Cheshire has an enormous amount to offer the average tourist. It’s rich in history, culture and natural beauty, and filled to bursting with things to see and do. During the summer, it’s as close as you can get to the archetypal green and pleasant land. Toward the latter portion of the year, however, it’s something of a different story. During the winter months – as with everywhere else in England – it’s often better to remain indoors – where, for the most part, it’s warm and cosy.
Let’s take a look at the attractions on offer over those coming months – and see where we can find a Christmas party in Chester along the way.
Chester Zoo is among the most popular tourist destinations in the county – and for good reason. It’s well maintained, reputable and the people running it clearly care deeply for the animals in their care.
During the winter, it’s not a particularly busy time to be a zookeeper – the animals, for the most part, spending a lot of their time out of sight. With British temperatures being markedly frostier than those of their native climates, who can blame them?
A great deal has happened at Chester Zoo over the past month or so. A family of five Sumatran tigers have, after some considerable wait, been moved to a new and improved enclosure, allowing them to live far more happy, fulfilling lives, and allowing visitors to catch an up-close and personal glimpse of them. Another significant change comes in the arrival of a pair of sun bears – the first at the zoo since the late 70s. The story behind these two is a little tragic – their parents were killed by poachers and they were sold as pets (and subsequently mistreated). They were then rescued by conservationists at an early age before being moved to the UK two years ago. It is hoped that both of them will play an important role in preserving the species to which they belong.
The zoo is home to more than twelve thousand different animals, representing more than four hundred different species and so has plenty to offer even during winter. But over the holiday season it’s also hosting a few extra-special events designed to get children into the Christmas spirit.
Among these is ‘lantern magic’, a night-time (or early evening) event which involves walking through the darkened zoo, carrying an animal-shaped lantern with you. The evening will also feature a parade of Christmas characters, including Santa Claus himself. It’s proven enormously popular in previous years with children and with parents, too. Food is provided at a small extra cost, and admission includes general admission to the zoo.
If Chester Zoo is the most well-known tourist attraction in the county, then Tatton Park is surely close behind – though for entirely different reasons. The experience is about as far-removed from that on offer at the zoo as it’s possible to be – which illustrates the overwhelming breadth of options available those visiting the county.
Tatton Park is a huge historical estate, whose grounds contain a lavish Georgian manor house, as well as a medieval old hall, a fully-operational farm, a set of eye-popping gardens and an enormous expanse of parkland stretching over more than a thousand acres of British countryside.
It should go without saying that the latter two of these four things are best enjoyed in the summertime. But that said, there’s still plenty to see and do on the grounds during the winter – though the park is closed on Mondays throughout November and December (and indeed, on Christmas Day).
The park will put on a series of special events over the Christmas period. These include live classical music, a series of displays inspired by Christmas carols, and seasonal baking by costumed guides. On the 10th, 11th and 12th of December will be a series of concerts, featuring Bach, Vivaldi, Holst and all of the traditional Christmas favourites. Fuller details of the various festive happenings can be found here.
Where can I stay?
If you should be so fortunate as to live in Chester, then reaching these events will likely not prove particularly problematic. If you’re travelling from further afield, on the other hand, you’ll have to seek out accommodation. Fortunately, there are several high-quality hotels in Cheshire, including the luxurious Carden Park, which is based in the centre of the county’s countryside.
Originally posted 2015-11-06 11:08:27.