An estate of bliss in beautiful countryside
KAYLEE LASSETER lived it up at a former monastery and country house on the Cheshire-Shropshire border
IT’S perfectly possible to find a beautiful countryside retreat that really isn’t too far from home.
Many will visit the Lake District looking for that, but if you are looking for a change of scenery and pace you should try Combermere Abbey in Shropshire.
This refreshing country estate is just over an hour from Manchester city centre and is more than worth the trip.
The estate is perfect for those who enjoy country walks and afternoon tea in the garden.
Combermere Abbey is in the countryside, yes – but it’s still close to a few small towns like Audlem, Ashton and Nantwich, so you’ll only be a short drive from some nice restaurants and bars.
The Abbey has ten individually designed, self-catering holiday cottages on offer, and is nestled within a green and secure estate.
I would recommend a stay at Stone Lodge: it really is something special with its own private entrance, car park and damson orchard.
The cottage is surrounded by trees and feels very private – perfect for those looking for a romantic getaway. This cottage offers a spacious double bedroom with its own modern en-suite bathroom, including a walk-in shower.
The upstairs has a twin room with its own individual walk-in bathroom, including bath tub, and is beautifully decorated.
The cottage also has its own cosy kitchen, spacious living room and dining room.
The holiday cottages are fully equipped with most things you could possibly need. And while Stone Lodge is a beautiful countryside retreat, you don’t have to worry about being too secluded from the outside world as you’ll also have internet access.
I would definitely recommend getting one of the hampers available to guests. We had the English Breakfast Hamper, which included free range eggs, locally produced bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms, bread, butter, muesli, Combermere Abbey estate marmalade and juice.
The eggs were excellent, but nothing could quite match how amazing the bacon was – it’s worth getting the hamper for the bacon alone!
The food in the breakfast hampers is of a really good quality and great value for money.
You can also get your hamper in various sizes, suited to the number of people you will be hosting.
The countryside surroundings offer great walking and cycling trails and there is plenty to do within a short distance from the Combermere estate.
We made a day trip to Chester and enjoyed walking the walls. There really is a great history surrounding these walls and it is worth taking the time to read the information plaques.
We also made a visit to Delamere Forest and enjoyed a short cycle around the trees and beautiful greenery.
The forest seemed endless and we almost got lost a few times, but it was really enjoyable to be surrounded by so much nature and wildlife.
One of my favourite parts of this trip were the little excursions we made into Nantwich to sample some of the local food.
We visited the famous Snugbury’s Ice Cream farm, and what a treat it was. If you are a fan of home-made ice cream then you absolutely must visit Snugbury’s.
There is a wide selection of mouthwatering flavours at really reasonable prices.
The salted caramel is one of my personal favourites.
We also paid a visit to Swirly Whirlys for breakfast the following day. The crepes are delicious and the staff more than happy for you to customise should you fancy something a little different from what is on the menu.
My partner enjoyed a bacon and syrup crepe.
The coffee there is also great, and I’m not much of a coffee fan. If it hadn’t been breakfast I would have gotten one of the delicious and enormouslooking cakes, which were very reasonably priced.
I loved the look of Swirly Whirlys on the inside. The decor is a shabby chic style with china tea cups and saucers, aged tables and chairs and an overall rustic meets feminine feel.
I think what impressed me the most about Swirly Whirlys was that all profits go to charity and all the staff are volunteers.
●● The stable yard entrance; inside Stone Lodge; and one of the breakfast hampers
●● An aerial view of the walled garden at Combermere Abbey