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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 November 11, 2019

                        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                        How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                        Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                        To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                        Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                        1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                        Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                        Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                        To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                        2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                        Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                        If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                        Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                        3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                        Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                        Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                        4. Feed Your Brain

                        Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                        This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                        Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                        Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                        5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                        According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                        Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                        Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                        6. Write it Down

                        If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                        It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                        You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                        7. Listen to Music

                        Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                        8. Visual Concepts

                        In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                        Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                        Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                        9. Teach Someone Else

                        Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                        Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                        10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                        Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                        So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                        Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                        More About Boosting Memory

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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