Summer is here, time to breathe the fresh air, enjoy the sun on your face and delight in nature. Cheshire’s beautiful countryside has a lot to offer, no more so than the 1000-acre Northwich Woodlands, Northwich.
Not only is there varied and interesting scenery with lots of places for picnics and for children to play, there are also trails through the area that link it to two outstanding attractions: The Anderton Boat Lift and the multi award-winning Lion Salt Works Museum.
Northwich Woodlands and Marbury Park
Northwich Woodlands is made up of nine countryside sites, each with a different character and history. These include Marbury Park, formerly the site of Marbury Hall and its landscaped estate, with its two magnificent avenues of trees, a large mere teaming with bird life and an arboretum.
There is also a bluebell wood in the Spring and in the summer, orchids and water plants can be seen. The tranquil River Weaver and Trent & Mersey canal flows through the heart of the woodlands, giving another special feature to this lovely woodland area. There are trails around the woodlands, suitable for walkers and bikers and there are often free walks given by Northwich Woodland staff.
Anderton Boat Lift
From Marbury Park’s car park, it is a 20-minute walk to the Anderton Boat Lift. There is no charge to enter the site and enjoy its exhibition area, new £50,000 play area, tree-top Coffee Shop and well-stocked shop.
The only charge is to take a boat trip either through the iconic lift or along the picturesque River Weaver. For prices and to book, contact: 01606 786 777 or visit the Canal & River Trust website. The three-mile Dragonfly Trail starts in the car park at Anderton Nature Park and is a three mile circular walk. This can be linked with the Orchid Walk which starts at the Lion Salt Works and provides a five and a half mile walk linking both attractions.
Lion Salt Works Museum
From the Lion Salt Works Museum, it is a three-minute walk from the Northwich-end of the Northwich Woodland from where there is a sign-posted three-mile walk through the woodlands. Each trail is signposted and has interesting interpretation boards about the salt history and significance of the area. Alternatively, it is a picturesque 45-minute walk to the Anderton Boat Lift along the Trent & Mersey Canal, which runs through the Northwich Woodland.
The Lion Salt Works Museum is the last open-pan, salt-making site in Britain and tells the story of salt through fun interactive displays, including a sound and light show, a ‘subsiding house’ and an automaton. It has won nine awards since opening after a £10m restoration in 2015. At the Museum there is a play area, shop, café and butterfly garden. There is free parking. For prices and to book, visit the West Cheshire Museums website or call 01606 275066.