Over 100 displays of marine life await you at Cheshire Oaks’ Blue Planet Aquarium, including one of Europe’s largest collections of sharks – a great day out for the whole family.
Watch sharks swim overhead from the Underwater Shark Tunnel or dive with them for a heart-thumping experience. Don’t miss the pirate play area, underwater dining at the Nautilus Kitchen and daily Aquatheatre shows with educational Q&As here, too. From luxurious spas to homely B&Bs, stay at these nearby hotels to experience all the Blue Planet Aquarium has to offer – bookable on Culture Trip.
You and the kids can enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea here at Rowton Hall – along with perfectly done favourites, they’ll get chocolate-coated toasted marshmallows, while you can add gin and tonic, or book the piano-accompanied session. Meanwhile, the Langdale Restaurant serves seasonal dishes using home-grown herbs. Dogs are welcome in individually designed rooms and suites that are homely yet luxurious: think deep sofas, big windows and four-poster beds. You’ll love the spa with its garden-view pool and treatments like Elemis facials and deluxe manicures, too.
Thornton’s dining options are many, but you must try the award-winning Great Wirral Afternoon Tea – served in fine Royal Crown Derby bone china at the rural-view lounge or on the heated terrace. Expect a long list of teas and jams and a decadent savoury version. After, hit the spa’s mud therapy suite and outdoor hydro spa pools. Time your visit right to enjoy events like Murder Mystery or family-friendly Halloween bashes. Rooms range from funky grand clubrooms to a characterful executive boutique.
Explore history at this preserved, Grade II Listed Edwardian manor house as you marvel at the huge fireplace, gilded ceilings and 38-acre (15ha) grounds with pond and pavilion. Your room will feature sash windows looking over the gardens – and some boast vaulted ceilings and hand-carved wooden panelling. Award-winning chefs head up the restaurant, cooking things like confit duck leg and flavoursome vegan chilli. Special occasion? Book private dining, events or business meetings in the unique – and equally grand – settings.
There are five rooms at this 16th-century inn, making it a homely countryside stay. It’s a bed and breakfast, so you’ll enjoy the local or veggie sausage-featuring full English. Later, sample gastropub delights like perfect pie, tofu curry or hand-stretched pizza – alongside a cask ale or cocktail. The kids’ menu also features a fun dessert: Create Your Own Eton Mess. You’ll appreciate the big garden with tables, sheltered barnhouse and children’s playground here – plus events like quiz nights, book launches and live music.
Overlooking England’s oldest working racecourse, ABode is unique. The high-up, view-clad Brasserie serves great brunches, cocktails and dinners such as truffle macaroni. Vegan options are good, including chocolate pave dessert. Stay and you can enjoy breakfast with a view – menu highlights include baked eggs and chorizo and coconut chia pudding. Contemporary rooms come with black tiled bathrooms, big windows and blackout curtains – some feature city views, standalone roll-top tubs or private balconies.
Proud of its central Chester location, Hotel Indigo’s rooms are themed after the local architecture, racecourse and Eastgate Clock – boasting artsy wall features and fabrics like velvet and leather. Head to the trendy bar – with Art Deco-style furniture, gold accessories and patterned tiling – for their signature champagne cocktail or local craft beers. Grab a booth in the restaurant for sophisticated plates, such as wild deer grilled over logs. Don’t miss the fourth-floor balcony with Grosvenor Park and Welsh mountain views.
Expect pretty, cosy rooms at this boutique built back in 1850. What’s special here is the proud owners’ extra touches like homemade cakes, complimentary sherry and epic breakfasts. The morning menu is extensive: you’ll start with the likes of the “special recipe” porridge featuring Drambuie or home-made yoghurts – followed by a full English (there’s a good veggie version, too), eggs royale or piled-high bagels. Group trip? Hire the 10-room house to have Stone Villa just for you and up to 21 guests.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.