Right in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, some 20 miles south of Manchester is this huge telescope. Its part of the University of Manchester instruments. The Lovell Telescope, with an altazimuth-mounted parabolic dish 250 ft (76 m) in diameter, is one of the world’s largest fully steerable radio antennas. University research programs include studies of galactic structure, angular sizes and structure of radio sources, polarization of radio sources, quasars, pulsars, molecules in interstellar space, and lunar radar. It is part of the MERLIN array (Multi-Element-Radio-Linked-Interferometer) that includes other radio telescopes throughout England. The site is currenly under re-developed programme so admission prices (£1.50 in Nov 2005) are low. There is new observation path opened so you can get great close up views.
Also in the visitors centre is a small 3D theatre where simulated trips to Mars can be taken in a matter of 10 minutes instead of the normal 3 months! The landscape of Mars was awesome - a huge canyon to rival that of the Grand Canyon. Couldn't breathe the air though! The guide was really amusing as he explained about the stars in the solar system - he looked like a typical mad professor, but was quite charming!
As well as the amazing telescope and cosmology exhibits you can enjoy the outdoor nature here. There is an arboretum around the science park, some 35 acres with 2000 species of trees and shrubs and National Collections.There are a variety of self guided trails within the arboretum and maps and trail guides can be purchased in the shop.The arboretum also features a small scale model of the solar system, the scale being approximately 1:5,000,000,000. In 2005, as part of the SpacedOut project, Jodrell Bank became the location of the Sun in a 1:15,000,000 scale model of the solar system covering the UK.(see website link for more details)
On a crisp bright day its a great place just for a walk too.
Not too far from the boat museum is another - the Blue Planet Aquarium, the UK's largest aquarium attraction, with two floors of interactive displays, one of Europe's largest collections of sharks and an underwater walkway tunnel. So if its raining this is a great idea for an hour or two. Again more pics and info I absolutely loved the seahorses - such beautiful creatures.
Ok who's knows the expression, "Grining like a Cheshire Cat". Well you may think this originated from Daresbury but in fact it is believed to have originated at Grappenhall another cheshire village some 3 miles away. The original cheshire cat is purported to be a carving of the said grinning cat on the church tower - well its not too visible - you need good eyesight or a good zoom lens and have to know where to look! All I could see where some crumbling gargoyles around the church tower.
The Anderton Boat Lift, not far from Northwich in Cheshire, was built in 1875. It was the first of its kind in the world to aid navigation between canals of differing heights - the Trent and Mersey Canal with the River Weaver which have a height difference of 50 feet. It uses two counterbalanced tanks of water. One goes up while the other goes down. Movement is vertical, like an elevator. It laid in disrepair and neglect for many years but was restored in MArch 2002 and is now a major tourist attraction in the area. Its aptly coined the "Cathedral of the Canals".
Trips can be made in the lift in a glass-topped boat - bit pricey at £6.50 I think and can be combined with a river trip into Northwich and back for another £3.75. Alternatively to view the lift and the excellent exhibition area its just £2.00 per adult - our choice.
Daresbury is a village in Cheshire, not far from Warrington, and is famous for the birthplace of Englands best known childrens author, Lewis Carroll. His father was the curate of the church here. Inside the church is a beautiful memorial stained glass window complete with scenes from Alice in Wonderland - perhaps the most famous children's book. The village itself is only small so whilst in this are the remains of Norton Priory and its woodland gardens are nearby and make for a pleasant place to visit . %L[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/e376/4cbb7/}Daresbury has its own page here so much more info and pics there.
If you happen to take a peek at my Restaurant tip on my Cheshire page you will notice The Bells Of Peover.
Well after your drink why not go over to St Oswalds which is directly opposite The pub.
it is a spectacular and important timber church with a stone W tower, said to be of 1582 (see Pevsner) but probably earlier. The aisled nave (13th-14thc.) is of four bays, and the slightly lower chancel of two, all timber work with box pews. The nave aisles continue alongside the chancel, the N aisle dating from 1624 and the S from c.1610. They now house an organ loft and vestry to the N and the Shakerley Chapel to the S. The three vessels have separate roofs, built by Salvin in his restoration of 1852, but originally the nave and its aisles shared a single roof. The church was founded in 1269, hence none of the fabric is 12thc. What is at issue is the font, said to have been brought from Norton Priory in 1322.
Just 20 minutes from the lovely walled town of Chester is the rural community of Beeston.
There are ruins of an old castle with sweeping views across the Cheshire plains and the opportunity of seeing rural life in action. A dairy ice-cream farm and a candle workshop factory are two popular attractions set admist the south Cheshire rural countryside. Much more about this on my Beeston page.
Great Budworth a quaint, typical "cheshire life" magazine village, situated some 3 kilometres north of Northwich. Lovely old cottages, a village church and stocks. A popular setting for TV locations - it was used for Hinge and Bracket "Dear Ladies" programe back in the 80's. Rural locations such as these have become popular homes for footballers and several-pop stars too - eg. Take That members. More info on its own page
This unique award winning canal museum has the world's largest floating collection of inland waterways craft. The site covers over 7 acres of the historic canal port and dock buildings. Its a great trip out for half a day and easily combined with great shopping at the nearby outlet village - so something for everyone. More pics and info here
Two tonne weights, originally part of the 1908 Anderton Lift make up this fun mini-maze - so even the kids are catered for here.Each weight is over two tonnes - a total of over 500 tonnes in the maze - excluding me! Thats over 50 double decker buses
The hall was and still is a moated manor house. In the rectangular well preserved moat, the gentle rippling of the waters reflects and enhances the distorted shape of the timberwork adding to the overall magic of the scene. The ducks and fish are oblivious of the tourists' fascination as they swim in the moat that encloses both building and gardens. The water in the moat is not stagnant but is linked to a flowing stream that ensures a renewed supply.
On one side Lyme Park has its original Tudor Facade. To the right you can see where the Italianate structure was grafted on (photo 3)
The is an old clock on the front (not working) nad you can see the mechanism from inside the house.
Little Moreton Hall is one of the best preserved Tudor timber framed buildings in England. It has been little altered in the last 500 years. It has however become very warped over time and there is hardly a straight line to ne seen anywhere on the building. It still has its long gallery, with some important paintings.
National Trust property
Admission Charge - Adults £5.50
Lyme Park is a magnificent stately home, near Stockport, not far from Manchester. It is essentially a Tudor home which was transformed into an Italianate palace in the 18th century. Not much of the Tudor exterior remains, but inside there are still a lot of Tudor features, such as the lavish ceilings nad the long gallery.
Unfortunately, when we visited the house was undergoing emergency work and half the house was shrouded in scaffold. Still it should be completed this year.
In the care of National Trust.
Admission charge - Adults £6.50
Great treat for you and friends, Afternoon Tea at Grosvenor Hotel. After hard day shopping we had...more
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