Cheshire is home to a dazzling array of visitor attractions including a major UK zoo, an impressive cathedral and a whole lot more besides.
Read on as we now walk you through some of the most essential, must-visit Cheshire attractions.
Chester Cathedral, Chester
First on our list of things to do in Cheshire, Chester Cathedral – a historic treasure combining various architectural styles, from Saxon to Gothic.
As you approach the building, you’re greeted by an impressive façade adorned with carvings and statues, showcasing the artistry of ages past.
The interior is no less striking. The Nave is the central area where your eyes are immediately drawn to the tall, elegant stone arches and the brilliantly coloured stained-glass windows.
The light filtering through these windows casts an ethereal glow, making you feel as though you’ve stepped into another world.
The Choir area further impresses with its wooden stalls that are intricately carved, embodying both religious and aesthetic value.
A sense of deep spirituality permeates this space, intensified during musical performances.
Beyond the public areas, the cathedral also has a serene courtyard known as a garth, perfect for quiet contemplation.
One of those must-visit attractions, if you’re looking for things to do in Cheshire.
Cheshire Military Museum, Chester
Cheshire Military Museum is a captivating destination for history enthusiasts, housed in a historic building which once served as barracks.
One of the main highlights is the extensive collection of military artefacts from uniforms to weapons.
The exhibits chart the history of Cheshire’s regiments through various conflicts including the First and Second World Wars.
Adding an interactive dimension are the touch-screens and multimedia installations that provide more context to the exhibits.
This feature makes the museum engaging for younger audiences as well, turning a visit into a learning experience for the entire family.
What sets this museum apart is its attention to personal stories. Letters, diaries, and photographs humanize the broader military history, making it relatable and touching.
In essence, Cheshire Military Museum is a treasure trove of military history that appeals to both serious history buffs and families looking for an educational outing.
The combination of artefacts, personal stories, and interactive elements creates a rich, informative experience.
If you’re planning to visit Cheshire, this should be on your list of things to see.
Chester Roman Amphitheatre, Chester
Chester Roman Amphitheatre is a captivating location for anyone fascinated by ancient history.
Nestled within the charming city of Chester, this place takes you on a journey back to the 1st century AD.
Originally constructed to serve multiple functions, from military exercises to theatrical performances, it’s an evocative piece of Roman Britain that has survived the test of time.
The first thing that strikes you is its signature semi-circular form.
Even though only a fraction of the amphitheatre remains uncovered today, its layout and the remnants of tiered seating leave little to the imagination.
In its prime, this venue was capable of seating up to 8,000 spectators—a remarkable feat by any standard.
Plaques and signs peppered around the site enrich your visit with historical snippets, shedding light on its past significance.
Despite the modern world’s inevitable encroachment, what remains of the Chester Roman Amphitheatre serves as a living testament to the far-reaching influence of Rome in Britain.
Beeston Castle, Tarporley
Beeston Castle is a historic marvel that offers visitors a step back into the medieval world.
Built in the 1220s by Ranulf de Blondeville, the 6th Earl of Chester, the castle perches atop a lofty, rocky crag, dominating the landscape below.
Initially designed as a fortress and royal retreat, its elevated location made it a strategic lookout point as well as an impregnable defensive structure.
Even today, its walls and remains are impressively well-preserved, hinting at the brilliance of medieval engineering.
What sets Beeston Castle apart is not just its historical importance, but also the panoramic vistas it offers from its hilltop location.
On a clear day, you can gaze across eight counties, all the way to the Welsh mountains. It’s a view that captures not only the eye but also the imagination, filling you with a sense of awe and wonder.
The castle is also child-friendly, featuring an adventure playground to keep younger visitors entertained.
A trip to Beeston Castle, therefore, offers a perfect blend of education, exploration, and sheer natural beauty, making it an unmissable destination for anyone looking for things to do in Cheshire.
Little Moreton Hall, Congleton
Little Moreton Hall is a quintessentially English Tudor manor house located in Congleton, Cheshire.
Built primarily in the 16th century, the hall is a striking example of Tudor architecture, characterized by its half-timbered frame, wattle-and-daub panels, and leaded windows.
As you approach the property, the moat that encircles the building offers a picturesque setting that transports you back in time.
