The Picturesque Trail


Described as “England’s Garden Gateway”, Cheshire is particularly well blessed with top quality gardens – in fact more than one in eight of all UK garden visits take place here.

Our county is an ideal place in which to follow a route that highlights the “Picturesque”. The modern interpretation of picturesque is that of an attractive scene, beautiful or rugged, that’s ideal for framing and hanging on the living room wall. Our aim is to take you to some of the most ‘picture-perfect’ parts of our county, from the low-lying, leafy and pastoral Cheshire Plain, to the stunning views and vistas from the Peak District – and to show you how all this beauty is reflected in our gardens.

The route includes some, although by no means all, of the most magnificent and stunning sites in the county, uncovering some of its hidden gems. It features a wide range of locations, from charming country pubs to idyllic rural villages, and from ancient castles to scenic walks.

One of the finest examples of 18th century picturesque is Hawkstone Park in north Shropshire, with its winding paths, grottos and spectacular views. The gardens of Cholmondeley Castle were largely planted in the twentieth century and complement the characteristically gothic style of the castle. Tatton Park’s Japanese Garden and Eaton Hall’s wildflower meadows are equally beautiful. A short distance into North Wales, Bodnant Gardens show more formal plantings set alongside the seemingly untamed landscape of “The Dell”. There are also a further ten sites that complement the main garden destinations.

Enjoy this varied route that helps you delve deep into Cheshire’s countryside and to explore some of the county’s best kept secrets. Choose just a few destinations – or all of them – it’s up to you. However you use this route it will give you a memorable insight into Cheshire’s picturesque past.