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Testimonials and Loyal Customers at Combermere Abbey June 10, 2024
© Christopher John Photography

Testimonials and Loyal Customers at Combermere Abbey

Stories of Returning Guests at Combermere Abbey

Picture yourself discovering a place so unique that it becomes your annual destination, one that fills your thoughts and dreams year after year.

With each returning visit, you enjoy a new adventure, experiencing precious time and making timeless memories with loved ones. As we enter the summer months, we are reflecting and revisiting some of our favourite testimonials from our loyal, returning guests. These trustworthy reviews speak volumes about the special bond we have formed with countless couples and generations of families over the years.

Combermere Abbey snowdrops

A Tradition of Snowdrops

This couple stays with us every year, around February time, as they love to visit when the snowdrops are blossoming across the estate. It’s become a tradition for them to witness the blankets of snowdrops, marking the start of another beautiful year at Combermere Abbey.

“Fabulous time with all our family in one of our favourite places. We have opened many bottles of fizz over 23 years to celebrate so many moments. Look forward to the snowdrops next year.”

Escape the Hustle and Bustle of Christmas at Combermere Abbey

If you’re looking to make Christmas 2024 extra special, then why not plan a family stay at Combermere Abbey. This loyal customer will be returning for their seventh visit this year and we can’t wait to welcome them back. Those crisp morning walks around the estate are unforgettable, making Combermere the ideal destination for a relaxing and peaceful Christmas.

“If it’s a break away from the hustle and bustle of Xmas that you want then Xmas at Combermere is the place to go. This is our sixth visit and stepping into Cotton was like coming home. The cottage has everything you need to allow you to enjoy Xmas whilst recharging your batteries.

The walks around the grounds and woods are lovely with this year the added joy of a walk to the Old Piggery Cafe and a visit to the Three Wrens Gin distillery. Thank you, as always, to Rachel, the housekeeping staff and everybody at Combermere for helping to make another Xmas so perfect and we look forward to seeing you next year.”

Everything is Just Perfect

It’s true, there is nothing more perfect than watching the sunset over Combermere. It’s something you need to experience for yourself. The walks around the woodlands, the sunset reflecting on the water and the peace and quiet are all lasting memories this returning customer will take with them.

“This was probably my sixth stay at Combermere Abbey and as always everything was just perfect for ‘a few days away from it all’. Peace and quiet abound, with a lovely woodland walk and the serenity of an evening stroll to the lake to catch the sunset reflecting on the water. It’s my special place.”

Cottages Made of History

In our opinion, there’s nothing more important than finding a holiday destination that the whole family can enjoy, so we were delighted when we received this testimonial from a returning multi-generational group. Our award winning cottages have everything you could need, with plenty of space for everyone to come together. This family also enjoyed exploring the grounds and learning about the rich heritage that Combermere Abbey has to offer.

“Another stay in the tranquil surroundings of Combermere Cottages. A family of six adults had plenty of room around a superior cottage called Beckett. As well as the comfort of the cottage, the grounds feel like they are yours, stately walled gardens, woodland walks and rolling farmland. I would recommend Combermere Abbey with its history, the owner’s dedication to restoration and the staff’s ability to make you feel welcome. 10 out of 10 stay from my family.”

Combermere Abbey north wing breakfast

An Unforgettable Experience at Combermere Abbey

This review is one we took great pleasure in reading. It’s so wonderful that not only has this couple stayed in the cottages and the North Wing on several occasions, they were generous enough to share Combermere with their parents and book them into a suite in the North Wing to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

“We booked the North Wing to come with my parents to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. We know how special the place is and we wanted to make it an unforgettable experience for them. What we didn’t expect was such glorious weather after all the rain we have had. It is a very special place whatever the weather, but seeing the grounds and the beautiful lake in the sunshine, not to mention the glorious North Wing was just magical.

My mum and dad have the most magnificent day and we’re really blown away by everything about The North Wing. Before we left the following day, Blair gave us a Really wonderful breakfast, what a wonderful host and it was so nice to see Stefan again when we arrived the day before. Thank you all so much, it made a special occasion really wonderful!”

Book a stay in the North Wing for a well earned break

Enjoying your own Butler is just one of the many bespoke experiences to be enjoyed while staying in the North Wing. The lovely guest who sent us this testimonial runs his own B&B and when he has the opportunity to take some well deserved time off, he chooses to spend it at Combermere Abbey.

“Always exceptional and a big thank you to Stefan and Blair for trying so hard. As a bespoke bnb owner myself I totally identify with all the effort put into making customers enjoy their stay to the maximum and so again a big thank you and well done.”


It’s a pleasure to look back at all the wonderful feedback from our guests. Every year, the staff at Combermere Abbey work hard to make the holiday cottages and the North Wing even better for our new and returning guests, ensuring everyone enjoys a truly magical experience. Our commitment to improvement is always continuing, with recent upgrades including the replacement of stones at the entrance to the Abbey and the arrival of an EV charger at the North Wing.

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Best Spots for Afternoon Tea in Cheshire and Shropshire August 31, 2022

Best Spots for Afternoon Tea in Cheshire and Shropshire

Enjoying a true English afternoon tea has become very popular over the past few years, and we can certainly see why! Catching up with your loved ones over a steaming pot of tea, delicious finger sandwiches and cakes, and of course – a scone with clotted cream and jam – sounds a terrific way to spend time to us.

