Cheshire is one of the most picturesque areas in the north-west and is perfectly located for holiday makers wishing to find a base from which to explore Liverpool, North Wales and everywhere in between. However, it’s a place that families with small children might not initially place as a potential holiday destination, as it’s gained a reputation as an area more suitable for romantic getaways and history buffs. We’re here to shift that perception somewhat (though it is bursting with history, the city of Chester especially) and posit Cheshire is the perfect, affordable county for your children’s next half-term break.
Whether you’re after a quaint little bed and breakfast for a couple of nights, or a more elaborate hotel complex from which to plan a week-long vacation, Cheshire has you covered. Of course, accommodation near Chester will prove a little more expensive (though it’s more than worth it if your kids are fans of Roman history and animals, but more on that later), if you’re willing to stray a little further off the beaten path, you’ll find accommodation suitable for all budgets. You might also want to consider checking websites such as GroupOn and Amazon Local for deals and if you’re lucky, you might be able to snag at least 50% off your stay!
We’ll get this one out of the way first, but if you were staying in Cheshire and didn’t visit Chester Zoo, it’s unlikely your kids would ever let you live it down. The zoo is one of the largest and most famous in the world for a good reason and prices are surprisingly affordable. So don’t write it off because you think it’s going to be too busy or too expensive. It’s a day out your kids will probably never forget!
Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway
This is a win-win attraction, as it will give your kids the chance to ride on a miniature train and you the chance to take in the gorgeous surroundings at Chester’s Grosvenor Park, which is but a few short minutes’ walk from Chester city centre. The quarter mile circuit takes passengers (young and old) across a wooden viaduct, around ponds full of ducks and into a station stocked with souvenirs themed around the classic children’s TV character; Thomas The Tank Engine. You can even ride on an electric Thomas and if your kids are feeling brave, they can drive their very own Trevor Tram!
The Dewa Roman Experience
If you have a young child in primary school, chances are that at some point they will be studying the Romans. In which case, this is the perfect chance to give them a little head start on the rest of their peers in a manner they will almost certainly enjoy. The experience is located at the heart of a Roman fortress that was discovered in 1991 and will immerse the young and old alike in Roman Britain. You’ll see a Roman Galley, the reconstructed barracks, bathhouses and taverns and will get to have a go in the award winning interactive room, where you can create your own mosaics, try on Roman armour and even fire a catapult!
Cheshire Ice Cream Farm
All kids love ice cream and here your children will be able to absorb themselves in a completely unique experience at a genuine working ice cream farm. Aside from the copious amounts of ice cream (50 flavours!), there’s crazy golf, an adventure playground and Honeycomb Canyon; an innovative indoor wet play zone. Everything is themed so that it feels like you’re genuinely stepping inside a children’s dreamland. Frankly, if you have small children and you don’t consider hitting the ice cream farm during your stay, you’ll seriously regret it!
Sandy Lane Aqua Park/Northgate Arena
Whatever the time of year, Sandy Lane offers fun for younger kids just a couple of miles outside Chester city centre. Unlike traditional water parks which feature a conventional array of water slides, Sandy Lane instead features water attractions operated by sensory touch pads. If it’s not quite the right weather for water play, there are also plenty of slides and adventure playground activities that will keep your kids entertained for a good couple of hours. Conversely, if it’s raining or just too cold to play outside, the Northgate Arena offers 2 swimming pools with a beach area that contains a number of smaller slides, as well as a larger flume for more adventurous kids. There’s also sports halls, squash courts and fitness areas for the adults.
This is of course just a small example of the attractions available for families in Cheshire, but it should give you a good idea regarding the kinds of activities you could be experiencing. Also because there are so many Hotels in Chester to compete against one another, you should be able to find a decent price if you shop around. So don’t let the British weather turn you off. Why not seriously consider Cheshire for your next familial getaway?