You might recognise the home-pressed apple juice sold at this well-stocked farm shop as it appears on the drinks list at the Cholmondeley Arms and The Roebuck. Apart from farm-made apple juice and cider, there is a vast range of local fruit and veg, honey, cheese, eggs and ice cream. From June onwards, you can buy strawberries picked straight from the field. Closed Mon-Wed.
The Partridge Stretton, Cheshire, WA4 4LX
The personal touch
Niche pub group 16 Hospitality purchased the former Hollow Tree pub in September 2016 and set about transforming the striking brick building into an authentic country pub with rooms. Sympathetically restored and extensively refurbished, they pushed open the doors of the new-look Partridge in May 2017 to reveal a contemporary-smart and comfortable interior and ten spanking new rooms in the former children’s ‘Funhouse’ play rooms at the rear of the pub. It has proved an inspired acquisition despite and probably due to its very close proximity to the M56. The Partridge is certainly the best motorway pit stop for miles, offering weary leisure and business travellers a fantastic alternative to a faceless Travel Inn. However, locals love the pub too as a dining destination and it’s a comfortable base for exploring the Cheshire countryside and for visiting Chester, Tatton Park, Liverpool and Manchester, both just 35 minutes drive away. Expect an open-plan bar and dining areas, with an open-to-view kitchen, cosy corners with log fires and a stylish modern pub décor – wood, tiled and carpeted floors, upholstered banquettes and wing chairs, rich fabrics, and glass-fronted wine racks. Service is efficient, friendly and smiley from well-trained staff.
Families can expect a warm welcome with kids allowed in the pub until 9pm. They have their own ‘younger guests’ menu and kids can let off steam in the safe side garden. Two rooms interconnect to create a family suite.
Dogs are allowed in the bar (water bowl; jar of bones & treats) and in the bedroom in the old barn as it has direct access to the garden.
The splendid front terrace (teak tables & chairs; big terracotta pots planted with box) is the place to sit on summer evenings.
The Partridge Stretton, Cheshire, WA4 4LX
Do not disturb
The Partridge Stretton, Cheshire, WA4 4LX
Mastering the menu
Time to Eat
Time at the bar
Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.
Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Inn Location - The Partridge
A wonderful farm shop whose philosophy of ‘fresh, local and simple’ really shines out in the produce they stock. A family run farm for more than 65 years, they’ve now branched out and are selling their produce (and some tempting bits and pieces from other Cheshire suppliers) in their farm shop. There’s also a deli filled with an array of temptation and foods you never thought you needed, or you could stay for lunch in their café and have all those temptations served up on a plate for you – literally!
Another incredible farm shop, deli and café – prepare to leave bankrupt but with the best bag full of goodies! Allow a good amount of time to wander around, as there’s an unbelievable amount to browse – a real treat for the senses.
1 Inn Location - The Partridge
Perched like a giant iron spider on the bank of the River Weaver, the Anderton Boat Lift was constructed in 1875 to hoist cargo boats 60 feet from the Weaver Navigation to the Trent & Mersey Canal. Take a trip aboard the Edwin Clark and find out more.
If you fancy a flutter, head for Chester, which boasts the oldest racecourse in Britain. This is where you can enjoy the sport of kings at its most stylish and glamorous.
With the emphasis on conservation and education, the Gauntlet Birds of Prey Centre houses more than 120 birds from 46 different species – from eagles and hawks to vultures and owls. There is also the chance to handle and fly the eagles – a rare privilege.
An inspiring and very extensive selection of original artwork and prints.
Independent bookshop, plus more, including lots of events, including readings, signings, and a regular Supper Club.
A splendid timber-framed Elizabethan mansion that luckily escaped the Great Fire of Nantwich in 1583. Grade I listed, it’s a rare survivor and is now home to an antiques shop specialising in furniture from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They have a great selection of Windsor chairs and also antique Welsh oak furniture as well as smaller pieces.
Sporting art, including originals, prints, bronzes etc. By appointment only.
Described by its owners as a ‘family-run, friendly and feminine boutique’, Glamorous of Knutsford is ‘fashion-forward’ in terms of its stock, yet classic and wearable. Brands include Made in Italy, John Zack and Soma London.
This is just the place for handmade glittered cards, gift boxes, pretty paper crowns, vintage-style party embellishments, exclusive, shabby chic and hand-decorated furnishings. There is also handpicked vintage china, painted furniture, giftware and seasonal decorations.
Chester’s only hat shop, The Hat Place is a family-run business where the motto is to provide fellow hat lovers with all the styles and brands available.
You’ll discover a wide range of secondhand and collectable books at this delightful shop on Chester’s ancient city walls. Chances are you’ll stumble upon it while actually walking the walls, which is a rather novel experience. The shop even gets a mention in Stuart Maconie’s wistful, best-selling study of the North of England, Pies and Prejudice.
Outside, the Knutsford Antiques Centre is all quaint sash windows and ivy-covered walls, while inside there is floor after floor of antiques and bags of period charm. Discover a fascinating world of furniture, crockery, glassware and fine bone china in the heart of Cheshire. The top floor of the building is devoted to shelves of old books.
Dazzling flowers, pots, plants and gorgeous displays as well as a variety of fabulous fragrant smells capture the attention as you step through the doors of Knutsford Bloom. There is also a little gift shop stocked with unique and unusual items.
In the middle of chic Cheshire, you’ll find a shoppers’ heaven. This is the venue for shopping on three floors – over 35 local independent businesses co-exist here, including fashion, home and crafts.