At Combermere Abbey, we are surrounded by many outstanding tearooms – in iconic historic buildings as well as boutique cafes. With plenty of choice to indulge in when you visit us, and we’ve included some of our top suggested places in Cheshire and Shropshire to enjoy an afternoon tea below.


6 Places For Afternoon Tea Near Combermere Abbey

Our cottages are fully self-catered which means you could very well bring your own afternoon tea along with you and enjoy it in your garden or down by the lake! But, if you fancy venturing out instead, why not try these spots in Cheshire and Shropshire?


3 Cheshire Afternoon Tea Spots


1. Peckforton Castle – Tarporley

The exceptional Grade 1 heritage site,  Peckforton Castle is tucked away amid acres of stunning Cheshire countryside and exudes a sense of refined beauty. In this breath-taking setting, you and your nearest and dearest can enjoy an exquisite afternoon tea for two.

On offer, they have a range of mouth-watering sandwiches, French pastries, and fluffy scones that have been expertly stacked with perfectly proportioned jam and cream. Why not class up the affair by adding a glass of Joseph Perrier Champagne or a refreshing gin and tonic too?

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 15 miles


2. Chester Grosvenor – Chester

There’s no better spot to venture when looking for a quintessentially beautiful afternoon tea than the Chester Grosvenor. The Grosvenor’s actually renowned for their afternoon tea, did you know?! Their award-winning chefs will present to you a delicious range of finger sandwiches, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserves, as well as freshly brewed tea or coffee.

Chester is only 40 minutes from the Combermere estate and is the perfect day out to accompany your afternoon tea adventures. Explore the city’s rich history which can be seen through the rows of 13th century buildings and the famous cathedral. Chester also has an abundance of activities to explore, including the famous Storyhouse, where you can catch a live show or even some comedy. Ideal for culture aficionados!

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 27 Miles

3. Ginger and Pickles – Nantwich

 Ginger and Pickles, a favourite amongst many of our team and our guests too, offers an incredible afternoon tea experience in a cosy, rustic atmosphere.

Just a short drive away from Combermere Abbey, you can discover an exquisite assortment of freshly cooked sandwiches, cakes, and scones with preserves and clotted cream to finish. All of this is served elegantly on a stand and served with a pot of loose-leaf tea or a large Americano.

You may even add a glass of prosecco to your afternoon tea by upgrading it to a “Namptwiche”!

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 7.7 miles


3 Shropshire Afternoon Tea Spots

Did you know we’re on the border of both Cheshire and Shropshire? So, if you fancy a trip south instead, why not check out these suggestions for a spot of afternoon tea in this historic county?


1. The Tea Room at No. 11 – Audlem

In the centre of Audlem you can discover The Tea Room at No. 11. This charming café offers a cosy, laid-back ambiance that’s ideal for an afternoon trip. You can purchase a classic afternoon tea from the tea room; which includes a variety of savoury finger sandwiches, plain and fruit scones, clotted cream and jam, and a selection of freshly baked cakes.

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 5.2 miles


2. Hawkstone Hall & Gardens – Shrewsbury

 Presented in the Hall’s most prestigious space, The Saloon Restaurant, Hawkstone Hall & Garden overlooks a view of the spectacular grounds.

Their luxurious afternoon tea offering is brimming with classic, seasonal flavours with a strong, contemporary Hawkstone touch.

You can choose from a traditional selection, like the gentlemen’s option, which includes several freshly made savoury items, or you can choose from more traditional yet luxury items. Whilst enjoying a selection of delightful delicatessens you can admire the picturesque Hawkstone Gardens.

You’ll certainly feel you’ve taken advantage of the beauty of our local area enjoying both Combermere Abbey and Hawkstone Hall in one trip!

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 14 miles


3. Lady Berwick’s Tearoom, Attingham Park

 Finally, you can live out your high society desires when lunching at lady Berwick’s tearooms.

This is noted as the only tearoom in Shropshire that serves afternoon tea exclusively and is part of a National Trust mansion! Every single sandwich, scone, and cake is made entirely from scratch, sometimes incorporating ingredients from the kitchen’s own garden.

So, you can enjoy your loose-leaf tea in pleasant, tranquil surroundings whilst soaking in the breath-taking views of the grounds.

Then, continue your lord or lady of the manor (or should we say abbey?) feeling when staying at Combermere at our beautiful North Wing B&B, it’s truly an aristocratic experience!

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 27 miles


Coffee And Cake Closer To Home?

And finally, we couldn’t conclude all this talk of coffee, cake, and tea without mentioning our friends at The Old Piggery Café, which is on the edge of the Combermere Abbey estate. You can take a stroll down the estate paths from our courtyard cottages, or just down the road from Stone Lodge, to this new tea room.

There, you can indulge in a light lunch served by the lovely team, and if you’re lucky, you may even get your hands on one of their locally-famous piggy pasties! This is the perfect option for if you feel like giving the car a break and really soaking up all the Combermere Abbey estate has to offer instead!

Our Favourite Romantic Walks Near Combermere Abbey August 24, 2022

Our Favourite Romantic Walks Near Combermere Abbey

If you’re approaching your anniversary, honeymoon or just looking to spend some extra quality time with your other half, then the countryside is the perfect place to be!

We’re old romantics at Combermere Abbey (which is only natural as we were once named the most romantic place in all of Europe) and we think the best way to spend time with one another is to ditch the digital, and instead get back to nature with a charming ramble around Cheshire, or indeed Shropshire. We are on the border of both counties!

