High street shopping in Nantwich

Where streets steeped in history are just made for Christmas

Nantwich’s medieval streets, listed buildings and location beside the River Weaver make it almost the perfect location to get into the traditional spirit of Christmas.

The town grew up around the trade in salt which was used in cheese making and tanning and a brine spring called Old Biot which still exists on the banks of the River Weaver symbolises this once lucrative industry.

Now the town has reinvented itself as a shopper’s paradise. It’s certainly something of a mecca for cheese, so if you’re planning to add a groaning cheeseboard to the festive table then this could be a good place to start.

Its annual Nantwich Cheese Festival is a huge success and attracts visitors from all over the world while the town’s Food Festival in September enhances its foodie credentials further.

Historic black and white buildings (this month adorned with festive lights) form the backdrop to the shopping here. There’s a landscaped pedestrianised area which is home to many specialist stores and there are regular markets in the square as well as the farmers’ markets which are held on the last Saturday of every month. The impressive parish church of St. Mary’s is right in the heart of the shopping area too.

Certainly a crisp winter’s day can be spent browsing around the town, perhaps taking a stroll along the Riverside Walk followed by a meal in one of the many restaurants, pubs or cafes.

Most Read

In the past, Nantwich has apparently survived many disasters - including being razed to the ground in the 11th century by the Normans and being attacked by Welsh marauders in the 14th century. In 1583 it was almost destroyed by fire and during the Civil War when the locals supported the Parliamentarians it was besieged several times by the Royalist army.

Eventually the town was relieved on January 25th 1644 and the townspeople celebrated by wearing holly in their hats. Every year the Battle of Nantwich is remembered with a re-enactment on Holly Holy Day. n