The hall is famous for its uneven structure; its Long Gallery noticeably sags under the weight of its rich history, creating a sense of living architecture that speaks to the passage of time.
The interiors feature intricately carved woodwork, tapestries and period furnishings from the Tudor era.
Managed by the National Trust, the property also offers landscaped gardens where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll.
Seasonal events and guided tours make it a family-friendly destination, inviting everyone to engage with England’s rich cultural heritage.
Tatton Park Mansion, Knutsford
Tatton Park Mansion is set in an expansive 1,000-acre deer park and offers a prime example of neo-classical architecture.
Its grand entrance showcases imposing columns and meticulous ornamentation, giving visitors a taste of the mansion’s interior grandiosity.
Upon entering, the house unfolds as a sanctuary of cultural riches. The interior spaces are adorned with an extensive collection of fine arts, period-appropriate furniture, and historical textiles.
Each room appears to be a competition in opulence, as one space is even more sumptuously decorated than the last.
The library and drawing rooms are particularly noteworthy, filled with intricately carved woodwork, hand-painted murals, and sumptuous fabrics that transport you back to a bygone era of British aristocracy.
The mansion is set within Tatton Park, a sprawling estate that offers a diverse array of attractions including stunning gardens and a working farm.
The mansion itself overlooks meticulously landscaped gardens, featuring classical sculptures, fountains, and a range of exotic and native plants.
Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or horticulture, Tatton Park Mansion offers a multifaceted experience that appeals to visitors of all ages.
Norton Priory, Runcorn
Norton Priory in Runcorn, Cheshire, is an impressive site that combines the past and the present in a unique way.
It’s one of the most excavated religious sites in Europe, originally founded as an Augustinian priory.
Over time, it morphed into an abbey and then a private residence before falling into ruin and later being revived.
As you wander the grounds, you’ll encounter the skeletal remains of the priory itself.
The stone walls and arches give an eerie yet fascinating peek into religious life during medieval times in England.
Stroll through the old cloisters and you can almost hear the whispers of the monks who once lived here.
The experience doesn’t stop at the ruins, though. The modern museum right next to them is an architectural contrast, showcasing a multitude of objects that have been unearthed over the years.
You’ll find everything from medieval pottery to coins and sculptural fragments, all helping to tell the story of the site across different epochs.
Plus, don’t miss the walled garden, designed to mimic what a medieval herb garden would have looked like.
Overall, Norton Priory offers a captivating journey through England’s layered history, appealing to history buffs and families alike.
Arley Hall & Gardens, Northwich
Located in Cheshire, Arley Hall & Gardens is a captivating blend of historical grandeur and horticultural excellence.
Designed in the 19th century in a Victorian Jacobean style, the hall itself is a feast for the eyes.
Built from rich red brick accented by ornate stone details, it instantly transports visitors back in time.
Once inside, the charm continues with finely carved wood panels, sumptuous tapestries, and an imposing staircase that adds to the grandeur.
But it’s not just the architecture that draws people to Arley; the gardens are a paradise for plant lovers.
Covering over eight acres, the carefully designed landscape provides a tranquil setting for a leisurely stroll.
From well-manicured rose beds to avenues flanked by towering trees, every corner of the garden is a living canvas showcasing nature’s bounty.
The herbaceous border is particularly notable, offering a kaleidoscope of colour and textures.
Chester City Walls, Chester
No Cheshire travel guide would be complete without mention of Chester’s city walls.
They’re a remarkable historical asset which are emblematic of Chester’s rich and rather eventful past.
Originally built by the Romans around AD 70 to defend the fortress of Deva Victrix, they are the most complete city walls in Britain.
Covering approximately two miles in a circuitous loop around the city, they offer an incredible walking experience with panoramic views of Chester and its surroundings.
Along the walls, you’ll encounter significant landmarks like the Eastgate Clock, considered one of the most photographed clocks in England after Big Ben.
Other highlights include the medieval Water Tower, the Roman Gardens with remnants of Roman fortifications, and the King Charles Tower, where King Charles I reportedly watched his army lose at the Battle of Rowton Heath.
Walking the Chester City Walls is an unparalleled experience and should be part of any travel itinerary.
Gulliver’s World Resort, Warrington
Gulliver’s World Resort in Warrington, Cheshire, is a family-focused amusement park catering to children between the ages of 2 and 13.