Below, our team has put together our favourite recommendations for romantic walks around Combermere Abbey, and some even come from our guests themselves! 

6 Places For A Romantic Walk In Cheshire & Shropshire

 3 Romantic Walking Trails In Cheshire

Weather it’s a stroll around the city admiring the rich history and listening to the hustle and bustle of the crowds, or a relaxing stroll around beautiful gardens, the county of Cheshire is the perfect place to venture out for a romantic walk.

1. The River Dee & Grosvenor Park Walk – Chester

 We’re based just a short half hour journey from the City of Chester, and we have to say it’s one of the best places when it comes to adding to a romantic getaway. Between stunning sights, interesting architecture, and amazing restaurants for the foodies there’s something for all the loved-up couples coming to visit us.

In Chester, you’re never far from the River Dee. So, why not take a stroll along the river, admire the tour boats, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of all the visitors?

You could then wander over to Grosvenor Park, which has been charming Chester’s residents and visitors alike since the Victorian times no less! And don’t forget the stunning Chester Cathedral, which has some wonderful exhibitions on. A walk through this beautiful city is the ideal setting for a romantic stroll. Because love isn’t just for Valentine’s Day!

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 26.7 miles (but worth the drive!)

2. Lakeside Cholmondeley Castle Walk – Malpas

Or, if you’d like to explore a romantic walk a little closer to us, you can truly extend your experience of feeling like royalty for the day at Cholmondeley Castle (which pairs very well with a stay in the North Wing)! You and your loved one can promenade along the Deer Park Mere and Nature Trail. Soak in all the beauty and tranquillity of the surroundings, with magnificent views of the castle. There is even a little café on site, so you can get yourself a hot coffee and relax.

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 10 miles

3. The Canal Walk – Nantwich

Looking to spend an afternoon out in the country? You may like to explore the three-mile peaceful canal walk around Nantwich, which is really just on our doorstep! Many of our guests head over here and we think it’s the perfect place for you and your partner to spend some quality time together indeed! Indulge in the miles of canal paths that join through country farmland, breathe in the fresh country air, and cherish the feelings of spending alone time with your nearest and dearest.

 Distance from Combermere Abbey: 7 miles

3 Romantic Walking Trails In Shropshire

 We’re so lucky to be on the border of the historic, amorous county of Shropshire. It boasts all sorts of places to venture out to that are perfect for kindling or reviving a bit of romance in any relationship.

1. Hodnet Hall Gardens Walk – Hodnet

 Hodnet Hall Gardens brings together a medley of distinct environments that each have their own character, from the jungle-like unruliness of the Water Garden… To the structured sophistication of the Circular Garden! You and your loved one can visit the traditional Walled Kitchen Garden, which features rows upon rows of fruit and vegetable patches or stroll across a carpet of magnolia petals. There’s plenty of moments to be made, with 60 acres of gardens to explore!

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 14 miles

2. The Quarry Park Walk – Shrewsbury

 Why not plan a romantic stroll across The Quarry Park in Shrewsbury? If you’re staying with us for a few nights at Combermere, we definitely recommend exploring this Shropshire town – its cobbled streets and local businesses are loved by those from near and afar.

At The Quarry Park, you can take a gentle look around the 29-arce parkland, spot the floral masterpiece cultivated by world renowned gardener Percy Thrower, and immerse yourself in the delightful sunken garden landscaped with alpine borders – boasting brilliant bedding plants, shrubbery, and charming water features!

The park is also a perfect place for a picnic! Just order one from The Old Piggery Café on the Combermere Estate! So, why not bring a blanket and a basket and enjoy a romantic lunch beside the River Severn?

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 25 miles

3. Hawkstone Park Follies’ Walk – Shrewsbury

If you’re a couple that likes a little more adventure on their walks, or something more challenging, then there is no better place than Hawkstone Park! Recommended often by our guests, The Follies is a historic woodland fantasy with cliffs, crags, caves, deep woods, and a series of extraordinary monuments built over 200 years ago. Discover natural rock formations and take a deeper look into the other historic monuments at the park.

There are also a number of picnic benches and on-site café for a romantic refreshment break.

Distance from Combermere Abbey: 13.3 miles

Romantic Walks At Combermere Abbey

Like to give the car a break during your staycation? Excellent choice!

Combermere Abbey itself boasts many beautiful spots for a romantic walk. From our dedicated Woodland Walk (which is open all year round to our private guests) to the Garden Wood and mere, there’s nothing like the soft sounds of nature to reset the soul and appreciate your love for one another.

Our North Wing is noted as a particularly amorous location for an idyllic stay for the two of you. It’s even home to a powerful marker stone, a point at which two ley lines meet and some believed create a strong spiritual force. You may find yourself feeling a wave of strength, resilience or calm when standing nearby.

If we’ve inspired you to spend some time reconnecting, then take a look at our availability and book the stay you deserve.

How To Achieve A Regency-Style Wedding October 27, 2021

How To Achieve A Regency-Style Wedding

There’s little chance you didn’t watch Netflix’s “Bridgerton”, but if you didn’t, you’ve definitely heard of it! The show captured hearts and minds in 2020 thanks to the beautiful sets and costumes – and equally beautiful actors. It is currently the streaming platform’s biggest show of all time, and has spouted trends here, there and everywhere. Online searches for ‘blusher’ reportedly rose 148% following the show’s release.


