The idyllic Cheshire village that’s like a paradise for families – and rated among best places to live in UK

Drive around the leafy lanes of Christleton in Cheshire and it’s not hard to see why this village was selected as one of the best places to call home in the UK. Christleton was listed, along with five other areas of the north west, in The Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live 2022 guide last weekend.

But it’s long been in demand as a place to settle in Cheshire – not just for its idyllic location, but because it has lots of great amenities for families too. And while it has all the quaint chocolate box charms of a village, drive just three miles out of the lanes and you are in the heart of the historic city center of Chester.

In the village center you’ll find the popular dog-friendly pub, the Ring O Bells, known for its Sunday roasts, large outdoor seating areas and a brilliant play area at the rear for kids. Meanwhile the owners branched out last year and took over a former hairdressers across the road to become the village’s first dedicated coffee shop, Koow.

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There’s a traditional village green where you’ll even find the historic water pump, across from the 15th century St James Church. Stroll away from the church and you’ll find the picturesque duck pond, known locally as The Pit.

The huge free play area for kids in Christleton

Further along the lane and there is another of Christleton’s brilliant amenities for kids – a huge free play area with climbing rocks, slides and fort. It’s right next to playing fields with simply stunning views out across rapeseed fields and across the Cheshire plains.

Naturally, property here is in high demand, but it’s not just a “millionaire’s row” kind of place. Part of the appeal of the village is the wealth of different and individually-designed property types, from quirky terraces to modest period semi-detached homes and larger Victorian villas.

But you’re still looking at an average property price of £489,000 in this postcode, not least because prices are being pushed up by a lack of stock coming to the market. People who move here tend to stay here, a testament to the local pride in the place.

Ian and Karine Wade own the Ring O Bells pub in the heart of the village and have lived here for the past ten years with their two children. They were proud to have their businesses mentioned in the Sunday Times guide, and say the appeal of the village is in its brilliant community feel.

Karine Wade and husband Ian run the village pub and coffee shop

Karine, 47, said: “It’s rural without being too far out of the city center so you get all the feel of being in a rural village yet with all the connections to the city. “It’s a real mix of people here, there’s young families who move here for the schools as well as the older families who love it and never want to move again really.”

Karine launched Koow having seen the need for a good, independent coffee shop through the lockdowns. She said: “People come to the village and feed the ducks, have a walk and want to grab a nice coffee or cake with friends and we could see the need for somewhere like this.”

The village was tipped by the Sunday Times along with Altrincham and Prestwich in Greater Manchester, Kirkby Lonsdale and West Kirkby. Trawden in Lancashire was named the outright winner for the region.

Christleton in Cheshire is a pretty village popular with families

In its description of Christleton, the Sunday Times wrote: “This picture-perfect spot offers an aspirational version of traditional village life just a few miles from the center of Chester. It’s beautiful, much loved by its residents, has excellent schools right on the doorstep and a shop, cafe and excellent pubs.”

Both Christleton High School and Christleton Primary School are rated Outstanding by Ofsted, which is part of the appeal for families moving into the area.

pubs and cafes

The Plow Inn in Christleton

As well as the Ring O Bells and Koow cafe owned by the Wade familly right in the village centre, there are two other pubs to be found in Christleton. Over on Plow Lane you’ll find the Plow Inn, hailed a “lovely country pub” by reviewers on TripAdvisor.

The Plow boasts a wealth of outdoor seating as well as an enclosed beer garden at the rear as well as all the cozy nooks you would expect inside. Head out to the A41 side of the village and you’ll find the bright blue Cheshire Cat pub, with a plethora of outdoor seating.

The pub sits next to the Shropshire Union Canal from where you can walk down to the village itself, and where parents are encouraged to park and walk to Christleton High School.


Huge slides at the Crocky Trail near Christleton in Cheshire

Just a mile out of the center of Christleton is the quite extraordinary play park, the Crocky Trail. It boasts an array of giant slides, as well as bouncy castles, play parks and football and basketball hoops, with different elements suitable for kids aged from toddlers up to teenagers.

There’s also a huge countryside trail for all the family to enjoy with walks across winding bridges, tunnels and even caves along the Crocky Trail itself. Tickets can be booked online and are priced from £16 for youngsters using the park aged 5 – 21, £11 for adults aged over 21, while kids under 5 go free.

Just four miles in the other direction and you’ll find yourself at Chester Zoo, the UK’s most-visited wildlife attraction. Meanwhile for those warmer days out, just six miles away from Christleton, down winding country lanes, is the vast Cheshire Ice Cream Farm, which, as well as boasting award-winning ice cream, now has an extraordinary outdoor play area for kids.

how to get there

The village of Christleton

Christleton is sandwiched between two major A roads leading into Chester city center – the A51 and the A41, and just a couple of miles from the main motorway intersections of the M53 and M56. It’s just two miles from Chester city centre, and around 40 miles from Manchester by road and 30 miles from Liverpool.

There’s no train station in Christleton, the closest is the mainline train station hub in Chester. From there, it’s a 52 minute walk to Christleton, or there are regular bus services on the 41 or 41B line from Chester city centre.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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