Visit Chester and Cheshire

Visit Chester and Cheshire

Cheshire's Rural Escapes are not far away

Cheshire's Rural Escapes are not far away

  • A Great Family Day Out in Cheshire 
    National Waterways Museum 

    Extensive in-door displays, boat trips and historic buildings where time slows down and history comes to life ....

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  • An Evening with Adrian & Bridget Plass 
    St Mary's Church, Weaverham 
    12th September 2015 

    Enjoy an Evening with writers and broadcasters Adrian and Bridget Plass at St. Mary's church Weaverham  ....

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  • Wag n Walk - Sponsored dog 
    Delamere Forest 
    12th September 2015 

    Come and join us for our final sponsored dog walk of 2015 in Delamere Forest ....

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  • Bug Hunts 
    Northwich Woodlands 
    31st July 2015 

    Help the rangers explore the beasties that lurk in Marbury Country Park ....

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  • Northwich Business Networking 
    Blue Cap 
    19th August 2014 - 11th August 2015 

    Join Northwich BNI and other Local Businesses to help build your business locally ...

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  • An Outstanding Day out in Cheshire 
    Lion Salt Works 
    1st July 2015 

    Now open to the public after a £10m restoration ....

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Widnes

Widnes is mentioned as early as 1200, the name meaning wide promontory. It lies on the north bank of the River Mersey and prior to reorganisation in 1974 was in Lancashire.

The industrial revolution had its beginnings in Widnes between 1714 and 1830 and the birth of the chemical industry was between 1830 and 1865. It was once one of the most heavily polluted towns in the country and if you fell in the Mersey you were take immediately to hospital for treatment!  Today the chemical industry has changed and parts of the river are even developed for wildlife preservation.

The making of Sankey Brook navigable for coal barges from St Helens to Sankey Bridges was particularly significant. The Sankey Navigation Canal arrived in Widnes in 1833. The canal and the railway terminated at Spike Island.  The name is probably derived from the word for the cheap boarding houses that had sprung up in the area.

A new dock was built with sidings enabling easy transfer of coal from railway to sailing flats. By 1855, Spike Island was the centre of the new chemical industry.  Spike Island is now a waterside park with anchorage for fishing boats and a heritage trail.

The Catalyst Museum is the museum of the chemical industry and was opened in 1989.  Science comes alive through a host of interactive exhibits and hands-on displays.

Widnes station has a plaque recalling that while waiting for a train, Paul Simon wrote the words of the song ‘Homeward bound, I wish I was’ – an understandable sentiment in the old Widnes!

Cheshire Best Kept Stations is supported by Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Cheshire Crimebeat, Visit Chester and Cheshire, Northern Rail, Vigin Trains and Roberts Bakery