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

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
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

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment