A weekend getaway in Cheshire is awash with plenty of things to see and do, from scenic countryside to historic towns and family attractions, and Rookery Hall is perfectly located to enjoy this fabulous county. General Manager Mart Louwerse talks us through his perfect weekend.
Cheshire ticks all the boxes for the perfect short break and Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa is close to one the country’s best market towns – Nantwich. Situated on the banks of the River Weaver, the beautiful town is famous for its medieval timbered buildings, atmospheric streets and, of course, shopping – whether you are after bijoux boutiques, antiques dealers or contemporary craft shops.
Rookery Hall’s General Manager Mart Louwerse shares some of his favourite ways to while away a weekend in Cheshire and the surrounding area, as well as some of the best canal routes for those keen to explore the extensive waterways by narrowboat or on foot.
Once you have settled into your room, I recommend a visit to our health club to relax in the hydrotherapy pool or sauna or have a leisurely swim in our glass roofed 17-metre indoor pool. Dinner is served in our 2AA Rosette restaurant where you can enjoy dishes created by our chef focussing on local produce and ingredients.
Choose from a Full English or continental breakfast buffet, or even one of our cooked fresh to order speciality breakfast items, to get a great start to your day before heading to Chester. With the largest Roman Amphitheatre in England, the oldest racecourse and the 1000-year-old cathedral, Chester is an archaeological and architectural wonder. Chose to take in some of the historic sites via the many walking paths, or simply enjoy the unique shops and delightful cafés that line the city streets. If you fancy a spot of lunch then I would recommend AA restaurant of the year Sticky Walnut.
Whatever your age, I would urge you to explore Chester Zoo – location of Channel 4’s The Secret Life of the Zoo. Discover the island habitats of Panay, Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi and find some of the world’s most magnificent wildlife – including carnivorous plants, prehistoric-looking birds and the impressive Sunda gharial. There are over 15,000 of the planet’s most exotic and endangered animals to discover in 125 acres of award-winning gardens.
After a busy day, you will want a relaxing treatment in our spa – so make sure you book in advance, before you make your way to the Drawing Room and Rookery Bar where you can enjoy a perfectly chilled drink before dinner. Weather permitting you can also enjoy al fresco service on the terrace.
After a leisurely breakfast, there are many attractions to visit once you have checked out. For an invigorating start to the day, I would suggest the Nantwich walk, which is a three-mile circular way marked walk through the Riverside Park on the paths following the River Weaver before crossing farmland to join the towpath of the Shropshire Union Canal for the return leg. Afterwards you can explore the medieval town of Nantwich and its wonderful buildings before enjoying lunch in one of the artisan cafes or restaurants.
Make sure you head home via the Lion Salt Works – a fascinating and interactive visitor experience. The Lion Salt Works is the last remaining open pan salt works in Marston, close to Northwich, and is now a preserved museum. When exploring the site and its restored buildings, you will discover how the salt works operated and the impact of salt on mid-Cheshire’s people, economy and landscape. A visit will also set the scene for a wider exploration of the footpaths, waterways and attractions of the adjacent Northwich Woodlands (a 350-hectare area of vibrant and accessible parkland) and the wider Weaver Valley including the Anderton Boat Lift.
For our walking maps and routes please speak to reception who will be happy to help.