Set in the Regency period, the show has also sparked interest in Regency-era style, makeup, and, of course, weddings. The success of other Netflix shows, such as ‘The Crown,’ have also raised the popularity of royalty-themed fashion and décor.


Below, we’ve listed some of the ways in which you can have your own Regency-style weddings, for those who love the traditional look – and you don’t have to have a Netflix subscription to read on!


How to Achieve a Regency-Style Wedding


Dress To Impress


Regency-era dresses were often, but not always, white. Though Daphne Bridgerton’s beautiful vintage gown was the traditional colour, the use of splashy colour throughout the show is indicative of the way the era embraced pastels and neutral tones – think baby blue, lilac and pale pink. White tends to be the conventional colour of choice for brides, but why not switch things up to be in keeping with your theme?


As for style, the beautiful empire waistlines of Jane Austin’s era are universally flattering. Ebay reportedly saw a 205% rise in ‘puff-sleeve wedding dresses’ after the release of Bridgerton.


The era was known for beautiful fabrics such as lace, chiffon and taffeta: choose a design with capped sleeves and fitted bodice for an authentic look. Vintage lace boots peeping out underneath the skirt will in enhance the regency feel to your look.


As for your groom, take inspiration from Mr. Darcy and go for dark grey pinstriped trousers, a crisp white shirt, fitted waistcoat and a silk tie – finished off with a tailcoat!


The style is a more ‘casual’ one in comparison to some types of dress, like ballgown or slim, straight dresses. Perfect for if you want that youthful look that the Regency era was known for.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Lizzie Siddal (@somniumdantis)


Pastel Décor


Search terms for ‘blue wedding’’ have risen since Bridgerton was launched, as the colour features prominently in the show – the lovely pastel blue of the Bridgerton family home is a running theme! And the old adage of ‘something borrowed, something blue’ means there’s an extra meaning to the colour, too.


Choosing a single colour, or two, as your theme will tie together the whole look of your wedding – and there’s so much to have fun with once you do.


Why not decorate your venue with seasonal flowers, ribbons and lace? For the tables, crisp white linen tablecloths, decorated with antique-style silver tealight holders and hurricane lanterns, finished off with greenery and large flowers as a centrepiece work wonderfully.


From the venue decorations to table settings and bridesmaids’ dresses, you can really go wild with your ideas!



Extra Details


Last, but not least, it tends to be the little details of a wedding that people remember most. These are the finishing touches that will remind your guests of the Regency era, whilst keeping the theme romantic and tailored to your own personal style!


Here are some of our ideas on little extras that will really immerse your guests in the theme:


  • Hire a harpist or a string quartet to play songs old and new while your guests eat their meal – or you could even have your first dance to a song they play!
  • Traditional lawn games such as croquet, skittles and bowls will keep your guests entertained.
  • A horse and carriage as your wedding transport will show you to your venue in style. Or why not use a classic car? Though not strictly Regency-era, some of the earliest cars in the UK began emerging in the late nineteenth century.
  • Regency-era hairstyles were relatively simple, so why not keep your bridal hair as tidy as Daphne Bridgerton’s? Paired with an embellished headband, you’re bound to look the belle of the ball.


At Combermere Abbey, we love seeing your wedding ideas, both big and small. There’s so much to consider when planning your wedding, whether low-key or more lavish – but at the end of the day whatever suits you is the right choice! What will the next trend in wedding themes be?

To find out more about our wedding venue, contact [email protected], and keep up to date with us, and find more inspiration, via our social media channels. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.



6 Quirky Save The Date Ideas July 21, 2021

6 Quirky Save The Date Ideas


There’s no doubt that planning a wedding involves a keen eye for detail. From the flower arrangements to the food, there’s no shortage of little things you could put your own personal spin on. And why not? After all, it’s your day! Tailoring the smallest details to your own style is a great way of putting a stamp on the occasion, and will no doubt make your day more memorable to your guests.


Once you’ve found your dream wedding venue (have you booked a show round with us yet?) and have a date in the calendar, it’s time to let your guests know and give them plenty of notice.


One way of cementing your personal style is by coming up with a quirky ‘save the date’ idea. The usual route is via a physical invitation in the post, but let’s face it – everyone’s got a lot on these days, and you want to make sure your guests have something that will really make your date memorable, and perhaps even surprise them. From our team who are adept in wedding planning, here are six of our ideas from Combermere Abbey…


6 Quirky Save The Date Ideas




A magnet is a cute and functional option to remind your friends and family of the date of your big day. Seeing your date on the fridge is a great reminder of what’s to come, and your guests can hang up their shopping lists at the same time! There are lots of aesthetically pleasing options to choose from, to ensure you can get one that’s just right for you. What about these cute mixtape magnets from Etsy? Perfect for music-lovers.


Credit: SecretCreation on Etsy



So that your guests can ‘pencil in the date’, a practical and sweet option to consider is an engraved pencil, with the name of the happy couple and the big date. Gifts that your nearest and dearest might use in their day-to-day is always key, so why not give a big tick to this idea? Here are some miniature pencils from Etsy that are perfect!




At Combermere Abbey, naturally we love all things historical. So it’s safe to say we can’t get enough of these gorgeous maps showing the location of your big day! One of the most attractive things about Combermere is the colourful history that it’s steeped in, so this save the date idea will certainly be memorable to your guests.




