After a recent trip to stay with family in a small vilage named Audlem, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't boring or uninteresting in the slightest, there was plenty to do!
Back in October last year, I visited the lovely village of Audlem to stay with some of my distant relatives. Just refreshing my mind of the trip, I feel I have a lot to say. When I planned this trip, I looked into all the places we could visit during my 3 day stay and to be honest I did not find a lot. You probably have to know the place to know the small honey pot locations that surround the area.
Audlem is situated along the border of Shropshire and Cheshire. One of the most beautiful and charming assets this village holds is probably the fact that it is located along the Shropshire Union Canal. The charming clear waters mirage the acres of greenery and farmland, which on a spectacular sunny day appear pleasing to one's eye. This would be any walker's desire as you can amble along the grassy side paths ending up in the centre of the popular village.
Places to Visit
When you get to the centre, you are met by three public houses and a row of shops and amenities. We didn't actually visit two of the pubs The Lord Combermere (Audlem Road, Nantwich; 01270 812277)
and The Bridge Inn (12 Shropshire Street, Audlem, Crewe, Cheshire CW3 0DX; 01270 811 267) but, we did visit The Shroppie Fly (Audlem Wharf,Shropshire Street, Audlem, Crewe CW3 0DX; 01270 811 772). This was located alongside the canal and seemed to have a very friendly atmosphere. A range of specials were on the menu, along with many traditional favourites. Inside the pub was great, the bar is actually set in an old boat which was beautiful. The advantages of this pub were that on a summer's day, there is plenty of seating outside which is great, the home-made chips are a definite must have and the food is of a high standard. The disadvantages are that on a nice day, it can become very crowded and this put me of, there were lots of motorbikes around which didn't create the calm atmosphere I would have liked initially and, although the food was tasty, it was a little cold.
There is also Audlem Mill Canal Shop (Audlem Mill, The Wharf, Audlem, Cheshire, CW3 0DX; 01270 811059; fax: 07006 022604; firstname.lastname@example.org). On the first floor, the shop provides gifts, canal guides and books and on the second floor the shop provides needlework and haberdashery items as well as lovely hand painted pictures of the area and more. The services that are actually available in the village are; a small bakery 'The Salad Bowl'- this provides the best cakes I have tasted in a long time and I do recommend you visit, a convenience store 'Co-Op'- this is always handy if you are on a barge and in need of essentials, church- we didn't actually visit here but my relative tells me that there is an excellent service with a lovely community, village hall- this holds many events which include fitness classes and cinema nights, fish and chip shop 'Just the plaice too' (This has to be one of the best I have visited in my life time- has to be tried, only bad point is the queues) and a doctors (Audlem Medical Centre). Obviously you do not have to stay in the village, if you do not have transport; there is a very infrequent bus service which does not guarantee anything or a village taxi service which is possibly more reliable.
Where to Stay
If you want to stay around Audlem I would recommend the Best Western Crown Hotel in Nantwich. This is a 16th-century coaching inn in the centre of Nantwich providing a lunch time carvery and an Italian restaurant. This hotel has retained many of its original features which include exposed beams, log fires and black and white architecture. To stay here it is a little expensive but worth it at around £78.00 a night. To explore the area I would think you need around 3 nights (4 days). The good points about this are; it is located in the centre so close to many attractions and locations of interest, it is very clean and has a good reputation, the Italian is small but the food is exquisite. The bad points are that it is 6 miles away from Audlem but as I said the taxi service is good. You can find it on High Street in Nantwich.
A little further away...
The nearest towns would be either Nantwich or Market Drayton. Market Drayton 'Home of the Gingerbread' offers many normal stores such as Peacocks, Boots, Iceland and more but, I did notice many shops which had been closed down making the place look slightly run down and unattractive. Personally, I would visit Nantwich. This is a lovely traditional town, a centre of charm and delight. Many restaurants to visit- 'Chopstix' being one of my favourites- this is a Chinese in town but you will need to book in advance as it does get very busy (33 Beam Street, CW5 5NA).
Some of the places that we visited include: Dagfields - a quirky place to visit that offered antiques and many traditional items - you would only need around half a day to explore this place as it is only quite smal l- it not only offers antiques but there is a craft store and many individual shops where you may find something lovely for you or for your home; Bridgemere Garden Centre - we almost spent a day here looking at all the plants, enjoying the Hobby Craft store and dining indoors (it was busy here so I do recommend you keep cool!) and Crewe- the nearest city which offers a cinema, many shops and other services.
All in all, I really enjoyed my stay and I will definitely go back to Audlem with the intention of more exploring and shopping. I would recommend this to walkers, shoppers, and families.