7 places to eat outdoors in Cheshire
- Credit: ©National Trust Images/Arnhel de
Lazy days in the sunshine are just made for having a picnic with friends and family and here’s how to do it the Cheshire way. Dig out your cool bag, shake the dead spiders from your rug and prepare for your first picnics of 2019 with our handy guide
The woody one
Why? Delamere Forest is Cheshire's largest area of woodland, stretching out across over 950 hectares and including wetland and open grassland. It's a place to escape from everyday and find peace in the heart of the forest. Currently, a multimillion pound Delamere Forest plan will create a new visitor hub and gateway to the forest.
Perfect for: Working up an appetite. There are three walking trails and two cycling trails at the forest, as well as a fun Gruffalo orienteering navigational challenge and a Go Ape forest segway experience.
Getting there: Linmere, Delamere, Northwich, CW8 2JD. Delamere forest is 10 miles outside Chester and close to the M56. You can also take the train to Delamere station.
The musical one
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Why? Dunham Massey is one of the North West's great gardens with sweeping lawns, beautiful borders and majestic tress, surrounding a Georgian orangery and Victoria bark house. Every weekend throughout June you can relax with your picnic to a soundtrack of live music, ranging from classics with a twist to jazz and folk.
Perfect for: Culture lovers and foodies. You can source your picnic goodies from some of Dunham Massey's tenant farmers. Try stone-baked pizza from Red House and Dunham Massey apple juice and fruit, honey and salad vegetables from the Little Heath farm Shop.
Getting there: Woodhouse Lane, Altrincham, WA14 4SJ. Dunham Massey is part of the borough of Trafford and is approximately two miles from Altrincham railway station.
The beachy one
West Kirby Beach
Why? It's the summer and it would not be complete without a trip to the seaside. Time to pack the sunscreen and a bucket and spade and head for the coast.
Perfect for: Seaside fun. Enjoy pony rides along the beach, water sports and kite flying. During the summer there are lifeguards on patrol so you can take a dip if you dare and if you want a change of mood The Hilbre Islands Local Nature Reserve is a two mile walk away at low water (crossing times are posted daily in the main notice board by the beach).
Getting there: West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 3JJ. Grange Road. The main thoroughfare of West Kirby, is part of the A540, you can also take the train to West Kirby railway station from Birkenhead and Liverpool.
The city one
River Dee Chester
Why? Few things are as delightful as watching the sunshine dapple the water on Chester's majestic River Dee, while maybe sipping something cold and fizzy!
Perfect for: Getting away from it all. In a busy city it can be hard to find a tranquil, relaxing space but down by the river you'll find just that. Stroll along the banks and you'll find benches to sit on or a short walk over Queen's Park Bridge takes you into Handbridge and the fields known as The Meadows, which are the perfect place for enjoying a picnic in the city. Down by the river you can feed the ducks as well as hire a rowing boat or pedalo to enjoy messing about on the river itself.
Getting there: Chester is easily accessible by road and rail.
The stately one
Why? Discover the impressive 18th century Mansion set amongst 1,000 acres of Deer Park or sit awhile in the stunning gardens and enjoy Tatton's views.
Perfect for: Those who love variety. Tatton Park hosts a large number of events throughout the year so you can take your picnic along to everything from a classic car spectacular to a kids' open air cinema experience.
Getting there: Knutsford, WA16 6QN. Tatton Hall is just over 2.5 miles north of Knutsford.
The secret one
Hare Hill Park
Why? The walled garden here really is a secret hideaway. Here you can take a leisurely stroll around the white borders in summer, and enjoy the many varieties of plants and fragrances before relaxing over your picnic.
Perfect for: Everyone. The green fingered can admire plantsman Colonel Brocklehurst's beautiful garden, from rare and exotic rhododendrons and azaleas in spring, to more recent additions such as unusual foxgloves, bulbs and of course the perennial summer borders in the walled garden. Bird watchers can head for the bird hide and spot blue tits, tree creepers and even a woodpecker.
Getting there: Hare Hill, Macclesfield, SK10 4PY. Hare Hill is at Over Alderley about three miles away from the village of Alderley Edge, which is the nearest railway station.
The mysterious one
Why? The escarpment overlooking the Cheshire plain has a magical and intriguing charm, with natural beauty and ancient treasures hidden beneath the surface and the views on a good day are spectacular.
Perfect for: Mystical musings. The red sandstone escarpment is a place of myth and legend, where reputedly King Arthur's knights lie sleeping and will only awaken when the country is in dire need. A must-see is the wizard's well, which is the carved head of a bearded man from which water trickles from the rock face of the escarpment into a stone trough, along with the inscription, "Drink of this and take thy fill, for the water falls by the Wizard's will."
Getting there: Nether Alderley SK10 4UB. Alderley Edge is located on the B5087, just south of the village of Alderley Edge. The car park is down a small track adjacent to The Wizard pub. There are frequent trains to Alderley Edge village from Stockport and Manchester.