It’s getting warm out there – and if you have a summer wedding planned, what could be more appropriate than a save the date in the style of a handheld fan? It’ll certainly keep your guests cool after a long evening on the dance floor! We love these beautifully designed wooden wedding favours on Etsy.

Messages in a bottle


A beautifully nautical ornament, who wouldn’t want to display their invitation when it’s in a beautiful glass bottle like these? Perfect if your wedding is by the beach, or any body of water!



Recycled paper and seed packets


At Combermere Abbey, we like to do our bit for the environment. We are a venue that has been entirely organic since 1997 and have a number of sustainability guidelines in place such as not allowing paper confetti, in order to preserve the natural beauty that surrounds us. We encourage our guests to shop locally in nearby Whitchurch and Nantwich and use local suppliers where we can. So that being said, if you are going to opt for a more traditional save the date idea, why not try one that’s environmentally friendly? These notelets, made with recycled paper, have a rustic feel that could be perfect for your wedding. There’s also the option of seed packets which can be planted into the ground to give your guests that extra-special nature-themed reminder. These ‘forget-me-not’ seed packets are a great idea – and are perfectly named!


At Combermere, we know that you want to make your wedding day unique and tailored to your needs. With decades of experience, we know a thing or two about how to make everything go perfectly. Want our advice, or would like to know more about Combermere Abbey as a venue? Get in touch with our team by clicking here.


Truly Dog Friendly Cottages At Combermere Abbey July 9, 2020

Truly Dog Friendly Cottages At Combermere Abbey


Hello. I’m Zola, one of two friendly black Labradors belonging to Combermere Abbey’s owner, Sarah Callander Beckett. Today, I’ve been given special permission to write on our website all about our truly dog-friendly cottages, and why a stay here is so special for us dogs, as well as our humans.

I am also going to tell you about the things to do with your dog in Cheshire & Shropshire, which are all things I love to do very much too.

About Our Truly Dog-Friendly Cottages At Combermere Abbey

This is me, with my Great Aunt Zanzie…

And here are the cottages at our home, Combermere Abbey…

We live on the Cheshire/Shropshire border, in the lovely countryside which gives me lots of space to run around. The abbey estate was restored by my owner, Sarah, and now has 10 truly dog-friendly cottages in the restored stables including the gothic Stone Lodge. We get a lot of visitors, and I think one of the things that our guests love so much about Combermere is that they can bring their dogs to the cottages to enjoy what I enjoy. Dogs, plus a holiday makes for the best holiday, in my opinion. Plus, staying in a dog-friendly accommodation means that you don’t have to leave us behind when you go away.

We say that our cottages are truly dog-friendly because sometimes ‘dog-friendly’ might just mean the outside in the grounds. Whereas at Combermere Abbey, dogs can stay overnight in the cottages too! And what fabulous grounds there are here. A large wood next to the cottages where dogs are free to run, the lake where a cooling dip can be enjoyed and all those amazing smells! Owners don’t understand about the smells we dogs love, and there are masses of them in the Combermere woodlands.

Us pooches love holidays just as much as humans do too, you know.

I love making new friends with all of the dogs that visit here, they often tell me about the ‘Pooch Packs’ their owners get, when they rent a holiday cottage at Combermere Abbey. The Pooch Packs contain a sofa cover, bowl and treat, so I’m told.

You can find out more about our truly dog-friendly cottages, which – don’t forget – are based on the Cheshire/Shropshire countryside border, by reading our dog policy. Now let me tell you about all the things I love doing near my home, and some things that you might like to do too.

Where To Take Your Dog In Cheshire & Shropshire

I meet pooches of all shapes and sizes, when their owners come to visit Combermere Abbey. I’m told they’re treated to lots of walks in the lovely open countryside, and this is something I love to do too. Here’s some of my favourite things to do near Combermere Abbey…

Combermere Abbey

My home has acres and acres of land, which means there’s lots to explore without even leaving the estate. Combermere Abbey has lots of lovely woodland walks (where I can find plenty of sticks) and some really pretty gardens to explore too. You can ride your bike and even have a picnic down by the mere, just remember to bring some treats for us dogs too.

Delamere Forrest

Sometimes I like to visit Delamere Forest as there’s lots of trails to walk around. There are some nice lakes to swim in, as well as a picnic area where I can sit in the shade on a sunny day. Delamere Forest is around a 45 minute drive by car from Combermere Abbey, I think you’ll like it there.

Agricola Tower and Castle Walls

Sometimes I like having a stroll around the Agricola Tower and Castle Walls. I have to stay on a lead here, but the castle walls are still considered dog friendly. A walk around the castle walls in particular is always nice, as I often get to meet lots of other dogs. Agricola Tower and Castle Walls is a 45-minute drive from Combermere, and you can stop and do some shopping in Chester too.

Tarvin Community Woodland

There’s lots of trees for me to weave in and out of at Tarvin Community Woodland. Plus, just like my home, there’s lots of sticks for me to find and carry around (one of my favourite things to do). Grogan’s Walk is one of the best things to do with your dog in Cheshire, I think. Tarvin Community Woodland is a 38-minute drive from Combermere Abbey

Nantwich Lake

I love the water, so I really enjoy a walk around Nantwich Lake. It’s a great place for dog walking, and I’m told that there’s free parking for humans too. In the summer, there are sometimes ice creams that you can buy, which I always like, because it means I can have the end of the cone on a sunny day. Nantwich Lake is very close to my home at Combermere Abbey, it’s just a 12-minute drive.

