We love getting out into the countryside and stretching our legs. We also love discovering new areas and places that we’ve not been to, so it was with great excitement that we discovered Great Budworth and Budworth Mere and Marbury Country Park back in late spring.
We recently wrote up our day – ‘8 hours in Great Budworth’ which gives the lowdown of what we got up to, where we ate (The George and Dragon Pub) and the ice cream farms we discovered. In this post we give our full attention just to Budworth Mere – the first part of our day in Great Budworth! If you’ve been, I’m sure you will be like us and love it, if you’ve never been, then you must get down there!
What Is Budworth Mere?
Budworth Mere is a picturesque and expansive shallow lake in Cheshire, encompassing around 80 acres. Despite its vast surface area, the mere averages a depth of only 5 feet, with a gradual shelving before it levels out. Jointly managed by both the Northwich and Warrington Anglers Association the fishing rights are split between the northern bank (Great Budworth side) and the southern bank (Marston side). The mere offers a variety of species including roach, bream, perch, hybrids, eels, tench, and notably large pike.
The mere’s scenic beauty is further enriched by its role as a habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife. The mere’s shallow nature, along with its broad surface area, creates a unique ecosystem where sunlight and wind play a crucial role in maintaining the aquatic life.
This combination of natural beauty and rich biodiversity makes Budworth Mere a truly exceptional and enchanting destination for families, birdwatchers, nature lovers and enthusiastic anglers.
What Is Marbury Country Park?
Marbury Country Park, nestled in the heart of Northwich Community Woodlands, provides both nature and history. Visitors can wander along by the mere, enjoying stunning views across the water or explore the beauty of the arboretum and community orchard. A children’s play area, situated conveniently near a picnic spot, ensures a fun day out for families.
The park owes much to its past as a grand estate. Much like Poynton Park near Stockport, the sole remnants of this era, such as the lime avenues and the arboretum, hark back to when Marbury was an opulent property.
A unique feature is the Marbury Outdoor Pool established in the 1930s. Although the pool is primarily for club members and their guests, with no day passes available, the club does organise several public sessions throughout the season. Further information about these sessions can be found on their website.
So What Did We Get Up To?
During our visit to Great Budworth, our initial playful thought was to look for Harry Styles’ house, much to Marnie’s amusement. However, our real adventure began at Budworth Mere and Marbury Country Park. This was our first visit to this picturesque park, located just under a mile from the village. We chose to drive and park in the spacious car park in the park’s south-western area, which offers ample parking (450 spaces) at a reasonable fee.
Right near the car park, we found a delightful play area, a convenient refreshment stand (the only one we came across), and The Well Heeled Dog Club, a dog training school operated by Mike Flannery. We witnessed a class in session, which looked quite engaging. The park’s dog-friendly atmosphere was immediately apparent.
Our exploration led us into the woods, where we were greeted by a lush display of wild garlic, bluebells, buttercups, and squirrels. Our daughter, having recently learned about these plants, excitedly identified them. We collected a handful of wild garlic, mindful to leave enough for others, planning to make wild garlic pesto once home. We did, and it was delicious!
We then ventured towards Budworth Mere. Our scenic walk along the lakeside was peaceful and enjoyable, interspersed with encounters with joyful dogs, fellow walkers, and runners. The mere, though popular, never felt overcrowded. Across the mere, we could see people engaging in sailing and a small campsite in the distance.
Completing our approximately 3-mile circular walk, we returned to the car park, just in time as our 3-hour parking limit was nearing its end. The walk had whetted our appetites, and we drove for about 7 minutes to the village of Great Budworth to conclude our outing with a satisfying meal.
Getting To Budworth Mere and Marbury Country Park
Getting to Marbury Country Park, is convenient whether you prefer walking, cycling, public transport, or driving. For those who enjoy a leisurely walk or a bike ride, Marbury is comfortably accessible from Northwich town centre.
Driving to Marbury Country Park is straightforward as well. The park, along with the Anderton Boat Lift, is well-signposted from the centre of Northwich and from Junction 10 of the M56. There’s ample car parking available, conveniently close to the park’s entrance. The park features a mix of accessible routes suitable for all visitors, as well as more challenging paths for those seeking adventure. Seasonal Parking Tickets can be obtained for an annual fee of £31 (£21 for concessions and FOAM members). For more details, you can call 01606 271506 or email BusinessOperationsWinsford@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.
For those opting for public transport, take the Northern Line to Northwich. From there, bus 9Cat9 will get you to Warrington Road, leaving you with a brief 21-minute walk (1.1 mile) to the park. Alternatively, you can transfer to bus 9A Cat9A, which will drop you at Marbury Hall Nurseries, just a 6-minute walk (0.3 mile) from your destination.
The car park is managed by APCOA so you can either pay using their app, or using cash or card. From 1 April to 30 September parking is £1.50 for 3 hours and £2.50 for 11 hours. From 1 October to 31 March the prices are the same, but bizarrely it’s £2.50 for 8 hours, so the price is relatively more expensive out of season (presumably because of the shorter days)!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have to Pay At Marbury Park?
“Marbury Park parking costs £1.50 for up to 3 hours and £2.50 for all-day parking. The park is located in Northwich, Cheshire, and offers a serene environment with beautiful lime avenues, an arboretum, and a rich wildlife habitat.”
What Is at Marbury Country Park?
“Discover the beauty of Marbury Park, a country park in Cheshire, England. Explore the historical landscape, magnificent lime avenues, and the arboretum. A must-visit for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.”
Can You Walk Around Budworth Mere?
“You can walk around Budworth Mere in Marbury Country Park. The 80-acre lake is home to a variety of water-loving birds, including roach, bream, perch, hybrids, eels, tench and pike. Fishing rights are jointly owned by several angling clubs.”