The Lovell Quinta Arboretum
In the pretty village of Swettenham in the heart of the Cheshire countryside is this horticultural gem – a 28-acre arboretum that was the lifelong project of Sir Bernard Lovell, founder of the Jodrell Bank Radio Telescope. Lovell bought the site in 1948 and developed it from open grassland. It now features over 800 species and 2,500 trees and shrubs, including a collection of endangered conifers sponsored by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and two national collections. There’s a hebe collection with over 100 species in trial beds planted by the Hebe Society, 12.5 acres of wild wood owned by Cheshire Wildlife Trust, meadows filled with wild flowers and beautiful views over the valley of the River Dane. There is also a lake and many species of wildlife can be found on site.
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About the area
Nestled between the Welsh hills and Derbyshire Peaks, the Cheshire plains make an ideal location to take things slow and mess around in boats. Cheshire has more than 200 miles (302 km) of man-made waterways, more than any other county in England. The Cheshire Ring is formed from the Rochdale, Ashton, Peak Forest, Macclesfield, Trent and Mersey and Bridgewater canals. This route takes you through a lot of Cheshire, and bits of other counties as well.
While exploring the county’s waterways, covering ground on foot or admiring the typical white plaster and black timber-frame houses, make sure to have a taste of Cheshire’s most famous produce. Although Cheddar has become Britain’s most popular cheese (accounting for over half of the cheese sales in the UK), it was once Cheshire cheese that was in every workman’s pocket back in the 18th century. Its moist, crumbly texture and slightly salty taste mean it goes well with fruit, peppers or tomatoes. As well as the usual white, there are also red and blue veined varieties.
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