14 fantastic places for Cheshire romantics
PUBLISHED: 00:42 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:30 05 August 2020
Where would you go to for a day of love asks Jenny Schippers
As life slowly begins to trickle back into our high streets and country towns, it is more important than ever to get out and discover all that we have on our doorstep. By supporting our independent and enthusiastic hospitality industry, our hard-working suppliers and incredible tourist attractions, the hope is that we can begin to rebuild and rediscover all that makes Cheshire great. So instead of booking that romantic mini-break further afield this year, be inspired to stay closer to home and support our small regional businesses as they begin the daunting and difficult task of rebuilding post-Covid.
You will be spoilt for choice when considering your options for a weekend retreat. There is the busy and elegant market town of 1. Knutsford, the leafy village of 2. Tarporley, and the Roman walled city of 3. Chester, all offering an array of accommodation options from exclusive spa hotels to boutique Inns and luxury B and Bs. 4 The Vicarage at Cranage provides rustic charm in bucketloads while the 5. Edgar House Hotel in Chester allows exclusivity to all guests, with just seven bedrooms. For those looking for something a little bit different, why not visit the quirky 6. Wizards Thatch at Alderley Edge or the sumptuous 7. Cheshire Boutique Barns set in rolling countryside just outside Wrenbury?
For this romantic itinerary, I suggest you stay at the breathtaking 8. Nunsmere Hall nestled in the ancient woodland of Delamere Forest, conveniently located just off the A49 at Oakmere and close to Oulton Park. This stunning country house hotel, surrounded by a 60-acre lake, offers seclusion in the most peaceful of surroundings. There are 28 beautifully designed bedrooms and eight suites boasting wonderful views out over the water and manicured gardens beyond. Within the grounds, you can take part in an array of outdoor activities including walking and mountain bike trails, Segway tours, and laser clay shooting for the more adventurous.
En route to Nunsmere Hall set yourself up with a stop at 9. Ginger & Pickles in Tarporley for breakfast. This award-winning and locally owned tearoom prides itself on showcasing regional produce with its delightful menu. The Beforenoon Tea is a showstopper and includes a three-tier selection of breakfast items, doorstop toast, jam and chutneys to share. If you still have room after that, or you fancy taking something away, make sure to visit the bakery section for a sweet or savoury treat. After you have eaten, enjoy some time strolling down the bustling high street taking in the pretty buildings and perusing the shops. Market day is the first Saturday of each month.
Once you have arrived at your hotel and checked in, it is time to start exploring all that this area of West Cheshire has to show. For the active types, a walk up to 10. Beeston Castle offers stupendous views out towards the Welsh border, thrill-seekers can pre-book the Landrover Experience that departs from neighbouring 11. Peckforton Castle. Shopaholics should make a stop at the family-run 12. Blakemere Craft Village, just off the old Chester Road and spend some time wandering through the independent shops and vintage antique emporiums.
If all that activity sounds too much, and the aim of your break is to relax and recharge, then pay a visit to the new 13. Carden Park Spa, just south of Chester. This £10million, world-class resort has a three-acre vineyard in its grounds supplying the hotel with its very own Carden Old Gold sparkling wine. There is an array of day spa packages – visit the website and book in advance to avoid disappointment. Why not spoil yourself with the ultimate Bollinger Experience, including full use of the spa garden and thermal experience, Bollinger robe and flip-flops to take home, a glass of champagne on arrival, a healthy lunch, and two treatments.
To end the day, feast on the incredible home-cooked food at the highly recommended 14. Fishpool Inn at Delamere. This independent, family-owned gastropub is one of the most popular in the area. Starting its rise by winning Best New Pub in the UK at The Publican Awards, 2014, it has since been nominated for, and won, many more accolades – most recently Pub of the Year at the Marketing Cheshire Awards 2019. The 18th-century coaching inn has been transformed into a place that instantly allows you to relax and soak up the atmosphere.
If you are visiting during the winter months position yourself next to one of the open fires, and for warmer days, relax in the delightful gardens overlooking the fields beyond. The Sunday roasts are legendary, as are the home-made pies. Make sure to save space, however, for the peak of any meal at the Fishpool – the famous knickerbocker glory.
Jenny Schippers is a busy mum, born and raised in Cheshire, who lives just outside Warrington with her husband and two little girls. She writes for the Girl About Travel team as the Girl About Cheshire ambassador highlighting all that is great about the county. Instagram: @girlabout.cheshire and girlabout.co.uk