Local, characterful guides to Britain's Special Places
This brand new title in Bradt's acclaimed UK regional Slow series is the only full guide to Cheshire, a county known for its abundance of black-and-white timbered buildings and which was put firmly on the map in the 1980s thanks to then-resident stars Posh and Becks. Cheshire is a county that confounds expectations, from the Cheshire Plain to the hills and moors of the Pennines and Peak District in the east and surprisingly dramatic sandstone ridges in the west, not to mention the Wirral Peninsula, flanked by the major estuaries of the Rivers Mersey and Dee flowing into the Irish Sea. Home to premier league footballers it may be, but it is also a largely rural landscape and an area of farm shops, forests and falconries; meres, marinas and marshes. There is industrial and scientific heritage, too, ranging from Bronze-Age mining sites to the internationally important astronomical observatory and mighty Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank. With this new Bradt guide, discover all of this and more: the county town of Chester with its fascinating Roman history, unique double-decker medieval shopping arcades and the most complete city walls in Britain; ruins of ancient castles; and reminders of the salt and silk industries that have been so important in the past. For a truly slow experience, Cheshire also offers a network of canals, perfect for waterside strolls or pootling along in a narrowboat, while Bradt's Slow Cheshire details information for walkers and cyclists, too. Also included in this guide are gardens and parks, grand stately homes and structural legacies of the past (such as Port Sunlight), engaging museums, attractions and events. Local food and drink is covered, along with all types of accommodation, from farm stays and self-catering cottages to guesthouses and hotels.
Kate Simon grew up in Alsager in southern Cheshire, a small town near the Staffordshire border that is fondly known to locals as 'the village' to this day. She caught the travel bug early with pedal-powered expeditions to the rural outposts of Oakhanger, Barthomley and Hassall Green. Then, when her family delved deeper into the county, moving to the hamlet of Hough, she discovered the charms of the historic market town of Nantwich, where she attended sixth form, and the headier delights of urbane Chester. When Kate moved to London to pursue a career in journalism, she kept strong links with friends and family in Cheshire and remains a frequent visitor. In 2010, she accepted an invitation from Visit Cheshire to truly rediscover her home county and write a guide to the area's food and drink. The experience sparked Kate's desire to champion Cheshire through her journalism - and to write this book. Kate has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years. She is a former Travel Editor of the Independent on Sunday and a contributor to a variety of national newspapers and magazines, including The Independent, Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Evening Standard. Suzanne King grew up in northeast Cheshire: in Poynton (source of her earliest childhood memories, a hazy mix of bluebell woods and blackberry picking, abandoned brick kilns and agricultural shows); Cheadle Hulme (where the story of her own school - founded in the 1850s to educate the orphans of warehousemen and clerks - first sparked an interest in local history); and Alderley Edge (the scene of many happy wanderings on the Edge itself and several years working in the village nightclub, then a favourite haunt of the 'Cheshire set'). Even during the years she spent living and working as a journalist in London and abroad, she never entirely left, retaining strong links with the county via resident family and friends. Ten years ago she returned to her northwest roots and is now a freelance travel writer contributing to a range of publications including Telegraph Travel, for which she reviews Cheshire's best hotels, inns and B&Bs. Co-authoring this guide has provided the perfect excuse to spend every free moment pootling round the local countryside, revisiting old haunts, discovering new ones and sampling as many of the regional cheeses, brews and ice creams as possible.