Kelsall has a thriving community and first-rate hospitality

PUBLISHED: 11:36 26 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:57 20 February 2013

Village centre

Village centre

Not just a pretty face, Kelsall has a thriving community and first-rate hospitality. Words by Polly Berkeley Paintings by Gordon Wilkinson

Situated on Kelsall Hill, part of the Mid-Cheshire Ridge, Kelsall is the sort of picturesque village that epitomises the beating heart of the county.

Its not a huge place but it has a flourishing community and enough inhabitants to warrant a local primary school, medical centre, store and a handful of rather good pubs. These are the kinds of establishments those people escaping the big city head for on a frosty autumnal weekend.

So here is the perfect starting point from which to explore Cheshire and North Wales or enjoy the rural beauty of the area before succumbing to the temptations of inns, such as the Lord Binning, which was previously the Morris Dancer, a venue oozing rustic charm with a contemporary edge.

Theres also the Royal Oak, which has just launched a Chicago-themed pizzeria - Colosimos pizzeria and prohibition bar. Named after Americas original gangster, it adds an extra dimension to The Royal Oaks established Oak Restaurant which continues to operate at the front of the pub.

Kelsall is the location for the Chester Folk Festival in May and we all know traditional music lovers are usually fond of traditional locally-brewed ale too; however, there are other attractions nearby to tempt any visitor to the area including the aptly-named Mount Pleasant Gardens.

Set in the glorious rolling Cheshire countryside, near to Delamere Forest and only 15 minutes from the centre of Chester, these charming gardens offer the ideal opportunity to meander through some of the finest displays of traditional plantings and ponds. There are workshops and other events held here so it is well worth exploring.

The gardens boast thousands of varieties of plants and are a riot of colour throughout the summer season. When visiting, check out the tiered garden, which cascades down a gently sloping hillside providing outstanding views over the Cheshire Plain.

Kelsall is located around eight miles (13 km) east of Chester, eight miles (13 km) west of Northwich and four miles (6 km) north west of Tarporley. The village is situated on Kelsall Hill, a part of the Mid-Cheshire Ridge, the broken line of sandstone hills that divide the west Cheshire Plain from its eastern counterpart.

Why not visit Mount Pleasant gardens and then set off on foot or by car into Kelsall itself? This is also a good place to head off on a stroll to the nearby Delamere Station Cafe. It is a lovely countryside walk and takes approximately half an hour and is mainly via forest tracks.

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