With over 80 rides and attractions spread across themed areas, the resort is designed to provide an action-packed day out for the entire family.
From classic roller coasters and log flumes to indoor play areas and live shows, there’s something for everyone.
Themed zones like ‘Lilliput Land‘ and ‘The Lost World’ transport children into magical realms, each meticulously designed to offer a distinct experience.
For younger kids, there are softer rides and interactive play zones, ensuring that the little ones are not left out of the fun.
The park also offers seasonal events like Halloween Spooktacular and Christmas celebrations, making it a year-round destination.
Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre, Tarporley
Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre is a specialised facility located in Cheshire, England, dedicated to the conservation and promotion of the magnificent Shire horse.
Situated amidst a sprawling 50-acre estate, the centre is not just home to these majestic animals but also offers a rich educational experience.
Visitors get to see Shire horses up close, learn about their history, and witness the rigorous care that goes into their well-being.
Various interactive demonstrations, such as grooming sessions and horse-riding displays, provide hands-on understanding and entertainment.
But the centre also hosts other British farm animals like pigs, goats, and chickens, making it a diverse animal experience.
An onsite gift shop offers horse-themed merchandise, while the café provides a relaxed setting to enjoy local produce.
Seasonal events like Christmas markets and summer fairs add an extra layer of charm.
If you’re an animal lover or you’re just looking for a fun and engaging day-out, Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre offers a unique and rewarding visit.
The Ice Cream Farm, Tattenhall
The Ice Cream Farm, situated in Tattenhall, Cheshire, is a dream-come-true for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Although its name suggests a singular focus on ice cream, this venue is much more than a frozen dessert haven.
Offering over 50 irresistible flavours of ice cream and sorbets made on-site, the farm has transcended into a full-blown family attraction.
Beyond the delectable scoops, visitors can enjoy a range of family-friendly activities like mini-golf, quad biking, and an adventure playground.
There’s also a ‘Daisy’s Garden,’ a magical interactive zone for younger kids to explore.
For animal lovers, the farm has a petting area where children can interact with friendly goats and rabbits.
The Ice Cream Farm brilliantly merges gastronomic delights with interactive fun, making it a must-visit destination for families and ice cream aficionados alike.
Blue Planet Aquarium, Ellesmere Port
Blue Planet Aquarium is a captivating Cheshire visitor attraction that plunges visitors into the fascinating realm of aquatic life.
Renowned for having one of Europe’s largest assortments of sharks, the aquarium is perhaps most famous for its mesmerizing underwater tunnel that grants an unparalleled 360-degree view of the ocean’s most formidable predators.
But the aquarium is far from being a one-note attraction. In addition to its marine displays, it showcases a myriad of other ecosystems, featuring everything from exotic frogs to Nile crocodiles.
Regular diving shows and creature feedings offer insightful peeks into the habits of these underwater residents.
For families, the Pirate Playground offers an open-air diversion where kids can stretch their legs and play. Meanwhile, educational programs underline the facility’s commitment to conservation and marine education.
Blue Planet Aquarium is an engaging and informative outing for visitors of all ages, offering a mix of fun, adventure, and learning in a truly immersive environment.
Located in the bucolic setting of Cheshire, Delamere Forest is a serene hideaway that stretches over a substantial 2,400 acres.
It is Cheshire’s most expansive wooded area and serves as a tranquil haven away from the frenetic pace of city life.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, the forest offers an extensive network of marked paths ideal for walking, cycling, and equestrian activities, each affording stunning views of the natural scenery.
Birdwatchers will be thrilled by the diversity of avian life, including notable species like the kestrel and the chiffchaff.
Families will find the forest inviting, thanks to its array of amenities like designated picnic zones, children’s play structures, and a visitor’s centre brimming with educational material about the local environment.
The Sandstone Trail is one of Cheshire’s most cherished long-distance walking routes, stretching approximately 34 miles from Frodsham to Whitchurch.
The trail offers a mosaic of landscapes— from lush forests and rolling hills to sweeping plains.
Hikers are treated to awe-inspiring views as they traverse sandstone ridges and navigate through charming villages steeped in history.
The trail is segmented into manageable sections, making it accessible for both seasoned trekkers and casual walkers.
Along the path, markers and informational signs provide historical and ecological context, enriching the hiking experience.
