Cheshire is home to stunning villages, picturesque nature walks and some of the best riverside views in the country. To help you figure out where to go if you have a spare weekend, we’ve compiled a list of amazing places to visit this year that are under an hour from Manchester.
Where: 14 miles south-west of Manchester
An historic town with access to Tatton Park, Knutsford is a quaint sanctuary from busy city life. Sandwiched between the Peak District and the Welsh mountains, there are several streets with shops, bars, restaurants and cafes, and stunning country walks no matter what the weather.
Where: 1.5 miles south of Macclesfield
A small village in Cheshire, Prestbury is one of the most sought-after places to live in the North West. There’s a peaceful churchyard, which leads onto the main street, with two local pubs and several shops and cafes.
Where: 11 miles east of Manchester
This Greater Manchester town has recently been named one of the best places to live in the North West. Known for its picturesque cottages and windswept moors, Saddleworth is 11 miles east of the city, with a rich history during the Industrial Revolution and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
4. Hebden Bridge
Where: West Yorkshire
Hebden Bridge is a market town 14 miles north-east of Rochdale, lying on the Rochdale canal and close to the Pennines Way and Hardcastle Crags walks. The town is a popular place to live, and has since developed a New Age community. Famously, American poet and author Sylvia Plath is buried just up the hill in Heptonstall.
5. Formby Beach
Now part of the National Trust, Formby has been a celebrated coastline in the North West for decades. With a booming tourist industry during warmer months, the beach features significant sand dunes and several nature trails with sights of rare red squirrels.
A large village in Cheshire, Lymm is a designated conservation area, with a picturesque canal, pubs, shops, and its own landmark Lymm Dam. There are stunning nature walks around the lake, with higher viewing points and a wide variety of tree species.
7. Great Budworth
Where: 4 miles north of Northwich, Cheshire
Great Budworth is a quiet little village, with a quaint local pub and Cheshire Ice Cream Farm. There are idyllic walks through forest areas and peaceful churchyard, and the village has been a popular location for film and television, most recently a NatWest advert.
8. Lyme Park
Where: Disley, Cheshire
Known as Mr Darcy’s Pemberley in the 1995 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lyme Park offers stunning views of the surrounding area from the Cage up on the hill, plus lush nature walks and tours of the Hall.
9. Quarry Bank Mill
Commonly known as Styal Mill, Quarry Bank was formerly a textiles mill in the Industrial Revolution, now a museum. From the grounds of the mill, there are breathtaking walks into Styal Woods through to Wilmslow Carrs, or a gorgeous stroll through their kept gardens and greenhouse.
10. Jodrell Bank Observatory
Where: Lower Withington, Cheshire
Part of The University of Manchester, Jodrell Bank is perhaps one of the most famous scientific locations in the UK. The Lovell Telescope, which can often be seen in the surrounding areas, is the third largest in the World. The Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre is open to the public and includes a museum, gift shop and cafe.
11. Alderley Edge
Where: 15 miles south of Manchester
Known for its affluence, Alderley Edge is home to many celebrities and footballers, and has since become one of the most sought-after places to live outside London. Its high street features many designers stores, trendy bars and cafes, and visitors can also take a nature walk to its famous ‘Edge’, with breathtaking views of the surrounding county.
12. Macclesfield Forest
Where: 3 miles south-east of Macclesfield
Owned by United Utilites, Macclesfield Forest lies on the edge of the Peak District and surrounds Ridgegate Reservoir, offering panoramic views and nature trails through the woodland areas.
13. Fletcher Moss
Get lost in the garden’s extensive network of paths around the area of Fletcher Moss; stroll through Stenner Woods, or meander round Millgate Field along the river Mersey before visiting their speciality botanical gardens.
14. The Carrs Park
Popular among dog walkers, Wilmslow Carrs offers riverside and woodland walks, large open grassland, picnic area and a football area. Walks around the River Bollin are picturesque and have links into Styal Country Park.
15. Dovestone Reservoir
Where: Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester
With its breathtaking views, Dovestone looks like something out of a film. It provides drinking water for much of the surrounding area and plenty of hiking trails with stunning views of the County.