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

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
  • Get to the point
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: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Assistant Manager

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hotel in Chadderton is a p...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk