Summer in the UK: Time to explore the North-west frontier

Take tea with a Russian and follow rhinos around a city. Simone Kane finds out what's new this season in Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria

A £1.7m boost in funds for the Cheshire landmark Peckforton Castle (01829 260930; peckfortoncastle.co.uk) has delivered 10 new opulent en-suite bedrooms, a luxury beauty treatment facility and a new brasserie, all of which opened in early July. A previously unused part of the Grade I-listed building has been sensitively transformed into one luxury suite, one deluxe, three four-poster, and five executive rooms, all sumptuously designed and retaining original features such as vaulted ceilings, sandstone walls and tall windows overlooking the grounds or the Cheshire Plain.

At the other end of the accommodation scale – but by no means slumming it – Featherdown Farm is offering guests the chance to live like Victorian explorers until the end of October in the brand-new lakeside Country House Hideout (01420 549150; countryhousehideout.co.uk). The "hamlet" of African safari-style tents is in the leafy grounds of Wyresdale Park, Lancashire. They come fully kitted out, with extras including binoculars, microscope and telescope to encourage exploration of the estate.

Also in Lancashire, the lost art of afternoon tea is celebrated in style at the recently opened Russian Tea Room in Bacup (01706 874800; russiantearoom.co.uk). Olga Penney, who as a child was captivated by the traditions surrounding the preparation of tea in her Siberian home town, now serves up love in a cup to her customers from traditional samovars. Fast becoming a foodie hot spot, the tea room offers a choice of 50 blends and 20 speciality coffees, as well as carefully selected cakes, pancakes and other delicacies.

If you're in Cheshire between 2 and 12 September, call in to Stockley Farm, near Northwich, to experience a restaurant in a yurt. The Riverford Travelling Field Kitchen (01803 762062; river ford.co.uk/stockley) – a spin-off from an organic veg box scheme in the North-west and the successful Riverford Field Kitchen restaurant in Devon – will be pitching up to serve seasonal delights harvested from the surrounding fields. Book tickets for a chance to try delicious dishes such as swiss chard and anchovy gratin topped off with summer berry pavlova.

See historic Chester through different eyes when you follow Rhino Mania around the city (rhinomania .co.uk). Sixty-two rhinos have been created by local artists, community groups and schools to provide an explosion of colour in a trail that takes in some of the city's key sights. On show until mid-September, the stampede of six-foot-long animals leads visitors from the river to the zoo and around the neighbourhoods. Kids can pick up a free trail map and try to spot as many rhinos as they can during their journey.

From 19 August, John Ruskin's former home, Brantwood, overlooking Coniston Water, will ring to the sounds of musical rocks when the percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie launches the alternative music project Ruskin Rocks (01539 441396; brant wood.org.uk). Using rock donations from Cumbrian quarries and music and multimedia to bring out the qualities of rock sound, the installation aims to introduce children to geology and demonstrate that some rocks can really "ring". The 21st-century rock xylophone will be available to visitors to play after the launch.

Cyclists and walkers can now test themselves on a new coast-to-coast leisure route, the Way of the Roses (way oftheroses.org.uk; sustrans.org.uk), which opens officially on 12 September. Having transformed 170 miles of roads and cycle tracks across the North of England, the route starts on the west coast in Morecambe, Lancashire, ending in the Yorkshire seaside town of Bridlington. It takes in some of the regions' most spectacular scenery, passing through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Forest of Bowland, as well as the historic cities of Lancaster and York.

Sit back and enjoy the landscape of the Lake District in comfort and style on a new Taste of the Lakes cruise from Sailaway (07920 575261; sailawaybm@ hotmail.com). Departing White Cross Bay in Windermere, the 90-minute trips run three times a day and can include a picnic or afternoon tea featuring home-baking, or a sunset cruise with a glass of wine and local cheeses.

For further information go to: visit cumbria.com, visitlancashire.com and visitcheshire.com

Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Automotive Service Advisor - Franchised Main Dealer

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable