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Top 5 Winter Walks in Cheshire and Merseyside

By Jenny Schippers – 24th November 2020
RECOMMENDATION | Billy Bob’s Parlour & Diner – The Yorkshire Dales 178

My Favourite Winter Walks in Cheshire & Merseyside

 

We have had some wonderful Winter walks in the last couple of weeks, and I hope by sharing these it will inspire you to get outside and explore some real hidden gems around the Cheshire and Merseyside region.

A couple of my suggested walks are National Trust properties, so it may be worth considering an annual membership. If this is something you would like to read more about, I have included the link to my recent blog post here all about the benefits of becoming a member and whether I consider it value for money. For balance, there are alternative schemes including Historic Houses, which includes Arley Hall, and English Heritage. It may be a worthwhile exercise to check which properties you have close to you and how often you would visit them. If the answer is more than twice a month then an annual visitor pass could be a cost-effective option.

Having said all of that, my first and favourite Winter walk at Port Sunlight is completely free of charge. I have also written the ‘Outdoor Days Out in Cheshire with Great Coffee’ blog post which includes plenty of suggestions for free walks in Cheshire that incorporate a stop for a well-deserved takeaway coffee.

Top 5 Winter Walks in Cheshire and Merseyside

 

Port Sunlight

23 King George’s Drive, Port Sunlight, Wirral CH62 5DX

 

If you have a love of local history and architecture, then the Port Sunlight Walk is for you. Although slightly unconventional in so much as it is a walk around a village, the eclectic buildings allow for a truly unique and really interesting walk. Port Sunlight is a model garden village on the Wirral Peninsula and was originally designed and built to house the workers at the nearby soap factory. Port Sunlight, now a conservation area, was designed by a collection of architects and for that reason, every road has a different build style. The main sights include the impressive Lady Lever Art Gallery, War Memorial, and Christ Church. The wide streets are perfect for prams and scooters as well as over 130 acres of parkland to play in. Keep an eye on the Port Sunlight Experience website for updates on walking tours, the opening of the new Soap Works interactive family exhibition and Museum. There is also the Leverhulme Hotel, Port Sunlight Garden Centre, Gladstone Theatre, and Tudor Rose Tearooms in the village.

 

Thornton Manor

Manor Road, Thornton Hough, Wirral, Cheshire Border, CH63 1JB

 

This impressive Elizabethan manor house and country estate is also on the Wirral Peninsula, close to Claremont Farm. Once owned by William Lever of Port Sunlight fame, this vast park and gardens has opened its doors to the public for their Garden Walks. Thornton Manor is welcoming members of the public whilst their weddings are postponed, and this initiative provides the perfect opportunity to wander through what would normally be private gardens. There are two walks, the Garden and Woodland, taking approximately 1.5 hours to complete both. The first taking you through the manicured formal gardens which although currently cut back for Winter, still provides plenty to study with impressive architecture and garden design. The Woodland walk around the lake is incredibly peaceful and offers a great chance of spotting plenty of squirrels and birdlife. Remember to wear wellies! Tickets for the walk are pre-bookable only through the website and takeaway coffee and snacks are available on-site as well as toilets.

 

Arley Hall

Arley Hall & Gardens, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6NA

 

I have lived about four miles from Arley Hall most of my life, but I could not remember the last time I had visited until I returned a few weeks ago. I am so pleased I finally decided to stop searching so far away for places to visit and instead, take the time to look at what is on my doorstep! Arley Hall and Gardens is a part of the much wider Arley Estate conveniently close to both Northwich and Warrington. Still very much a family home, Lord and Lady Ashbrook lovingly oversee the day to day running of the estate which has been in the same family for over 500 years. Although the hall is currently closed to the public, with events and weddings limited, the beautifully manicured gardens are open to the public daily 10 am – 4 pm with no booking required. There is also a fantastic children’s playground and adventure play area as well as picnic tables and takeaway service available from the Gardener’s Kitchen. The Cruck Barn provides the most attractive covered seating in the Grade I listed building and there are toilets available on site for visitors. Arley Hall is part of the Historic Houses scheme.

 

Speke Hall

The Walk, Speke, Liverpool, L24 1XD

 

This hidden gem of a National Trust property is a quiet oasis in an otherwise busy, commercial area of Liverpool. Liverpool Airport has been built up to the fridges of this Tudor estate and what would have once been sprawling parkland is today, a compact country estate. The manor house is still closed however the enticing children’s adventure trail complete with woodland musical instruments, a natural wooded playground, and ancient woodland to explore, is enough to keep little ones occupied for a couple of hours. As well as this, there is a super children’s play area and maze both conveniently close to the café serving takeaway drinks and snacks. The toilets, as with all National Trust properties, are clean and there is an abundance of picnic benches and bins. The pathways within the formal gardens are paved for ease with prams and scooters however the adventure trail is better suited to slightly older children (3 years plus), a baby carrier would be recommended for this. There is a clear view of the airport beyond and any plane enthusiasts will enjoy the constant aircraft movement overhead.  As with all National Trust properties currently, make sure to pre-book your timed tickets 7/10 days in advance.

 

Tatton Park

Tatton Park, Knutsford. Cheshire, WA16 6QN

 

By complete contrast, the sprawling Tatton Park Estate is vast; 1000 acres to be precise. Consisting of 161 hectares of woodland, 50 hectares of water, a mansion, farm, and formal gardens there really is something to suit everyone. You could return time and again to Tatton and never visit the same part of the park twice. The cost to park is £7 and there are a variety of car parks to choose from which grant you access to different areas within the parkland. If you have visited Tatton many times, why not park in a different area to experience an undiscovered section of the estate. If you fancy a longer walk, you could park in the pretty village of Knutsford (park mindfully) and walk into Tatton Park. The long drive is pram and scooter friendly however, be aware of cars passing. You can immediately take any of the trails across the estate however sensible footwear is advised, dogs on leads, and the resident deer herd are to be respected. If you have a National Trust membership, you can book in advance to visit the formal gardens which always have a calendar of seasonal events, check the website for details. There is also a fantastic playground, picnic areas, farm (open seasonally), and the stable yard with toilets and takeaway facilities.

RECOMMENDATION

This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review but paid in full by our writer and the venue had no idea that I was there. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

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