The trail intersects with other routes and local attractions, offering opportunities for shorter walks or extended exploration.
Anderton Boat Lift, Northwich
The Anderton Boat Lift is a marvel of Victorian engineering, located near Northwich in Cheshire, England.
Often referred to as the “Cathedral of the Canals,” this hydraulic boat lift was originally constructed in 1875 to facilitate the movement of cargo between the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Built primarily out of cast iron, the lift comprises two enormous water tanks, each capable of holding a barge or a set of narrow-boats.
Over the years, it underwent several renovations and upgrades but has retained its essential character.
The boat lift is not just an operational structure but also an educational attraction.
Visitors can learn about its history through interpretive displays, engage with interactive exhibits, and even experience a boat ride through the lift.
The site also includes a café and a gift shop, making it a full-day outing for families or anyone interested in industrial heritage.
The Anderton Boat Lift stands today as an eloquent testimony to the ingenuity of 19th-century engineering and remains a must-visit landmark for those fascinated by the intersection of history and technology.
Carden Park – Vertigo, Broxton Road
Nestled within the sprawling grounds of Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire, England, the Vertigo Adventure Ropes Course offers an exhilarating experience for thrill-seekers and adventurers alike.
A perfect blend of excitement and physical challenge, the course is intricately designed to test your strength, balance, and courage.
It comprises multiple elements such as zip lines, Tarzan swings, and tightropes, elevated amidst the trees and offering spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
Safety is of utmost priority, with professionally trained staff and state-of-the-art safety gear ensuring a worry-free adventure.
The course has options suitable for various age groups and skill levels, from simpler low-rope courses for beginners to more complex high-rope challenges for the daring.
A great way to venture out of your comfort zone and engage with nature in a new way.
Go Ape, Delamere Forest
Go Ape is a sanctuary for thrill-seekers looking for high-adrenaline Chester activities.
This unique treetop adventure course provides an exhilarating blend of physical challenges and natural serenity, offering something for everyone.
From towering platforms and dizzying zip lines to intricate rope bridges, Go Ape delivers an array of obstacles designed to test your mettle.
Before you ascend, trained instructors provide comprehensive briefings and gear you up with harnesses and helmets.
This ensures that your adventure is not only thrilling but also safe. Whether you’re planning a family outing, an adventurous date, or a team-building exercise, Go Ape offers a uniquely immersive experience.
It’s an invitation to escape the ordinary, activate your adventurous spirit, and bask in the splendor of the great outdoors.
Macclesfield Riverside Park, Macclesfield
Nestled within Macclesfield lies a charming natural haven known as Macclesfield Riverside Park.
This sprawling 13-hectare expanse is a local treasure, inviting all to experience its tranquil embrace.
The River Bollin gently winds through, its waters reflecting the park’s serene ambiance.
Keep an eye out for the diverse birdlife and and longhorn cattle that call this sanctuary home, perfect for budding naturalists.
Dorfold Hall, Nantwich
Dorfold Hall, situated in the heart of Cheshire is a living testament to history and architectural excellence.
This magnificent Jacobean mansion dates back to the 1616 and a graceful red-brick façade and opulent interiors offering captivating insights into the grandeur of a bygone era.
Nestled within an expansive 800-acre estate, Dorfold Hall is surrounded by meticulously landscaped gardens and serene parkland, providing an ideal backdrop for leisurely strolls and peaceful picnics.
The estate features a picturesque lake and a harmonious blend of natural beauty and historic charm.
Beyond its architectural and natural splendor, Dorfold Hall is celebrated as a premier venue for weddings and events.
Its romantic gardens and historic interiors create an enchanting atmosphere for couples embarking on their journey together.
Dorfold Hall is a a living heritage, an architectural marvel, and a tranquil retreat where history and beauty intertwine.
It continues to stand as a symbol of Cheshire’s rich past, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in its timeless allure.
Hack Green Secret Bunker, Nantwich
Hack Green Secret Bunker was originally used as a radar station during World War II, before evolving into a government hideout during the Cold War era.
This clandestine facility offers a fascinating insight into the world of espionage, civil defence and military operations.
Once inside the bunker, visitors can explore multiple rooms, each designed to showcase specific facets of military strategy and civil defence planning.