Family-run Toycraft, in the city’s Watergate Street, prides itself on being both traditional and inspirational. Here, you’ll find soft toys, jigsaws and games and just about anything else of quality to keep children – not to mention many adults – amused and well-occupied for hours on end. There’s a great atmosphere here and fun for all the family.
Places to visit
This very atmospheric country house dates to the 18th century and is ideal for exploring 250 years of the life (both 'upstairs' and 'downstairs') of a gentry family. There's a unique collection of servants' portraits, as well as fine furniture, textiles and wallpapers, plus a 485-hectare country park and formal walled garden.
Small local museum with displays about (amongst other things) Roman salt making, Tudor Nantwich's Great Fire, the English Civil War and the Battle of Nantwich (1644). The Millennium Gallery houses a diverse selection of temporary exhibits.
In a dramatic setting, perched on a high crag, the 'Castle of the Rock' is famous for its spectacular views. You can see eight counties on a clear day, from the Pennines to the Welsh mountains. As well as the views, there's lovely woodland to explore, with wildlife trails, regular events, and the chance of a bacon sandwich.
A delightful early nineteenth century Gothic castle, with turrets and battlements and beautiful gardens, still home to the Cholmondeley family. There are fifty acres of stunning ornamental gardens, which have been extensively developed over the past sixty years by Lady Lavinia Cholmondeley, and 670 acres of historic parkland. The hugely popular, annual festival of motorsport, the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, with racing, demonstrations and displays, is held at the Castle. (The castle is not open to the public except groups by prior arrangement).
One of the best preserved demonstration water-powered corn mills in the country. Visitors can see the ancient wooden machinery in action, hear about the history of the mill, have a go at milling grain, work miniature models, and enjoy the beautiful countryside setting.
Situated in 1,000 acres of superb deer park a stone’s throw from picturesque Knutsford, Tatton Park offers plenty to gladden the eye and capture the imagination. In the main mansion, you can witness life above and below stairs; then, back outside, take the children to see Tatton’s working farm. Throughout the year, this popular National Trust estate hosts more than one hundred events.
Located in a reconstructed 17th-century, timber-framed building on King Street, Knutsford Heritage Centre has three galleries spread over two buildings, two beautifully maintained gardens and a well-stocked gift shop. Expect an impressive exhibition programme, demonstrations, walks, talks and activities. The centre, home of the remarkable Knutsford Millennium Tapestry, also tells the story of Cranford novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-65), who spent her formative years in the town.
If you’re a fan of Elizabeth Gaskell, you’ll want to make a point of visiting 84, Plymouth Grove, her Grade II-listed Regency-style villa in Manchester, where she entertained many friends and social contacts – Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte among them. Gaskell’s wedding veil and passport are among many items on display. The house also hosts a year-round programme of talks and concerts.
If you are a certain age, Jodrell Bank is a name from the past that exudes a real sense of excitement for those fascinated by the mysteries of the Universe. Set up in 1945 to investigate cosmic rays, it later played a vital role in the research of meteors, quasars, pulsars and gravitational lenses. Jodrell Bank was also involved with the tracking of space probes at the start of the Space Race. A visit to the discovery centre, complete with its own planet, space and star pavilions, explains everything in fascinating detail.
Magnificent National Trust moated mansion set in spectacular parkland and including a deer park, formal avenues and woodland. Inside the house are many paintings and a significant collection of Huguenot silver among many other items.
In Warrington’s cultural quarter, you’ll find over 200,000 objects covering ethnology, archaeology, numismatics, local and social history, natural science and fine art. Here, you can travel through time and around the world.
Beautifully designed, half-timbered Tudor manor house with a manicured knot garden. A National Trust guide describes Little Moreton Hall as being ‘straight from a fairy story, a gingerbread house.’
There’s plenty to see and learn at IWM North. Take a tour around this aluminium-clad, futuristic-looking venue and you’ll find this is where exhibitions and events cover real stories of war, from the horrors of the First World War to today.
One of Manchester’s iconic visitor attractions, The Lowry is a theatre and gallery complex, located at dazzling, rejuvenated Salford Quays. If you happen to be a fan of L.S. Lowry (1887-1976), 300 works by the renowned Lancashire artist can be seen here.
Cheshire offers plenty for walkers of all ages and levels of fitness. The Sandstone Trail provides unbroken and often elevated walking, from Frodsham on the Mersey Estuary to Georgian Whitchurch in north Shropshire; and there are plenty of other walks as well, taking in wild moorland and rocky ridges, or delightful towns and villages. Further west, the Offa’s Dyke Path follows the Welsh border down from Prestatyn.
A great selection of cycle routes suitable for everyone can be found in Cheshire. There are nice flat canal towpaths and gentle inclines as well as serious downhills and exciting off-roading. The Cheshire Cycleway offers 176 miles of varied terrain, and there are also several National Cycle Network routes in the area.
The Chester Food and Drink Festival takes place at Chester Racecourse at Easter, and then there’s the Nantwich Show and International Cheese Awards in July, the Nantwich Food and Drink Festival in September, along with the Cheshire Food Festival and then the North West Food Lovers Festival in October. Rewind North, the 80s Music Festival, takes place in August, and the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (just one of many events at Tatton Park) in July.
Location, Location, Location
By Road: On A49, just 2 minutes south of M56 (junction 10)
By Rail: Nearest railway station is Warrington (5 miles)
, Stretton, Cheshire, WA4 4LX