Marbury Country Park

There’s lots to explore at Marbury Country Park, and I very much think you would like to visit there whilst enjoying your dog-friendly holiday. There are some scenic views over the water, and there’s also some cycling paths, which I like because it means I can run alongside the bikes and get lots of exercise. Marbury Country Park is under an hour away from Combermere Abbey by car.

Countess Of Cheshire Country Park

The Countess of Cheshire Country Park is simply fabulous for dog walks, there’s lots to see and do and I also often meet lots of other pooches on my journeys there (it’s very popular). The grounds are kept looking lovely by some very kind volunteers, and I know humans will love this park just as much as us dogs do. Countess of Cheshire Country Park is a 46-minute trip away from Combermere Abbey by car.

Bickerton Hills

There is a trail which is just over 5km at Bickerton Hills. There’s some lovely views and on clear days you can even see all the way to Liverpool and Ellesmere Port. There’s lots of hills to run up, and there are some dog-friendly pubs along the way for water-breaks and lovely lunches. It’s a 26-minute drive to the car park at Bickerton Hills from Combermere Abbey, just over 12 and a half miles.

Local Dog-Friendly Pubs

There’s lots of nice open green spaces to walk around Whitchurch, which is very close to my home. Something I’m told the humans like very much is the pub, and many of them allow me to visit to in Whitchurch. My favourite dog-friendly pubs in the area include Cholmondeley Arms, The Sandstone and the Pheasant Inn, which can be found when walking through Bickerton hills. You can find more dog-friendly pub recommendations here.

Do you fancy a stay at our truly dog-friendly cottages now? I certainly would, if I didn’t live here already. You can book direct by following this link, and maybe we’ll get to meet and play together soon.

Lots of love,


With thanks for the photographs: Lets Go With The Children, The Land Trust, Visit Cheshire & Lets Get It Shot.


The Definitive Self-Catering Holiday Checklist May 7, 2020

The Definitive Self-Catering Holiday Checklist

It’s looking very likely that the first type of holiday that Brits will be allowed to take after the Coronavirus lockdown is eased, are private staycation holidays. Of course, nobody knows for sure if or when this may be, but with self-catering cottages and apartments like our own, you minimise any contact with others and social distancing measures can be kept in place.

Why Should You Choose A Self-Catering Holiday?

It may well be the case that the first holiday you can take post-Coronavirus will be a self-catering break. This isn’t to say that a UK self-catering holiday isn’t the same as a regular getaway though.

In fact, in many ways, it might even be better.

Self-catering holiday cottages in Cheshire, UK

With a self-catering cottage or apartment, you’re granted total flexibility and control over your own holiday – you can rise and sleep when you want, eat (pretty much) whatever you want and enjoy the pace of your own itinerary. These are just a few of the many reasons that our guests flock to Combermere time and time again to enjoy a minibreak at our cottages.

Our holiday accommodation also comes with board games in every cottage, bicycles that you can use to explore the grounds, walking boots and tennis courts – there’s much to enjoy about this type of staycation.

Self-catering holiday checklist - bikes

If you’re yet to experience a self-catering staycation, then perhaps now might be the perfect time to start considering one, and planning ahead.

Self-Catering Holiday Checklist: What Should You Take?

With a self-catering holiday, you’re going to need to be a little more prepared than usual. These types of getaways come with a plethora of benefits, but to enjoy your minibreak properly, forward planning is key.

On a self-catering holiday, you’ll make your own fun – as well as be in control of your own activities and meals. Spend the spare time you have now planning for the future, and when the time comes when accommodation providers such as ourselves can open our doors to the public once more, you’ll be pretty much ready to book and go.

Here’s what we suggest you add to your self-catering holiday checklist, and we’ve also made a printable version that you can access here if you want to print off and start preparing right away (you can never be too keen, after all).

Jump to…


When trying to remember everything you want to take with you on your getaway, you might even forget the little things. Here’s a list of the important essentials to take with you on your self-catering break.

  • Booking details & documents
  • An itinerary of things to do (that adheres to whatever rules are in place at the time, of course)
  • Mobile phones
  • Mobile phone chargers
  • Tablet or laptops
  • Tablet or laptop chargers
  • Clothing & kids clothing
  • Walking boots and wellies (a lot of our cottage walks are around the woods)
  • Umbrella
Self-catering holiday cottages in Cheshire, UK


One of the best things about self-catering holidays is the freedom to choose your own meals. Our cottages are fully equipped with all the essential appliances so you can cook all of your favourite recipes with your family and/or your friends. Did you know that you can order an online shop directly to our cottages so that it’s ready for you to unpack when you arrive?

Here are some key food items we’d suggest adding to your list.  And remember when you book a holiday cottage at Combermere Abbey, you can order a lovely breakfast hamper full of local goodies as well as a welcome tray of teas, coffees and biscuits.

