Visit Chester and Cheshire

Visit Chester and Cheshire

Cheshire's Rural Escapes are not far away

Cheshire's Rural Escapes are not far away

  • 200,000 reasons to make a visit 
    Warrington Museum & Art Gallery 

    Natural sciences, antiquities, social history, decorative arts and an extensive local photographic archive ....

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  • Set in Beautiful Parkland  
    Castle Park Arts Centre 

    Visit the historic town of Frodsham and enjoy three galleries, craft units, coffee shop ....

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  • Festive Santa Cruises 
    Anderton Boat Lift 
    3rd December 2016 - 4th December 2016 

    On the weekends in December prior to Christmas come and join Santa and his festive crew on a jolly cruise along the River Weaver Navigation ....

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  • Santa is Out and About in the Moss Farm and Winnington  
    4th December 2016 

    Come and see Santa.  He is out and about tonight in the Moss Farm and Winnington areas of Northwich ....

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  • Pantomime: Beauty & the Beast 
    Grange Theatre 
    10th December 2016 - 1st January 2017 

    Northwich's most spectacular pantomime ever brought to you in association with Strictly Productions ....

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  • An Outstanding Day out in Cheshire 
    Lion Salt Works 

    Now open to the public after a £10m restoration and a Marketing Cheshire Annual Awards winner  ....

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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, Northern Rail, Vigin Trains and Network Rail