Cheshire - The Region
The beautiful and historic county of Cheshire is located in the heart of the UK. Bordering the outstanding landscapes of North Wales and the Peak District, it shares the serene pastoral countryside of nearby Shropshire.
The county also borders the vibrant and cosmopolitan urban areas of Liverpool and Manchester to the north, as well as the traditional industrial areas of the Potteries to the south. Other key destinations in England’s Northwest, such as the Lake District, are just two hours drive away.
Home to 670,000 people and host to several million visitors a year, the county is largely rural but is also home to many modern and highly successful service sector and industrial businesses.
Cheshire is well known for its attractive towns and picturesque villages. These include the world famous Roman city of Chester with a population of over 80,000 and other key destinations including Crewe (68,000 people), nearby Nantwich with its attractive half timbered buildings and Macclesfield (51,000), famous for its silk industry. In mid Cheshire the town of Northwich (40,000) is literally built on salt, which has been mined in Cheshire since Roman times. Here you can visit Britain’s only salt museum, or ride on a rare, fully restored canal Boat Lift.
Cheshire’s countryside is gently rolling, especially in the west, and is famous for its dairy farming. The Dee Estuary and the Mersey Estuary are of international importance for their ecological value. About 15 miles to the west, the central Sandstone Ridge provides some of area’s most outstanding landscapes, with tree clothed hills and magical views across the surrounding Plain. Further to the east is the Peak District National Park, which spreads into the county – providing a much more dramatic experience of bleakly romantic hills, stone walls and secluded hamlets.
Cheshire is an ancient county. Traditionally it has been larger than it is now and once incorporated the Wirral Peninsula to the west and the areas on the fringes of Manchester to the east. However, despite successive boundary changes the county is proud of a history that dates back to the very roots of England as a nation.
This has been and still is a highly prosperous area, much sought after, not only by people wanting to set up home or business here – but also by those who want to visit and experience all it has to offer. This reflects the quality of the natural environment and also the close proximity of major urban areas providing additional employment opportunities.
Cheshire is well connected to the transport network, with superb motorway access; links to the Inter City rail system (London is only two hours away); and has Manchester International Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport on its borders.
The high number of world-class parks and gardens, attractive market towns such as Knutsford, Neston and Sandbach, and an excellent cultural offering all add to Cheshire’s enviable quality of life.
Tourism is a major industry in Cheshire earning the county around £800 million a year. Chester is a major destination for tourists from across the world, while other visitors come to enjoy walking, cycling and riding in the delightful countryside; to visit the numerous historic homes and museums; or to pamper themselves in luxury hotels or high quality farmhouse accommodation.
On this website our two Regional Routes let you explore aspects of Cheshire’s environmental, social, economic and historic heritage in new and exciting ways.