  • Cereal
  • Meat items – poultry, beef, pork (or vegetarian alternatives…)
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Seasoning and spices (taking these in sachets might be easier)
  • Accompaniments– ketchup, BBQ sauce, gravy etc…
  • Frozen food, especially for the kids
  • Baby food pouches
  • Tea and coffee
  • Miniature jams and spreads
  • Rice and pasta
  • Biscuits
  • Dog food (remember our self-catering cottages are dog friendly)
Self-catering holiday checklist


It’s a good idea to plan some things to do on your self-catering holiday, though you truly make your own fun on these kinds of breaks. There’s often plenty to see and do in the great outdoors, but the weather may not always be on your side. In any case, it’s a good idea to bring with you some means of entertainment. You can make your self-catering cottage or apartment so cosy that you might never want to leave.

  • Board games (our cottages include a number of board games, but you can never have too many)
  • DVDs/CDs
  • Playing cards
  • Books and magazines
  • Local area guides
  • Pens, pencils and paper
  • Children’s toys
  • Challenge sheets to entertain the children (e.g. challenges to make a den in the woods)
Self-catering holiday checklist - board games

Download Our Checklist

Remember you can find and download this list by clicking this link.

We’re not open for business just yet, but as soon as we know it’s safe to do so we can’t wait to open the doors to our self-catering holiday cottages to you once more. Keep an eye out on our social media for when you can book a stay with us again.

Remember to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook to see what we’re up to.

Self-catering holiday cottages in Cheshire, UK

Special thank you for the fantastic photography: Doug Krier 💕

Staycation Holidays: Why Should We Holiday In Britain Rather Than Abroad? April 14, 2020

Staycation Holidays: Why Should We Holiday In Britain Rather Than Abroad?

Staycation holidays are the new big thing.

There are many reasons why you should take a holiday in Britain rather than going abroad. As the interest in no-fly travel continues to grow, and sustainable living is something most of us hope to adopt into our daily lifestyles, there has never been a better time to start planning a staycation.

UK Staycation Holidays | Combermere Abbey

Granted, due to the current circumstances at the moment, staycations are off the cards for now, but there’s no harm in planning a getaway for when normality resumes and for when you can embrace everything the UK has to offer once more.

What Are Staycation Holidays?

The clues in the title with staycation holidays, they’re like a vacation, but staying put in the country where you live. For us, we’re very fortunate to have a country that’s rich with a colourful history and an abundance of beautiful places to explore.

Whatever type of staycation you’re looking for – walking, adventure, socialising, relaxing – you’ll be able to find the perfect destination in the UK, without having to step foot on a plane.

Staycation (also known as ‘no-fly’) getaways have grown in interest in recent years, just last year it was revealed that 3 in 10 people said they were planning to take more domestic holidays than they had in previous years.

UK Staycation Holidays | Combermere Abbey

But why?

Why Should You Holiday In Britain Rather Than Abroad?

There are a whole host of reasons as to why a holiday in Britain may be better for you than stepping on a plane:

You’ll be travelling sustainably – in 2020 we’re all the more aware of our carbon footprint, and what we’re doing to help the environment. Staycation holidays are far better for the planet than hopping on a plane and flying to your destination. Furthermore, at Combermere Abbey, when you stay with us, we encourage you to give your car a break too. There’s plenty to do around our grounds and our holiday accommodation is the perfect home from home, meaning you can enjoy a fun-filled getaway – all the while being friendly to mother nature too.

There’s plenty to explore in the UK – we’re very fortunate to live in England and to have plenty to explore. Why fly away, when there’s a whole world on your doorstep? Wherever you choose to staycation in the UK – you can always be sure to be met with adventure on every turn. We’re located on the Cheshire/Shropshire border which means we’re a stone’s throw away from the cities of Chester and Shrewsbury, as well as having a few local eateries and bars, farmers markets and historic houses. Or, if you’d prefer a staycation where you can truly kick back with nature, you can enjoy multiple activities at Combermere Abbey estate, such as bike riding, playing tennis, woodland walks and den building for the children.

You can bring your pooch with you – there’s little more exciting than getting to go on a holiday with your furry friend. With a staycation, many destinations will have a pet policy – at Combermere Abbey we’re pleased to offer dog-friendly cottages – which means you can bring your beloved pet with you on your family getaways. After all, they’re family too.

You’re close enough to be spontaneous – planning a holiday abroad takes time, with a staycation – not so much. You may feel like getting back to nature and treating yourself, your partner or your family – as staycations are a lot closer to home, you can be as spontaneous as you like. When current circumstances pass, it’ll be a good a time as any to get yourself out there and explore to your heart’s content. Staycations are a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the peacefulness of the countryside.

They’re perfectly versatile – don’t fancy going away for too long? That’s fine. With a staycation you have the beauty of minimal travel, meaning you can opt for a short mini-break to relax and unwind, or treat yourself to a longer getaway. At Combermere Abbey, we accommodate for both – though longer stays are a particular favourite in our self-catering holiday cottages.

Easier to plan – if you’re choosing a staycation, you’ll be afforded the luxury of not having to take too much time to plan your holiday. You won’t need to worry about organising passports or travel currency, which is particularly appealing if you have a larger family.

UK Staycation Holidays | Combermere Abbey

Did this blog help you understand why we should holiday in Britain, rather than abroad? Combermere Abbey is the perfect home from home, an idyllic Cheshire staycation destination, both our award-winning cottages and luxury north wing B&B suites are perfect for a relaxing retreat (without the hassle of flying). Explore and appreciate the world that’s at your feet with us.

UK Staycation Holidays | Combermere Abbey

Though due to current circumstance our bookings are currently closed, we’d love to welcome you with open arms once all this has come to pass. Find out more by contacting our friendly team.

