Lush, green and uncrowded, the largely rural county of Cheshire often escapes the tourist spotlight, yet it has heaps to offer the discerning traveller.
There’s an almost endless choice of natural beauty spots tucked away in peaceful countryside, as well as quaint half-timber villages to visit, lively market towns, gourmet restaurants, wonderful stately homes and gardens, and luxurious spas. But Cheshire is not only a place for winding down and relaxing – there are also fun-packed attractions such as Gulliver’s World theme park, the Crocky Trail outdoor adventure playground, Chester Zoo, and Apple Jacks Adventure Farm, which is home to a whole host of physical challenges. And for visitors who crave a bit of culture and history, the wonderful Roman city of Chester has it all: you can visit the striking Cathedral; take a walk along the ancient city walls; go shopping; or even delve into the gory story of diseases in the medieval world at the brand new Sick to Death family attraction.
Here are our top 8 boutique hotels in Cheshire:
- Wizards Thatch ***** – Macclesfield Rd, Alderley Edge SK9 7BG
- Roebuck Inn – Mill Ln, Mobberley, Knutsford WA16 7HX
- Edgar House – Duke St, Chester CH1 1RP
- Macdonald New Blossom Hotel – St John St, Chester, CH1 1HL
- The Old Hall Hotel – Main St, Frodsham WA6 7AB
- Cheshire Cat – 26 Welsh Row, Nantwich, CW5 5ED
- The Bear’s Paw – School Lane, Warmingham, CW11 3QN
- Rookery Hall – Main Rd, Worleston, Nantwich, CW5 6DQ
The county also has its fair share of wonderful places to stay, with some gorgeous boutique B&Bs and hotels to choose from. You can immerse yourself in myths and legends exploring leafy Alderley Edge, for example – a pretty village nestled at the base of a steep and densely wooded red sandstone escarpment overlooking the Cheshire Plain. This is home to some fantastically-named places such as Wizard’s Well, Devil’s Grave and Golden Stone. The aptly-named Wizards Thatch (*****) offers cosy, quirky luxury suites in the heart of Alderley Edge, all lavishly furnished with antique prints, leather furniture and generously-sized four poster beds. Full of character, with wooden beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls, as soon as guests step through the thatched porch they are enchanted by this magical 400-year-old building. The location is ideal, too – less than a minute’s walk from the village centre, which is known for its chic cafes and designer shops, and close to the larger town of Wilmslow and Manchester Airport.
Quirky Wizards Thatch in Alderley Edge.
Just a few miles down the road in the village of Mobberley, between Wilmslow and Knutsford, the Grade II-listed 18th century Roebuck Inn is the village’s oldest pub, packed with character and brought into the 21st century with eclectic yet chic decor throughout. It has six rustic guest rooms, serves up delicious breakfasts, and has its own neighbourhood bistro for guests who would prefer not to venture out for supper. Known for its welcoming staff and friendly atmosphere, the Roebuck Inn also has lovely tiered outdoor terraces and gardens to enjoy in warmer months. There are some great country walks in the local area, and it’s less than four miles from Tatton Park and Manchester Airport — and only a little further to attractions such as Capesthorne Hall, Dunham Massey, Arley Hall, Adlington Hall and Fletcher Moss Botanical Gardens.
Heading over to Chester, Edgar House (*****) is a fine period Georgian hotel perched on top of the historic city walls, offering seven plush, individually-decorated rooms, some of which enjoy views over the river. This small, adults-only establishment is within a 10-minute walk of Old Dee Bridge, Grosvenor Museum, Chester Cathedral, Newgate, and the Roman Amphitheatre – providing a great base for city sightseeing. It has its own restaurant as well as a lounge bar, and the guest rooms offer free WiFi, iPod docks, sitting areas, coffee makers, flat-screen TVs with digital channels, and DVD players, making it a very comfortable place to bed down for the night. Spacious and stylish, the rooms feature individually-designed sofas, bespoke and locally-made furniture, super king size beds with soft goose feather and down pillows and duvets, and Egyptian cotton sheets. Guests can indulge in Molten Brown toiletries in the bathroom under relaxing rain showers – or soak in the free-standing bath. If you have time on your hands, the rooms also have large internet-connected HD TVs, complimentary hard-wired broadband and WiFi, complimentary in-room movies, or a Blu-ray player on request.
Another option right in the heart of Chester is the Macdonald New Blossoms Hotel (****), which is near the main high street and within walking distance of most of the city’s attractions – including Chester Racecourse and Chester Cathedral, both of which are a 10-minute walk away. The rooms are traditional in style with appealing period features, free WiFi via The Cloud, and room service.
New Blossoms Hotel in Chester city centre
A bit further north, the 16th century Old Hall Hotel (***) in the market town of Frodsham is a cosy, traditional bolthole situated just off the M56 motorway – making it a convenient base for trips to Chester, Chester Zoo, Cheshire Oaks Shopping Village, and the coastline and mountains of North Wales. Right on the market town’s main street, the historic building houses both guest rooms and a well-regarded restaurant, with free WiFi throughout, and room service. Outside there is a lovely terrace and garden and free parking for guests.
Ideal for couples, the Cheshire Cat (****) in Nantwich is a characterful hotel housed within an historic, beamed building with its own bar, restaurant and cosy log fires. The beds are comfortable, the breakfasts get rave reviews, and the staff have a reputation for putting themselves out to ensure guests enjoy their stay. It’s only just over a mile from Stapeley Water Gardens, and has many other popular attractions within striking distance, making it a great base for visiting places such as Trentham Gardens, Delamere Forest, Capesthorne Hall, Chester Zoo and Tatton Park. There’s also free WiFi throughout the property, and you can get room service if you don’t fancy making your way to the restaurant.
Nantwich’s Cheshire Cat hotel
Peace-seekers can enjoy a warm and traditional innkeeper’s welcome at The Bear’s Paw (*****), a 19th century Victorian inn in the pretty village of Warmingham, which offers a tranquil haven for a comfortable night’s sleep right in the heart of Cheshire. All of the smart, en-suite rooms at this characterful country hotel include HD televisions, WiFi access, media hubs and Apple TVs on request. The inn has its own restaurant serving home-cooked food made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible, much of it bought directly from local farms and trawlers. Foodies will appreciate that all the cheeses they use are from within a 30-mile radius, for example, and their ice cream is from local producers Cheshire Farm Ice Cream. Another bonus for anyone on a gourmet tour of Cheshire is this hotel’s proximity to the area’s major market towns of Sandbach, Middlewich and Crewe.
You can step back in time at Rookery Hall (****) in Worleston, an elegant Victorian mansion packed with original features such as glossy mahogany panelling and colourful stained glass – all set in 38 acres of scenic wooded parkland next to the River Weaver. Offering boutique-style rooms, the hotel also has its own award-winning restaurant, a luxurious spa and fitness centre, and free designer toiletries – perfect for guests who want to pamper themselves. The rooms feature classic designs complemented by free designer toiletries, luxurious bathrobes, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs. Guests can enjoy supper in the atmospheric candlelit dining room, or indulge in champagne afternoon tea in the Drawing Room. A converted stable block houses the spa, which has a Crystal Steam Room, a glass-roofed swimming pool and a hydrotherapy pool alongside a full range of beauty treatments. Despite its peaceful location, Rookery Hall is also very accessible – it is near Nantwich, just 15 minutes’ drive from the M6, and 10 minutes’ drive from Crewe Station.
Author: Rebecca Burns