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11 Cultural Date Ideas In Cheshire That Won’t Cost You A Penny

11 Cultural Date Ideas In Cheshire That Won’t Cost You A Penny

Cheshire is a county rich in cultural significance, with many of its ancient towns and landscapes strewn with impressive historic buildings calling to be explored. The medieval Beeston Castle, and the opulent moated Little Moreton Hall, are but a few examples of early architecture dating back to the 15th century.

Britain is famed for its boundless rolling countryside too, and Cheshire is no exception, providing endless miles of trails, such as the iconic 34 mile Sandstone Trail, perfect for long romantic walks through this fairytale landscape. Though many of Cheshire’s attractions don’t come free, here are 11 date ideas that do.

1. Hang out in Happy Valley

    Residents of Bollington refer to their hometown as Happy Valley. From a nondescript backwater to a vibrant mill town, a trip to the Discovery Centre tells its story, and even provides a free Majestic Mills trail guide for you to go off and explore the old cotton mills, canals and cobbled streets. Surely a date can’t fail in Happy Valley?

    2. Create your own Watergate scandal

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      Impressive works by the likes of Jack Vettriano, Bernhard Vogel, and Kerry Darlington might ignite a whirlwind romance on a date to the Watergate Street Gallery. With such vibrant pieces at every turn, it’s easy to see why anyone can be seduced by art.

      3. Walk Chester’s medieval city walls

        There’s arguably no better way to appreciate a land than from above. Without taking to the skies, view historic Chester from on top of its medieval city walls. Dating back to AD 120, this mixture of Victorian and Roman architecture are the only complete city walls in the UK. Built to defend Chester from numerous enemies, you’ll follow in the footsteps of Roman foot patrols and archers. Will cupid strike?

        4. Warm your heart in Port Sunlight

          Recognised as one of Europe’s finest art galleries, Lady Lever in Port Sunlight houses Britain’s best collection of decorative and fine art. Stunning exhibitions featured throughout the year compliment the 18th and 19th century displays of Chinese porcelain, and Wedgewood jasperware unrivalled anywhere in the world. Its founder, William Hesketh Lever, dedicated the gallery in memory of his wife. Much of the works come from his own private collection. If this doesn’t warm your date’s heart, find another.

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          5. Spot red squirrels on an ornamental lawn

            Walton Hall Gardens span 30 acres of a managed estate in Warrington. Mature trees, ornamental lawns and formal gardens provide an excellent habitat for Walton Hall’s red squirrel breeding program. Bring cucumber sandwiches and Pimm’s for a quintessential British afternoon picnic.

            6. Visit one of the UK’s oldest museums

              Opened in 1857, the Warrington Museum & Art Gallery was one of the first museums in Britain. With over 200,000 fascinating things to look at, including Warrington’s own dinosaur, you can’t go wrong by taking your date here. Free admission is almost unheard of in an establishment like this. Recent features include works by Banksy and Tracy Emin.

              7. Watch boats from a bandstand

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                Take a stroll along the promenade by the River Dee and stop off at the pretty bandstand to watch the rowing boats. Caught up in yesteryear in a setting like this is what romance is all about.

                8. Exotic species to set your passions on fire

                  A date to Ness Botanical Gardens is a treat for both newbie and seasoned botanists. Arthur Kilpin Bulley created the gardens in 1898. Sponsoring global expeditions to bring new plant species back to the UK, he developed one of the most significant botanical gardens in the country. Each corner of Ness is a delight guaranteed to ignite your passions.

                  9. A romantic walk down a Victorian railroad

                    Although remnants of the old railway line are scarce, the Chester-to-Birkenhead line offers miles of trails through what is now known as the Wirral Country Park. Cosy up in a bird hide and dare to steal a kiss. Take advantage of the on-site BBQ area and show off your culinary skills.

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                    10. Romance at Thor’s Stone

                      Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the nature reserve at Thurstaston common is spread over an impressive 250 acres. It is also a place of legends and myths. Here is the home of Thor’s Stone. Combining Viking folklore and the natural world makes for a fascinating day out and a memorable date.

                      11. Pet pigs at an urban farm

                        How do you think your date will react to a farmyard full of animals? The Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm surrounds a historic cottage where you can expect to see anything from a bee to a baby guinea fowl flying through the air, plus all the usual suspects, such as goats, ponies, sheep and cows. They say animals are a great judge of character, what do you think?

                        Image Source: Bollington via happy-valley.org.uk; The Watergate Street Gallery via cutthecap.wordpress.com; Chester City Walls via philandgarth.com; Lady Liver Art Gallery via liverpoolmuseums.org.uk; Walton Hall Gardens via warrington.gov.uk; Warrington Art Gallery via warringtonartsfestival.co.uk; River Dee via visitchester.com; Ness Botanical Gardens via nessgardens.org.uk; Wirral Country Park via clickar.co.uk; Thurstaston Common via gerryco23.wordpress.com; Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm via tamoshanterfarm.org.uk

                        Featured photo credit: Unknown via clickar.co.uk

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                        Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                        In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                        Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                        Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                        Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                        Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                        The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                        There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                        How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                        According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                        Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                        Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                        The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                        Listen carefully:

                        We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                        The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                        Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                        8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                        There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                        Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                        1. Pray Daily

                        You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                        When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                        Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                        Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                        2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                        A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                        By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                        Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                        If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                        This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                        How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                        3. Smile Often

                        Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                        Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                        Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                        The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                        4. Organize Your Working Desk

                        A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                        When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                        Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                        Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                        5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                        I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                        Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                        What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                        6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                        God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                        I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                        I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                        7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                        You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                        How do you do that? This is my formula:

                        First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                        If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                        If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                        If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                        Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                        8. Go Exercise

                        Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                        The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                        You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                        12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                        The Bottom Line

                        It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                        It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                        Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                        More Resources About Mindfulness

                        Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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