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 exploring old houses and estates, even the boys are enjoy it. Which is why we thought we would pay Cholmondeley Castle a visit and below you can read our review and everything else you need to know before you book your own visit.
What is Cholmondeley Castle Estate and Gardens?
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 to the inside of the Castle.
However, that being said there is still a lot to see including beautiful gardens, animals, a cafe, park and a chapel that you can go inside of.
Our day at Cholmondeley Castle
As soon as we arrived the boys spotted a play park and decided they wanted to go and check it out immediately, which we did. The park was great and had lots to keep them busy including a zip wire for the older ones. And as the views surrounding the park are so beautiful my husband and I really didn’t mind sitting in the sun and watching them play for a bit. There are a couple of benches and some shaded area under the trees to making it a lovely place to have your picnic if you’ve packed one.
Next to this park is a path which takes you on a walk around the lake. I highly recommend you do this, it only takes about 10 minutes but feels like an adventure as you can’t see where you are headed and it loops in to the woods and over the water – take care if you have shorts on though as there were quite a few nettles.
After our walk we headed back up to the castle 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 in a Castle. It really captured the imaginations of the boys.
Opposite Cholmodeley Castle we 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. The colours, textures and variety are just breath taking.
On the other side of the gardens, away from the Castle is a cafe. We took a picnic so didn’t need to buy lunch but we did however refuel with an ice cream before using the public toilettes behind the cafe. 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 toilet. Also they have beautiful tiles in the toilets too!
We figured by now we must have seen everything, two parks, the gardens, the castle and the cafe, 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. Unlike the Castle we found that the Chapel was actual open and you could go inside, so we did.
It was really nice and I am so glad we spotted the sign before leaving. It is only small but the details are so intricate and you can really see how it would have been filled with people back in the day and had obviously been well looked after by the staff at Cholmondeley Castle in the years that followed.
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 from the hymn books 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 on the park and a quick walk through the gardens again 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 for as long as possible and the castle made for a beautiful back drop even if you can’t get inside for a nosey.
Key points you need to know about Cholmondeley Castle
There is a cafe on site but you can also take picnics as long as you don’t eat them in the main gardens.
Dogs are welcome but must remain on leads.
Remember to take your camera as you will definitely want to take photos.
Take the walk to the chapel, it’s worth it!
How much does a visit to Cholmondeley Castle Estate and Gardens cost?
Under 5’s free
This will get you in to the grounds and includes your parking. The only additional cost once inside is if you go to the cafe.
I hope you found this review of Cholmondely Castle and Gardens useful.
If you are looking for more inspiration for days out in the North West then check out our A-Z of days out post.