Top 7: Ideas For A Free Family-Friendly Day Out In Cheshire

By Jenny Schippers – 2nd December 2020
RECOMMENDATION | Billy Bob’s Parlour & Diner – The Yorkshire Dales 178

Top 7 Ideas For A Free Family-Friendly Day Out in Cheshire

Let’s face it, December can be a tough month financially so any suggestions for a family-friendly day out without spending a penny are always welcome! The majority of my suggestions are for outdoor activities, so ensure you wrap up warm and take a flask of coffee and a picnic with you. For indoor ideas, keep an eye on your local library, museums, and churches as they begin to reopen with some offering free festive activities. And finally, tis’ the season…why not walk around your local neighbourhood and spot the Christmas lights (with a hip flask of mulled wine for the grownups!). Facebook community groups are always useful to find out where has the best displays in your area.

NB Some of the parks, walks, and playgrounds suggested below will incur parking charges. Please check the weather conditions and route prior to walking.

Top 7 Ideas For A Free Family-Friendly Day Out in Cheshire


Free Day Out 1: Climb a Hill


Bickerton Hill – lies at the Southern tip of the Peckforton Hills, with views over the Cheshire Plain. There are various circular walks to consider starting from 3 miles.

Car parks:  SY14 8LN off Goldford Lane or Sy14 8LH off Old Coach Road

Helsby Hill – a short circular walk (approx. 2 miles) up to Helsby Hill Fort with views out towards the Mersey Estuary and Liverpool. Longer trails can be picked up including the Longster Trail and Sandstone Trail.

Car Park: Helsby Quarry off Alvaney Road

Overton Hill –  a 3-mile circular trail climbing to this prominent hill on the Mid-Cheshire ridge, 500 feet above Frodsham and with fabulous views over the Cheshire plain and Mersey estuary. The walk includes Woodhouses Iron Age Fort and a longer walk can be picked up on the Delamere Way to Delamere Forest.

Car Park: Frodsham Hill car park on Bellemonte Way

Runcorn Hill – a 1.5-mile circular hill walk through a nature reserve to a sandstone outcrop overlooking Runcorn and the River Mersey. This area once served as a series of sandstone quarries providing stone used in the building of Liverpool Cathedral and New York harbour.

Car Park: end of Highlands Road close to Traveller’s Rest Pub

Tegg’s Nose Country Park – this is a gentle 3-mile hill climb with the route weaving through the old quarry works offering spectacular views of Macclesfield Forest. There is plenty of old machinery to stop and look at on the way.

Car Park: Buxton Old Rd, Macclesfield SK11 0AP

White Nancy – there are many different trails ranging in length and difficulty from 3 to 6 miles. The walks all end at White Nancy on top of Kerridge Hill with 360-degree views across Cheshire, North Wales, and the Shropshire Hills.

Car Park: Postcode for White Nancy SK10 5QF (variety of parking places depending on the route so plan ahead)


Free Day Out 2: Lakeside Walks


Enjoy a circular lakeside walk whilst watching for birdlife along the way:

Nantwich Lake – CW5 8AA

Alderford Lake – SY13 3jQ

Moore Nature Reserve – WA4 6XE

Astbury Mere Country Park – CW12 4FP

Pennington Flash – WN7 3PA

Shakerley Mere – CW9 7DB

Tatton Park – WA16 6SG

Lymm Dam – WA13 0UG

Anderton Nature Park – CW9 6FW

Marbury Park – CW9 6AT


Free Day Out 3: Pick a (new) Park


Rather than visiting the same old park and playground, why not work through my list to visit somewhere new:

Castle Park, Frodsham – WA6 6SA

Sankey Valley Park, Warrington – WA5 9UR

Grosvenor Park, Chester – CH1 1QQ

Congleton Park – CW12 1BN

Sandbach Park – CW11 1FJ

The Moor, Knutsford – WA16 6ES

Victoria Park, Widnes – WA8 7SU

Queens Park, Crewe – CW2 7SE

Sandy Lane Park, Chester – CH3 5UL

Victoria Park, Warrington – WA4 1DQ

Walton Gardens, Warrington – WA4 6SN


Free Day Out 4:  Visit the Storyhouse, Chester


The Children’s library at the Storyhouse is free to enter and you can enjoy the bright colourful space to sit and read with little ones. This quirky building houses a library, café, theatre space, and cinema rooms but is entirely free to enter and walk around the communal library areas. Open daily and located in the city centre opposite the Cathedral; this beautiful space is definitely worth a visit on your trip to Chester. There is also a calendar of amazing arts events so make sure to check out their website for details.


Free Day Out 5: Barons Quay, Northwich, CW9 5LG


This modern shopping area in Northwich, on the banks of the River Weaver, is a safe space for children to walk and explore. There is ‘Project Happy’ artwork by Emma Evans dotted along the walls and windows. Little ones will love following the patterns! There is also currently a free light installation to enjoy over the Christmas period. Parking is free for 3 hours and the pathways are perfect for prams/scooters.


Free Day Out 6:  Spot the Boats


Enjoy a waterside walk with plenty of boats to spot along the way:

River Dee, Chester

Bridgwater Canal, Altrincham to Stockton Heath

Anderton Boat Lift, Northwich – You can view the boatlift from the canal bank without paying to go into the Visitor Centre.

Nantwich Riverside Loop

Acton Bridge to Dutton Locks


Free Day Out 7: Woodland Walks


Take a walk into the deep, dark woods…for any fans of the Gruffalo, there is a free trail to complete in Delamere Forest. Follow the clues to complete the walk and find the Gruffalo at the end.

Macclesfield Forest

Delamere Forest

Alderley Edge Walk

Spud Wood, Lymm

Risley Moss, Warrington

The Dingle, Appleton


Be sure to tag me in your Cheshire adventures @girlabout.cheshire and by using the hashtag #makingmemoriesincheshire 


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!


RECOMMENDATION | Billy Bob’s Parlour & Diner – The Yorkshire Dales 198
Share it on your own social media channels or with friends


Become a Girl About Travel Club member and benefit from our travel concierge service, itineraries, rewards, offers, discounts, resources, retreats and more!

Featured Articles & Sponsored Posts