Cheshire: Free things to do
Feeling cooped up and ready for some adventure? Do the plans feel more ambitious than the bank balance? We get it. Luckily Cheshire is jam-packed with exciting free things to do, which means you could have a banging free day out in Cheshire while leaving your wallet untouched.
To save you the extra planning hassle we’re here to help you plan your flipping fantastic free day out in Cheshire with our favourite free things to do.
A free trip to a Cheshire museum…or two
Why not! They’re free entry.
Grosvenor Museum is the perfect start to a free day out in Cheshire. Pack up the family, get the curiosity going and learn about the history, places and people of West Cheshire. What’s there? There’s a display of trace fossils of a Chirotherium, which wasn’t a dinosaur, but one of their ancestors. The trace fossil footprints and tail marks are the only remains that exist of this animal since no skeletons have ever been found – rad.
Speaking of skeletons, you can see a skeleton that was discovered in the well of a Roman mansion just behind the museum. It’s estimated that he was between 18 and 25 years old when he died. You’ll also be able to see the Roman tombstones of the Sarmatian horsemen who held up a dragon standard which would have made a shrieking sound in the wind. If that wasn’t enough Roman for you, there are the Roman galleries which explore Roman life and death, and display the largest group of Roman memorial stones from a single site in Britain.
For a bit of flavour, there’s nine rooms that illustrate the changing fashions in domestic interiors from the 17th century to the 1920s. You get a free day out in Cheshire, and some home inspo all in one! We’re not sure you’ll want to try the Edwardian shower at home though – you’ll have to see it to know what we mean.
Another fantastic free day out in Cheshire is Nantwich Museum. The building is oozing with history as it was once a Victorian library and stands on the site of the town’s former jail. The museum holds an array of permanent exhibitions including one on Cheshire Cheese! Learn about one of the oldest recorded named cheeses in the UK and just how and why it’s made in Nantwich. You’ll be able to visit The Cheese Room – which is just as wonderful as it sounds.
On your free day out in Cheshire, visit Nantwich, where you can learn about clocks and the importance of Nantwich clockmaking, and The Great Fire of Nantwich in 1583 that burned for 20 days. There’s Roman artefacts that were found in Nantwich including a 2,000 year old toilet seat!
These are just a couple of free museum days out in Cheshire, but there’s also the likes of Congleton Museum, Anson Engine Museum, and Catalyst Science Discovery Centre & Museum just to name a few!
A blooming lovely free Cheshire park!
The easiest answer to a free day out is heading to a nearby park for a walk and Cheshire does not hold back on beauty spots for you to enjoy.
Delamere Forest is a shady oasis amidst the Cheshire Plain. You can escape the crowds and find peace in the middle of the forest – for free! You’ll find a range of trails for all abilities, a hike that lets you admire the view across to Liverpool’s famous skyline, orienteering activities, or the beautiful lake to take in some peace and quiet and wildlife. There’s even something for the kids with the Superworm trail where they can discover small but mighty creatures in the much loved story and learn about the heroic everyday feats of minibeasts in the forest.
If you’d like to do a bit of walking on your free day out in Cheshire give Sandstone Trail a go. It’s Northwest England’s most popular middle-distance trail, and Natural England has shortlisted Sandstone Ridge as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – all of which you can take in for free! The trail is 55 kilometres long, so could provide you with multiple day’s activity or you could simply do part of it. It runs from the ancient market town of Frodsham on the Mersey estuary in the north.
The Dane Valley is a hidden gem in the Congleton area that you should absolutely add to your free day out in Cheshire plans. It’s a 7km trail that takes you alongside the meandering river and shows off the historic natural beauty. You’ll catch St Peter’s Church, built in the 13th century, and you can stop off at the pub opposite for a fresh drink. There’s also the old Swettenham Mill on Midge Brook just in front of the woods known as Daffodil Dell which is a spring favourite among locals.
Free Cheshire history with a view
Combine education and the outdoors on your free day out in Cheshire with a trip to Chester City Walls. They’re the oldest, longest and most complete parts of the Roman walls in Britain, and some parts are even 2,000 years old!
Chester is the only city in Britain that has retained the entire circuit of its ancient defensive walls. You can walk along them and take in glorious views down into the city and learn about the fantastic local Roman history.
First built by Romans, it was developed and extended during the Saxon period and further modified in the 12th century by the Normans – which means the walls are a tapestry of British history that you can enjoy on a free day out in Cheshire with a self-guided tour!
For our aquatic lovers, Cheshire is home to the Anderton Boat Lift, which was the winner of Experience of the Year 2019! It does exactly what it says on the tin, lifts boats and barges 50 feet from the River Weaver Navigation to the Trent & Mersey Canal. But it’s so much cooler than just that, it does it with ingenious and apparently ‘the most endearing character’ of any structure on the canal system.
It’s big, mighty and it’s one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Waterways’ with a visitor centre, coffee shop and play area. Plus it’s near Northwich Woodlands, which makes it a cracking day out. The visitor centre has free entry every day of the week which makes it perfect for your free day out in Cheshire. In the centre you can learn how the amazing lift works and why it was so important.