At Visit Chester & Cheshire, we like to think we’re in the know about our beautiful county. Cheshire is home to world-leading attractions, accommodation, restaurants and pubs, local producers and so much more. Whether you’re new to the county or a lifelong resident, you may want the inside scoop on Cheshire: top tips on when and where to visit, off-the-beaten-track attractions and experiences, and a true locals’ perspective. From hidden-away gardens and unique experiences to exclusive food and drink and deep dives into our history, make this your guide for your Cheshire explorations.

Great British Life: Visitors in the walled garden at Hare Hill. (c) National TrustVisitors in the walled garden at Hare Hill. (c) National Trust

Secret Gardens

Macclesfield’s Hare Hill is a treasure maintained by the National Trust. This idyllic walled garden and woodlands attracts nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Wandering through its enchanting pathways, visitors are greeted by a breathtaking range of vibrant plant life. The tranquil walled garden is the perfect place to relax, away from the hustle and bustle, and for longer walks guests can explore the historic parkland. There are sculptures throughout the garden including two wire, equestrian-theme pieces by Christopher Hobbs, commissioned by the former owner, Charles Brocklehurst, as a tribute to his twin brother, Patrick, who died in a riding accident.

Great British Life: The Danny on its way under the Dutton Viaduct on the River Weaver. (c) Andrew McCarenThe Danny on its way under the Dutton Viaduct on the River Weaver. (c) Andrew McCaren

Steam-powered cruising

If you’re wandering by the River Weaver you may have seen the magnificent Daniel Adamson. This art deco steamship, lovingly restored by a passionate team of experts, is a unique experience. Affectionately known as The Danny, it’s a living and working museum piece maintained to the highest standards with public access wherever and whenever possible. This includes regular public cruises to and from destinations including Anderton Boat Lift, Acton Bridge, Sutton Weaver and Liverpool. There is also a range of themed cruises including the Danny's partnership with Nantwich Gin where guests can sample a range of tipples while meandering down the river.

High Spirits

High in the Cheshire Peak District above Macclesfield you can find the Forest Distillery at the historic Cat and Fiddle Inn. Built by a Macclesfield silk merchant and once a vital stop for travellers between Buxton and Macclesfield, the inn fell into disrepair years until it was lovingly restored to its former glory by the Forest Distillery. Sitting at 1689 feet, it is Britain's highest-altitude distillery and is now the home of Forest’s whisky and gin production. Only open Fridays to Sundays, it’s a real treat and guests can enjoy distillery tours, tastings and cocktail nights.

Get stuck into Treacletown

Macclesfield should be on your must-visit list. The town has a vibrant and metropolitan feel while retaining its Cheshire charm. We recommend visiting on the last Sunday of the month when the Treacle Market (named after a famous incident involving an overturned treacle wagon) comes to the town square. There are more than 160 stalls of unique crafts, artisanal food and drink, vintage wares, and much more. And if you’re in town, make sure to visit the Picturedrome. This is a fascinating take on the food hall with the building, as the name suggests, once the site of the town’s cinema. You can see evidence of this cinematic history inside as you enjoy food and drink from the numerous excellent vendors.

READ MORE: Why you should visit the Picturedrome in Macclesfield

Get away from it all

The Lazy Bear Nordic cabin offered by Unique Hideaways, is a secluded retreat next to a serene lake just outside Neston that gives its guests a chance to unplug and unwind in luxury. The cabin features a wood-fired hot tub, quirky interiors with exposed timber, plenty of natural light, and a hand-crafted box-style king-sized bed. It’s an eco-friendly retreat, too with solar-powered lamps, a log-burning stove, and no Wi-Fi or electricity, meaning visitors can get off grid and reconnect with the glorious Cheshire countryside.

Great British Life: Jonathan Fell scooping ice cream at the Ice Cream Farm. (c) Marketing Cheshire Jonathan Fell scooping ice cream at the Ice Cream Farm. (c) Marketing Cheshire

Cheshire: the home of ice cream

While Cheshire cheese production is still a big part of the local produce landscape, the county is also becoming the home of ice cream. There’s a lot of superb ice cream being produced across some fantastic locations. Take the Ice Cream Farm in Tattenhall for example, which is home to the world’s largest ice-cream parlour alongside its own theme park. Or as you travel through the Nantwich countryside you may wonder why there’s a 40-foot-tall bee; this giant bee means you’re at Snugburys Ice Cream Farm where you can enjoy a scoop or two of the signature flavours. On the outskirts of Chester, there's Backford Belles producing fantastic flavours made from the milk of the farm’s herd of Jersey cows. Take a trip through the county, ice cream in hand, with the Delicious Dozen Ice Cream Trail at

READ MORE: 6 of the best ice cream parlours in Cheshire

Great British Life: Parkgate on the Wirral PeninsulaParkgate on the Wirral Peninsula (Image: John Cocks)

Cheshire by the sea (sort of)

The county may not have a coastline but we do have an authentic seaside town in Parkgate on the Wirral Peninsula. A thriving port in the 18th century, Parkgate became popular with bathers and seaside tourists. However, the Dee Estuary silted up, and what was once the seaside is now an extensive saltmarsh and a vital home for wildlife in the form of the RSPB Dee Estuary. Parkgate retains its seaside resort feel, however, with a gorgeous promenade filled with quaint shops, cafés and traditional pubs, where visitors can indulge in local delicacies (and even some ice cream) while admiring the stunning vistas.

READ MORE: Wirral walk - Parkgate and Gayton

More than just the Romans

Although the Romans left an indelible mark on Cheshire’s historical landscape, you’d be missing a trick not to explore our county’s history further. Cheshire played a crucial role in the Industrial Revolution, for example. Macclesfield became renowned for its silk production and you can explore this fascinating heritage at the Silk Museum and Paradise Mill. Cheshire's salt mines were also a key part of its industrial landscape, providing essential resources for various industries. The Lion Salt Works in Northwich, which is the last open-pan salt works in the county, is a testament to salt’s vital role in the county’s history. And Warrington was once the wire capital of the country? Warrington’s Wire Works produced this vital material for a number of applications such as fencing, textiles, telecommunications and electrical wiring throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Warrington’s beloved Wolves and their ground at the Halliwell Jones Stadium are nicknamed The Wire, in honour of this heritage. You can explore how Warrington shaped the industrial revolution through wire at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery alongside a host of other fascinating exhibitions. There are thousands more years of history to explore in Cheshire and you can find more superb historical attractions and experiences at

Great British Life: Godfrey C. Williams in Sandbach is brimming with Cheshire produce. (c) Marketing Cheshire Godfrey C. Williams in Sandbach is brimming with Cheshire produce. (c) Marketing Cheshire

The very best local produce

As important as Cheshire’s industrial heritage is our agricultural heritage, which makes Cheshire one of the best places for local and artisanal produce. You can find some of the UK’s finest meats, vegetables, preserves, honey beer, spirits and wine. The Housekeeper’s Store at Tatton Park is a wonderful outlet for all things Cheshire produce. The store continues the tradition of supplying Tatton’s produce to the surrounding areas to this day by selling all kinds of locally made goods including from the estate. If you take a trip to historic Sandbach, make sure to visit Godfrey C Williams & Son. This friendly, family-run grocer, established in 1875, is a real Cheshire produce treasure trove, taking pride in a selection of local and artisanal cheeses, preserves, honey, wines, beers, baked goods, and coffee. It’s hard to visit Godfrey C. Williams and Son without coming out with a good few baskets of Cheshire produce.

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