With the October half-term just around the corner, you may be wondering how to keep the little ones entertained. Well, if you live in Cheshire, there are plenty of wonderful places to take your grandchildren, we’ve put together a list of our favourites.
- Chester Zoo
Set in 128-acres of award-winning gardens, Chester Zoo is home to over 38,500 different animals – including some of the world’s most endangered animals. Spend your day exploring the zoo and learning about all the different species of animals. From aardvarks to zebras, there are a wide range of animals and habitats to explore.
Once you’ve seen all the animals there are 3 different play areas aimed at all different ages, as well as a mini golf course that the whole family can enjoy. You can also explore their award-winning gardens and learn about how their beautiful gardens play a vital role in helping local wildlife.
Opening hours: The zoo is open from 10am daily, excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Cost: Tickets cost from £15.45 for a child ticket and from £20 for an adult ticket.
Drive time from Gifford Lea: 20 minutes (9.7 miles).
- Blakemere Village
Blakemere Village is one of our favourite family-run attractions right in the heart of Cheshire. It is themed around an Edwardian courtyard full of independent shops including a traditional toy store, a garden centre and plenty of gift shops. You can also enjoy a number of different activities including archery, a birds of prey experience and there is also a craft workshop where you can learn about pottery and painting. In addition there is an outdoor play area, or if it is raining children aged 1 to 10 can enjoy playing in the indoor play area.
Opening hours: Open daily from 10am to 5pm.
Cost: Free to enter with free parking.
Drive time from Gifford Lea: 29 minutes (16 miles).
- Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker
Once kept a secret for 50 years, this underground bunker played a vital role in the defence of Britain as it was one of 21 fixed radar stations in the country. The bunker was declassified in 1993 but the 35,000 sq ft underground bunker would have been the centre of regional government had nuclear war broken out. It was built in the 1950's as part of a vast secret radar network codenamed 'ROTOR'.
Set in the lovely Cheshire countryside, this bunker now provides a real history lesson; you can see how the men and women lived and worked in this bunker – the perfect day out for the whole family.
Opening hours: In the summer, the bunker is open 7 days a week from 10am-5pm and in the winter the bunker is open from Wednesday to Sunday 10am-4pm.
Cost: A child ticket costs £7 and an adult ticket costs £10.
Drive time from Gifford Lea: 37 minutes (17 miles).
- Beeston Castle and Woodland Park
Beeston Castle and Woodland Park is the perfect place to take your grandchildren this October, located at the cliff top near Tarporley, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding areas. The ideal location for the whole family, you can learn about the history of the ruins of the medieval castle, known as the ‘Castle of the Rock’ which was built in the 1220’s by the Earl of Chester. One of the best parts of this castle is climbing to the top and peering down into the spiralling well below, it is one of the deepest castle wells in England and is thought to be the hiding place of Richard II's lost treasure.
Once you’ve explored the castle, there are also over 40-acres of woodland park to explore you’ll be surrounding by a variety of plants, trees and wildlife from foxes, rabbits and bats to buzzards and you may even be lucky and spot a peregrine falcon.
Opening Hours: Open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
Cost: Tickets cost £5.40 for a child and £9 for an adult.
Dive time from Gifford Lea: 13 minutes (5.3 miles).
- Blue Planet Aquarium
If you’re looking for somewhere to take your grandchildren on a rainy day, then look no further than Blue Planet Aquarium. There are over 100 living displays where you’ll get to see some amazing species, including seahorses, stingrays and Europe’s largest collection of sharks. Take a walk through the underwater shark tunnel while a range of sharks and fish swim over your head. Head to the rock pools where you can get close to some of the wonderful species that enjoy Britain coastline, then venture inside the Coral Cave where you’ll see a range of beautiful tropical reef fish, stingrays and puffer fish. There are plenty more exhibitions to explore and keep your little ones busy all day.
Opening Hours: Open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Last entry is at 4pm.
Cost: An adult costs £18 (when bought online) and a child ticket costs £13 (when bought online). Car park costs £2.75 per vehicle.
Drive time from Gifford Lea: 20 minutes (13 miles)
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