peak District but if you don't want to stray far there's plenty to see and do. For a touch of excitement try Gulliver's theme park in Warrington or Oulton Park race circuit on a car or biking race day between April and October. If it's a bit of history you're after visit Quarry Bank Mill, Styal near Wilmslow, and try the hands-on exhibits at the complete working cotton mill or there's a unique day out to be had at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker.
Other attractions include Beeston Castle - a ruined castle built in 1225, Chester Zoo - the UK's largest, telescopes and observatories at Jodrell Bank, shopping at Cheshire Oaks Outlet Mall, the UK's only boat lift - Anderton Boat Life or the Chester Walls, perhaps the best way to view the historical county town.
Food glorious food
There are plenty of places to go when hunger strikes, catering for almost every budget and taste bud. For dining with some of the most picturesque views try the Cestria Restaurant in Broxton Hall, Chester, where you can admire the gardens while you eat or cruise Chester's waterways on the restaurant boat outside the Mill Hotel.
Head chef of Juniper has been praised by Gordon Ramsey himself so take a visit to Altrincham if French food takes your fancy. The Living Room in Chester is great for a romantic meal or vegetarians should try The Greenhouse Vegetarian restaurant in Altrincham.
There's plenty of award winning food to be had around the county too. The Swettenham Arms, a 16th Century Inn in Swettenham Village, Congleton has won many awards for its home-cooked meals, as has the a la carte menus of the Bear's Paw Hotel restaurant in Warmington. Similarly, The Bridge Hotel and Restaurant near Macclesfield serves modern international cuisine up to top standards.
For snacks you have to try real diary ice cream. Snugburys, near Hurleston, serves delicious Jersey ice cream to 100,000 customers a year and Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, Tattenhall, offers over 30 flavours of ice cream and sorbets.
Annual Cheshire events include Royal May Day in Knutsford, which dates back to 1864, the Cheshire County Show (June) and the Poynton Show, in Poynton Park (August).
Other important events in the region are the frequent visits of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show at Tatton Park, Knutsford in July.
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