There are plenty of hidden gems in this Cheshire town that are great for all ages - take a trip into the past with these six historical outings around Northwich.
Getting out and about in your local area is a great way to stay engaged, active and happy in senior years. Don’t confine your days out in Northwich to the present, though – take a trip to the past and discover some of the fun to be had reminiscing and learning together with curious elderly relatives.
Visit the “Cathedral of the Canals” and marvel at this still-working example of Victorian engineering ingenuity. Take the half hour boat ride up or down to see the lift working first hand, and if you’re feeling energetic (and don’t mind heights) try “Walking the Lift” to see the old control room and admire the amazing views from the very top. Fully accessible to wheelchairs and with provision for hearing and visually impaired visitors, the boat lift also has a lovely onsite coffee shop, plenty of places for picnics, and includes access to the nearby Let’s Play area for younger visitors as well as the fascinating exhibition about the facility. Find it off the edge of Lift Lane, past the big car park, or nip across the river from Old Road just down from the Stanley Arms.
There is only one place to begin when it comes to historical places to visit in Northwich, and this is with Arley Hall & Gardens. This is a place that has heaps of interest, charm, and character. It is a country house that is situated in Arley. It is a GradeII listing building, which is situated adjacent to a chapel. The hall was originally built for Rowland Egerton-Warburton between the years of 1832 and 1845 to replace an earlier property. The house was designed by George Latham, a local architect, in a style that has since been known as Jacobethan. This style copies elements of architecture from the Elizabethan era. In terms of access, there is wheelchair access to most of the gardens, but there are some areas that are not suitable for people with limited mobility. There is also a parking area that is designated for those with limited mobility, with a coarsely gravelled surface. From the car park to the entrance, there is level access so easy for wheelchairs or walkers. Find Arley Hall off Back Lane just after the junction with Arley Road.
Not only is this a great place to shop, but it has a historical and cultural interest because it is one of the biggest and oldest outdoor markets that you will find in the country. The market is open from business from Monday to Saturday in Market Hall, and you will find around 189 stalls with a vibrant and attractive mixture of flowers, crafts, food, services, and a lot more. Find Northwich Market in Market Hall on Apple Market Street, just off Watling Street / the A553 in the centre of town.
Another one of the best historical places in Northwich is Lion Salt Works. This museum is an incredibly important one, as it is one of the last remaining open pan salt works in Marston, which is very close to Northwich. In 1986, it closed for work, but it now operates as a museum, and it is an incredibly interesting place to visit. The museum is designed to be completely accessible. There are accessible toilets and designated disabled parking bays. You can also expect lifts to the first-floor levels and a hearing induction loop. Guide dogs are also allowed at Lion Salt Works, so it is a place that is very accommodating for all. Find it on Ollershaw Lane just past the corner turnoff where the Salt Barge pub sits.
Open from Sunday to Thursday, Abbywood Gardens is a beautiful outdoor space in Cheshire, which is great for families who want to embrace the great outdoors. You can expect acre upon acre of woodland, as well as six acres of formal and informal gardens. What makes this place so unique is that every garden is different and individual in its own right, which makes it very exciting. Plus, the garden cafe serves some delicious treats for everyone to enjoy too. There are accessible facilities in Ground Floor Room 2 in Woodside Cottage when visiting the estate. Find the gardens on Chester Road after turning off Abbey Road / the B5152 on the way towards central Northwich.
Last but not least, make sure to consider a trip to Weaver Hall Museum. This is an excellent place to visit, recording the industrial, cultural, and social history of West Cheshire. It was previously known as the Salt Museum, which reflects on the early focus on the museum on salt extraction and its history, a local industry which dated back to Roman times. In 2010, it was renamed the Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse, as it now goes into a broader history of the location, including the history of the building itself, as it used to be a workhouse. The museum is also fully accessible, featuring a lift to the first floor, a hearing induction loop in the mini cinema, accessible toilets, and designated disabled parking bays. Find it on London Road / the A533 opposite the junction with Hollands Road, just south of the middle of Northwich town.
There’s plenty of history to be experienced around Northwich and no shortage of easy to reach attractions that are as unusual as they are interesting. Don’t fall into the rut of going to the same old modern places on every outing – a little learning alongside a day out can be what really makes it shine!
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