Last weekend we drove out to Cholmondeley Castle Estate and Gardens which is one of very few Castles in Cheshire and is hidden away in the beautiful countryside. None of us had ever been to Cholmondeley Castle Estate and Gardens before but since getting our National Trust passes we have all started to love going for walks round beautiful gardens and even the boys enjoy visiting places like these with the tiddler pointing out all the pretty flowers and asking me to take pictures of his favourites, bless him. So we thought we would go and visit a non National trust garden to see if it was as good, here is our review.
I think the first thing I need to point out in case anyone is reading this whilst debating whether to go is that although there is a castle here, as the name would suggest, it isn’t actually open to the public. You can walk up the hill to it and have a look from the outside but you cant gain access, so if you are thinking of going because you want to tour a castle then you may want to re think. However, that being said there is still a lot to see.
As you drive in you will pass a play park on your left which the boys spotted on the way in and decided they wanted to go to for our picnic but first, as is always the way with kids, we had to the find the toilets. Now I’m not usually one for sharing every tiny detail of a day out down to our loo visits but these were the nicest cleanest public toilets I have seen in a long time so feel they should be given some credit because I can’t be the only one that hates a public toilette. Also they have beautiful tiles in the toilets too!
We passed the Castle on the way and it really is stunning. We all took turns trying to guess who lived in it and what type of person they were and what it would be like to live there now. Then we headed back to the start for our play and a picnic. This park was great, there were benches for the picnic, some shaded by the trees and some in the sun and it over looked the park and a lake and although a few other families were there it was just so peaceful and quiet.
The park was suitable for little ones but also for the big’uns too with a zip wire that mine loved.
From here we went for a walk around the lake – take care if you have shorts on as there were some nettles, but other wise follow the pass because again it was lovely and felt like a little adventure as we had no idea if it would lead us to the other side of the water or somewhere different.
After our walk we headed back up to the castle and found a second park, which of course required another play stop and then we walked through the most stunning gardens. If you like flowers and gardens you really will appreciate the beauty of these, even the boys stopped in their tracks.
By now the tiddler required another pit stop and as the cafe is just in front of the toilets we stopped and treated them to an ice cream for the tiddler and a cream tea for the big’un and the staff were so lovely and friendly chatting away tot he boys about their visit
We figured by now we must have seen everything and were considering heading back to the car when we saw a sign for the chapel and decided to see what it was all about. It took us about 10-15 minutes to walk there admiring the views on the way and then we reached the chapel. We found that it was open and you could go inside.
It was really nice, only small but the details were so intricate and you could really see how it would have been filled with people back in the day and had obviously been well looked after.
I thought the boys would have been bored at this point but they honestly loved it. They made us sit down in the pews whilst they conducted a service form the front and even insisted we sang hymns whilst they recalled all the information they could from school about God and Jesus and what everything in the chapel was used for. We must have stayed in there for at least half an hour exploring and only left when we heard another family approaching who must have heard our rendition n of “All things bright and beautiful” and wondered what on earth was going on in there.
We then walked back to the main area had a another play and quick walk through the gardens before making our way to the car and heading home.
Overall we had a lovely day and stayed for about 3.5 hours. The sun was shinning, the gardens were stunning and it was so quiet and peaceful that it made you want to stay and enjoy it and the castle made for a beautiful back drop.
There is a cafe on site but you can also take picnics as long as you don’t eat them in the gardens.
Dogs are allowed on leads although we didn’t take ours.
Remember to take your camera as you will definitely want to take photos.
Take the walk to the chapel, its worth it!
If you love flowers and gardens I would highly recommend taking a visit and giving yourself a few hours to wonder around and then sit and enjoy the views. If you have children that love being outside and are happy to walk, run, climb and use their imaginations then bring them too as it will definitely feed their imaginations.
Under 5’s free
I hope you found this review of Cholmondely castle and gardens useful.
(Thanks to Cholmondeley Castle and gardens who gifted us tickets in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own).