What it's like
While the north is famed as a rich-person’s crash-pad, southern Cheshire has a beautifully rural heart, where the walker can find much to fall in love with. That said, you’re never too far away from civilisation, be it the market town of Macclesfield, Chester or even Manchester. Most of this county’s attractions lie in the south and east, where – respectively – the rolling sandstone of the mid-Cheshire ridge is at its most interesting, and the western spill of the Peak District creeps over the border. In central Cheshire, attractions are manifold, with the Crusade-era Beeston Castle commanding a view over the Cheshire Plain from its sandstone promontory. This forms a part of the Sandstone Trail, a superb cross-county walk from Frodsham to Whitchurch, which takes in some quintessentially Cheshire scenery on its 30 mile North-south meander along the Ridge. The countyt has more canals than any other, and has many small villages are squirreled away which offer engaging country walks, especially near the villages of Burwardsley and Tattenhall. Further north, Delamere Forest is a paradise for mountain bikers and walkers who prefer to remain under cover. And if you’re after something a little different, small hills such as Frodsham offer strangely beautiful views of the huge, fairy-lit refineries along the Mersey. Climb at night for the full effect!
- Central section of the Sandstone Trail The highlights of this elevated sandstone ridge walk includes Beeston Castle and views to Peckforton Castle as it journeys the ten miles between Willington and Bickerton. Click here for more details about this trail.
- Vale Royal Round A great walk which is kind of a Cheshire all-in-one, covering 35 miles through sections of Delamere Forest, the Sandstone Trail, villages and waterside footpaths in a stunning part of the county.
- Gritstone Trail One for the more challenge-seeking, this 35-mile walk traces the eastern border of the county, and takes in the formidable Grit terrain of the Peak District. Like the Sandstone Trail, it’s broken into three sections – each of which can be tackled in a day.
Must see and do
- Visit Beeston Castle An atmospheric and well-preserved Crusade-era castle which commands a fine view over the patchwork plain of Cheshire. www.castlexplorer.co.uk/england/beeston/beeston.php/
- Stargaze at Jodrell Bank One of the UK’s premier facilities for astrophysics is a window into the far reaches of space – from pleasant, deepest Cheshire. A delight; www.jb.man.ac.uk/
- Chester Zoo Though it’s not the over-the-hills and far away type, there’s plenty of walking to be had at the zoo, which is one of the country’s finest. www.chesterzoo.org/
Destination County : Cheshire