Until then, perhaps you’d like to keep up with us on social media? Find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

UK Staycation Holidays | Combermere Abbey

With thanks for the lovely images: Doug Krier, Jess Yarwood & Declan West.

What Makes Combermere Abbey A Unique Wedding Venue October 23, 2019

What Makes Combermere Abbey A Unique Wedding Venue


Prepare to get lost in the charm of this unique Cheshire wedding venue.

Marry In A Maze

A Combermere Abbey wedding is sure to stand out. Take your wedding vows in the glimmering Glasshouse, nestled in the midst of a spiralling fruit-tree maze. Your guests are sure to be swept away by the magic of this unique location. Wall-to-wall curved windows nestle your wedding ceremony in among the vines, bringing the beautiful views inside.

Glorious Gardens

A fruit-tree maze isn’t all that the grounds at Combermere Abbey have to offer. Traditional and carefully sculpted, the Walled Gardens have a quintessentially English feel. Think fragrant roses clambering over red brick walls, and carefully clipped topiary adding structure year-round.

Once you’ve tied the knot, spill out from the maze and enjoy fizz on the lawns. Then take the cue from the tree-lined pathways that usher you gently towards the purpose-designed Garden Pavilion to dine and dance the night away.

Steeped In History

Dating back hundreds of years, Combermere Abbey has plenty of stories to tell. Charming reminders of its medieval past are thoughtfully intertwined with its present-day renovation. Imagine climbing ceilings, arched doorways and intricately carved furniture set within fresh, airy décor. All these elements make this a one of a kind unique wedding venue.

Suite Dreams

Nothing short of luxury would do for a newlywed’s wedding night, and the North Wing honeymoon suite certainly delivers.

Kick off your shoes and dive into a super-king-size gilded antique bed. Providing total privacy, you can relax and unwind in your own sumptuous suite after taking in the views of the lake. An indulgent soak in the marble-clad bath promises a pampering finale to your fantastic day.

Courtyard Cottages

With ten individually designed and luxuriously furnished courtyard cottages on site, guests can experience a taste of tranquillity after they’ve partied the night way. This luxe country accommodation is tucked in a quiet courtyard but is still within stumbling distance of the dance floor.

Crammed with cosy character, the cottages were once Combermere’s stables and include original features as a nod to their past. Guests staying in the Stapleton Cottage will spot the original beams and long windows of the stables’ tack room.

Crossley Car

Making your way through a fruit-tree maze is arguably a dramatic entrance in itself, but the wow-factor doesn’t stop there. That’s because at Combermere Abbey, you can make an entrance in the historic Crossley Car.

110 years since its first creation, a Crossley Car returned to Combermere in 2014 – a nod to Sir Kenneth Crossley, who bought the estate in 1919 – and has been giving couples a fairy-tale entrance ever since.

A Foodie’s Delight

Feast on your favourite dishes beneath the airy drapes and star-speckled ceiling of the Pavilion.

Here at Combermere we’ve hand-picked some of the best caterers around to make your planning simple. Turn to Olive Tree Catering and Pickled Walnut to design unique, bespoke and mouth-watering menus for your wedding breakfast and late-night treats – no set menus in sight.

Tempted? Let us help you create the unique wedding day of your dreams. Download our wedding brochure and visit us – we’d love to show you the magic first-hand.


Summer Weddings – Make The Most Of The Gardens August 14, 2019

Summer Weddings – Make The Most Of The Gardens

Imagine summer wedding ideas and what springs to mind – blue skies, sun-kissed shoulders and a gentle breeze that carries the perfume of blooming flowers. Here are eight ways to introduce them to your day.

A-maze Your Guests

After tying the knot in the Edwardian Glasshouse, step over the threshold and into the fruit tree maze. This green, fruit-laden feature is the only one of its kind in the world. It’s also a sun trap designed for socialising, so why not kick off your celebrations with canapés served right here?

Floral Photos

Combermere Abbey’s Walled Gardens are at their most spectacular during summer weddings, although the topiary keeps them looking good all year round. The red brick walls are blanketed in blossoming roses in a haze of pinks. The colour is enchanting and the scent delicious – the perfect place for couple’s photos.

Love At The Lake

Take a walk down to the lake, via The Abbey and The Garden Wood, for some breath-taking pictures beside the water. This private mere is yours to enjoy, as dragonflies dance across the surface and birds chirp from the surrounding trees.


As the party continues in the Pavilion, you’ll still have glorious natural views. Take the connection to the gardens one step further by bringing the scent inside too. You could opt for rose-scented diffusers or candles in a nod to the bloom-filled Walled Garden.

Game On!

Get married at Combermere Abbey and have exclusive use of the estate, from the Abbey’s North Wing to Stone Lodge, the Glasshouse, Pavilion and Gardens. We want you to love every moment, so we even provide complimentary lawn games to get every generation into the gardens and enjoying Combermere’s magical spaces.

Moments For Two

So many couples tell us that getting married is a whirlwind of emotion and excitement, planned for months but experienced in a flash. Take the time to escape for a few minutes just the two of you. Stand back from a secluded spot and survey it all or perhaps settle down on a bench beside the borders. Talk about your best bits so far, share excitement for what’s to come. Our Walled Gardens offer plenty of intimate nooks for you to share a romantic moment a deux.

Ready to delve into more summer wedding ideas? Discover the dreamiest summer wedding bouquets.