Among these are the Operations Room, complete with original equipment, and the BBC broadcasting studio designed to communicate with the public in the event of a nuclear attack.
The bunker also features an extensive collection of Cold War artefacts, including military uniforms and equipment.
Hack Green Secret Bunker is effectively a time capsule that offers rare glimpse into a secretive aspect of British history.
Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield
Jodrell Bank is an iconic scientific observatory and a hub of astronomical research that’s home to the Lovell Telescope – one of the world’s largest steerable radio telescopes.
Built in the 1940s, Jodrell Bank has been at the forefront of astronomical exploration.
The site features interactive exhibits in the Discovery Centre, where topics range from cosmic phenomena to the history of space exploration.
Special attention is given to educational programmes for children, making it a family-friendly destination.
Not just a site for scientists, Jodrell Bank also features beautifully landscaped gardens, including the Galaxy Garden, designed to represent cosmic formations.
Regular events, including stargazing nights and lectures by experts, further enrich the visitor experience.
Jodrell Bank is a dynamic centre for education and public engagement with science.
Lion Salt Works
Situated in Northwich within the scenic landscape of Cheshire, Lion Salt Works is a remarkable window into Britain’s industrial past.
One of the UK’s last remaining open-pan salt-making facilities, the site ceased operations in 1986 but has been rejuvenated as an award-winning museum.
Visitors have the opportunity to explore well-preserved structures that encapsulate the essence of a different era.
The museum employs interactive exhibits to bring the salt-making process to life, offering insights from the initial brine extraction to the final crystalline form of salt.
Authentic salt pans and stoves serve as powerful reminders of the strenuous working environment once endured.
Beyond the machinery, Lion Salt Works also presents a vivid picture of social history.
Through a range of exhibits, one can learn about the lives, hardships, and community spirit of the workers and their families.
Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway
Tucked away in the lush Grosvenor Park in Chester, the Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway is a charming experience that delights both children and adults.
Established in 1996, this 7 1/4 inch gauge railway offers an enchanting journey through the park’s beautifully landscaped scenery.
The ride lasts about seven minutes, covering a scenic circuit of approximately a quarter of a mile.
For train enthusiasts, the railway features a variety of miniature locomotives, both steam and diesel, replicating classic British railway designs.
The station itself is a quaint structure, complete with traditional signage and a ticket office, creating an authentic mini railway experience.
While primarily aimed at younger audiences, the railway’s nostalgic charm also appeals to adults, making it a perfect family outing.
Situated within the larger Grosvenor Park, the Miniature Railway serves as a wonderful starting point or endnote to a day of exploring the park’s gardens, playgrounds, and duck pond.
Chester Zoo, Upton
Nestled in Upton, Chester, Chester Zoo is one of the UK’s premier zoological gardens, featuring a sprawling 128-acre site that houses over 35,000 animals across 500 species.
As a leading centre for conservation, the zoo places an emphasis on natural habitats and education, aiming to inspire a new generation of wildlife champions.
Visitors can traverse the zoo’s various zones, each dedicated to different continents and ecosystems.
Highlights include Islands, a Southeast Asia-inspired zone featuring animals like Sumatran tigers and orangutans, and the African Plains, home to elephants and rhinos.
The zoo also has impressive bird aviaries, a butterfly house, and a bat cave.
For families, interactive zones such as the ‘Play’ areas offer kids an educational yet fun experience.
Chester Zoo provides a comprehensive day out with facilities like restaurants, cafes, and gift shops, ensuring visitors have all they need for an enjoyable visit.
Chester Rows, Chester
Located in the heart of Chester, the Chester Rows are an architectural wonder that date back to the medieval period.
These double-decker rows of shops create an intriguing shopping experience, allowing visitors to explore both ground-level and first-floor shops via continuous covered walkways.
The Rows are particularly concentrated along Eastgate Street, Watergate Street, Bridge Street, and Northgate Street.
Not just a commercial hub, the Rows also offer a journey through history, featuring timber-framed buildings, Georgian facades, and Victorian restorations.
The Rows are home to an array of shops, including independent boutiques, high-end retailers, cafes, and art galleries, making them a must-visit for any shopaholic or history enthusiast visiting Chester.
Combining historical charm with modern retail, Chester Rows provide a shopping experience that is both quintessentially English and entirely unique.
Official Cheshire Tourism Site