Escape the city to this little beauty spot in the Cheshire countryside – the only Shire horse stud farm in Britain open to the public, and winner of Cheshire’s Small Visitor Attraction in 2013.
We visited on a sunny spring day and were immediately greeted by a very cheerful herd of piglets scurrying round our ankles! As we turned a corner we then met the first of the enormous, beautiful Shire horses being groomed by a member of staff.
We continued to tour the farmyard, meeting Hebridean sheep, ducks, hens, peacocks and very cute Shetland ponies, one of whom my son groomed. After washing hands we ate our picnic at a table by a small lake, overlooking the fields of horses, surrounded by blossom trees and daffodils.
Re-energised we sallied forth once more along the nature trail, which took in three lakes; a fox earth and badger sett; bird boxes; otters; a woodland maze; red deer and of course the most gigantic, elegant horses you’ve ever clapped eyes on! This close they were awe-inspiring – my kids were dumbstruck. The walk took us about an hour. It’s not perfect terrain for a pushchair (muddy after bad weather and full of divots) but was certainly manageable, and all flat.
Adult £7.95, Child £5.95, Family £23, under 4s free
Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre and Countryside Park, Cotebrook, Tarporley, Cheshire CW6 9DS
Tel: 01829 760506 cotebrookshirehorses.co.uk