6 Fun Historical Outings Around Frodsham and Runcorn

Don’t fall into the rut of going to the same modern places on every outing – a little learning alongside a day out can be what really makes it shine for all members of the fam

If you are looking for a real taste of local history on your next adventure with an elderly family member, our team recommends you stop by one of these great locations. There is plenty of history to be experienced in the area and no shortage of easy to reach attractions that are as unusual as they are interesting. Getting out and about is a great way to stay engaged, active and happy.

Why not take a trip to the past and discover some of the fun to be had when reminiscing and learning together.

Norton Priory Museum & Gardens

Located on the edge of Runcorn, Norton Priory Museum & Gardens is one of Cheshire’s hidden gems. Originally a medieval church, it is now a museum and is the most excavated monastic site in Europe. Together with the priory ruins which show the original layout of the abbey, there is an undercroft with a beautiful vaulted ceiling from the 12th century to explore. Founded in 1115 as an Augustinian Foundation, Norton Priory became a ‘mitred’ abbey in 1391, run by an abbot papally privileged to wear a mitre meaning he was entitled to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Norton Priory’s ruins are considered to be the most important monastic remains in Cheshire.

In the museum, thousands of items reveal the site’s 900-year old history, from the priory to the mansion house and the lives of the people who lived there. The most impressive object in the museum is the twice life-size St. Christopher statue. It is likely that this statue was commissioned to commemorate the site’s abbey status in 1391.

Surrounded by woodland walks the museum has many opportunities to discover secret summer houses, sculptures, and a stream glade. During the summer season, the tranquil 2.5-acre Georgian Walled Garden is also open, with orchards, a rose walk and a herb garden. Norton Priory has a free car park, a gift shop, and the Brooke Café, which serves a selection of hot and cold meals and refreshments. The museum is open every day from 10am until 5pm except Wednesdays and Thursdays when it is closed. Entry cost for concessions is £8.50 and their carer can enter for free.

Frodsham War Memorial

Take a walk to the top of Frodsham Hill to visit this incredible monument dedicated to those local men who gave their lives in the First World War. Standing proudly on the hilltop, 500 feet above sea level, the War Memorial has amazing views of the mighty Mersey Estuary, along with the Wirral and Merseyside areas panning out in front of you. With a nearby car park and an easy walk around the woods and up to the memorial, there are plenty of places to sit and the walking trails are not strenuous for older people.

The sandstone obelisk was built by Palmers Stone Mason after several local landowners donated land to Frodsham Parish Council in the 1920’s as a site for a War Memorial to commemorate local men who died in the ‘Great War’ of 1914-18. The surrounding open space is held in trust for the enjoyment of the Frodsham people forever. The Memorial itself is a three-stepped base surmounted by plinth and obelisk with inscription on tablets set into sides of plinth.

Castle Park and Arts Centre, Frodsham

Housed in a beautiful Victorian building with a unique clock tower, Castle Park Arts Centre was originally the stable block for the adjacent Castle Park house. In 1986 these outbuildings were converted into the arts centre providing four galleries, workshop spaces, craft units and a café that serves freshly made light lunches. Visitors can enjoy for free the inspiring visual arts and displays and unique handmade craftworks from local artists and designers.

Castle Park and Arts Centre is set within a beautiful historic park comprising nine hectares of Green Flag awarded grounds offering a mixture of formal gardens, wide open lawns, intriguing wooded areas and recreational leisure facilities. The Castle Park house is built on the site of Frodsham Castle which burnt down in 1654. In the late 18th century the first house on the site, Park Palace, was built by Robert Wainwright Ashley, a lawyer in the town

In 2010 the park and grounds were revitalised using a combination of Heritage Lottery and Council funding. The wider park area now boasts stunning landscaped gardens, a Kemp formal garden plus a bowling green, tennis courts a children’s playground and multi-use games area, which together provide a destination that all can enjoy. There are plenty of benches dotted around the park for sitting and relaxing.

Speke Hall, Garden and Estate

A green oasis on the edge of Liverpool with a rare Tudor house at its heart, Speke Hall is a Tudor timber-framed manor house in an unusual setting on the banks of the River Mersey. Speke Hall and its surrounding estate provide a place to reflect on past and present, highlighting how the legacies of history remain relevant today. The Hall is surrounded by restored gardens and protected by a collar of woodland. The gardens date from the 1850s and in the courtyard of the main building are two ancient yew trees, male and female, called ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’. Walks in the grounds give panoramic views over the Mersey estuary towards the Wirral Peninsula. There are places for food and refreshments within the Home Farm restaurant and the Stables Tea Room, as well as ‘Speke’s Volumes’, a second-hand bookshop selling a variety of pre-loved books.

Speke Hall is accessible to all with designated mobility parking spaces, accessible toilets, and level entrance to the house, with the ground floor wheelchair accessible. The garden is mostly flat with some steeper gradients where assistance may be necessary. Speke Airport is adjacent to Liverpool Airport for the plain spotters amongst you.

Old Pale Hill within Delamere Forest

Delamere Forest is a popular recreational area, drawing visitors from all over the area. There are three long-distance footpaths that meander through the forest: the Sandstone Trail, Delamere Way and Baker Way. There are two easy-access circular trails which are suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs, one starting at Barnsbridge car park and leading to Blakemere Moss (0.75 miles (1.2 km) in length) and  the other explores Old Pale Hill from the Linmere Visitor Centre.

The Old Pale Hill walk is great to explore at any time of year. Using the forest gravelled tracks and purpose-built stoned paths accessible from the Visitor Centre, they will take you up the hill where you will be rewarded by enormous skies and an endless view.  There are plenty of benches along the route to encourage you to stop and take it all in. The walk is slightly taxing, with quite a significant ascent to views across seven counties. There are toilets and a café at the start of the trail in the visitor centre and then the orange markers will guide you to the top where the old druid stone marker stands proudly.

Halton Common

Halton Common is a hidden gem nestled near the historic Halton Castle in Runcorn, Cheshire, UK. This expansive green space is a sanctuary for history, tranquillity, and nature enthusiasts alike. With its rich cultural heritage and idyllic natural surroundings, Halton Common is a place of respite for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Halton Common is steeped in history, with a past dating back to the 12th century when the castle was originally built. The castle was strategically positioned on a hill overlooking the River Mersey, providing a clear view of the surrounding area. It was used as a royal residence by King John and later as a courthouse before being destroyed during the English Civil War. Today, the ruins of the castle serve as a reminder of its storied past and are a popular attraction for visitors.

Beyond the castle, Halton Common is a haven for nature lovers. The common is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including several rare species. The area is also home to a variety of bird species, making it a popular spot for birdwatching. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the woods or take a walk along the river, enjoying the peaceful surroundings and breath-taking scenery.

To find out more about supported living in the Frodsham, Runcorn and Widnes area, and to check if this would be a good fit for you or a loved one, click on this link: Home care in Frodsham. Home Instead could be just what you are looking for.