Visit Halton for Kings, Castles and Chemical revolution
Halton as a Borough isn’t very old – in fact less than 50 years old. However, the towns that make up the Borough of Halton have a surprising and rich heritage which include castles, kings, chemists, and religion.
The rivers and waterways have always played an important role in the area and both Runcorn and Widnes had busy, bustling ports which helped establish the area as an important role in the rising chemical industry. The area is also home to a Grade 1 Listed Castle, believed to be visited by Kings and was also used as a prison. Norton Priory was once home to a medieval church and the St Christopher statue also appears in the classic children’s book, ‘The Children of Green Knowe”. The famous Alice in Wonderland, written by Lewis Carroll, grew up in Daresbury and the characters are thought to be inspired by the strange and gothic carvings found in the All-Saints Church, Daresbury where his father was the Vicar. The Church is home to the Lewis Carroll Centre.
The waterways still play an important part in the Borough today, with many cycle paths and walkways that tell the story of this fascinating heritage. Did you know that the Sankey Canal in Widnes was the first canal in England in the Industrial Era. There are some fantastic walks from Spike Island along the Sankey Canal and you will see views of Wigg Island and Halton Castle. The Bridgewater Canal is a 39 mile canal that runs from Runcorn to Leigh with cycle routes and walking routes, you can take a stroll and it will take you past The Brindley and you can stop off at Norton Priory to make a day of it. Finally, the Manchester Ship Canal connects to The Bridgewater Canal and The River Mersey and offers some interesting walks along this impressive canal. Follow the River Mersey and cross from Runcorn to Widnes and take a walk to see the pretty Hale Lighthouse.
Come and be surprised and delighted discovering the history and heritage of Halton.
- Catalyst Museum is a unique interactive experience for all ages. With a host of interactive exhibits, museum archives, historical galleries, family shows and hands-on workshops, it brings a range of subjects to life from Science, Maths, Engineering and Technology to the Humanities and Geography. Visitors can explore the science and technology behind the chemical industry and its impact on our lives, past and present.
- Hale Village – This picturesque village is like stepping back in time and remains largely as it was in the mid twentieth century with thatched roof cottages. Visit the Childe of Hale statue, the gentle giant was believed to have grown to 9ft 3 inches and wrestled for King James 1. Also go for scenic walk along the River Mersey to the Hale lighthouse which sits on a sandstone cliff overlooking the beaches and saltmarsh of the river.
- Halton Castle – Standing above the town of Runcorn and accessed through the popular Castle pub, with 360° views across the Mersey, Cheshire Plains, and the surrounding area. This shell keep castle although widely dispersed throughout England, is rare with only 71 recorded similar examples, making it historically important within the region. It is only one of two Norman churches remaining in Cheshire
- Halton Heritage Partnership is a forum of a range of 20 local history societies and organisations in Halton with an aim of promoting the rich heritage of the Borough and their website is jam packed with lots of interesting facts and information about Halton’s heritage.
- Halton Miniature Railway – This twin attraction offers something unique to visitors, the mile long railway ride connects to the Ski Slope. The 10-minute journey around a part of the Palacefields Park is a delight to all ages.
- Lewis Carroll Centre An attraction dedicated to the famous writing and work of the famous, local author. Visitors can take a self-guided walk around ‘The Birthplace’ of Lewis Carroll. Carroll’s birthplace is marked by the National Trust, wander Woodland Trust’s Lewis Carroll Centenary Wood and explore the story, told in an all-year-round exhibition along-side All Saints Church where his father was a much-loved vicar. The church itself is beautifully kept with fine examples of Jacobean carving, a ‘Green Man’, search out the Alice in Wonderland stained glass memorial window. Visitors can also grab a scoop of delicious Daresbury Dairy Ice Cream enroute, made with love and care on the farm nearby.
- Norton Priory Museum & Gardens is one of Halton’s hidden gems, once home to a medieval church and is the most excavated monastic site in Europe. Visitors can be wowed by the 12th century undercroft with beautiful, vaulted ceiling and the priory ruins showing the layout of the medieval buildings. Discover fascinating facts and objects in the museum and wonder in the woodland and walled gardens with secret summer houses, a stream glade, and sculptures.
- Sci-Tech Daresbury is a science and innovation campus renowned for world class science, innovation and enterprise. Not normally open to the public, look out for their Open Days for a rare opportunity to get up close to some of the world’s most spectacular and powerful science experiments.
- Silver Jubilee Bridge – Linking Widnes and Runcorn, spanning 330meters the bridge is one of Halton’s most recognisable landmarks.