Cheshire's best-kept-secret village with stunning thatched cottages

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-Credit: (Image: MEN)

Burton, a quaint village in Cheshire, known for its charming thatched cottages, cobblestone paths and beautiful walled gardens with far-reaching views is often referred to as one of Cheshire's "best kept secrets", located on the westernmost part of the county.

In this peaceful locale, there is a strong sense of community, with dedicated volunteers taking care of the historic Burton Manor Gardens which are freely accessible to the public each day.

The village has a unique book-stop, complete with a painted mural in its bus shelter on the main thoroughfare. It even served as a location for selling bread and cakes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The picturesque Burton Manor lies at the heart of the village, once inhabited by Henry Gladstone, son of Prime Minister William Gladstone, and has since been converted into private offices.

Notwithstanding, the beautifully maintained gardens of the historic estate are open for visitors within the astoundingly preserved manor walls lining the main village road, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Adjacent to the garden is the 'Burtons at the Manor' tearooms, providing a cosy setting for hot beverages and pastry treats, as well as breakfast and lunch menus available on a daily basis between 9am to 3pm.

The tearoom boasts a spacious indoor café area along with a splendid outdoor terrace, offering panoramic views of the village rooftops and the woodland skirting along the nearby sandstone ridge.

Adjacent to the tearooms, The Little Room stands as the village's sole remaining business - a quaint interiors and floral shop. Carmel Blackwell, who also runs a Liverpool store, sought a closer-to-home space during lockdown and settled in the manor's courtyard in Burton.

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Carmel shared her thoughts: "It's such a pretty village here, I always think it's like a little Miss Marple village. All the houses are very different, from the thatched cottages to the big mansion houses."

She lamented the loss of local amenities over time: "In years gone by there was a butchers and post office, but now we are the only real shop. Burton is like a well kept secret, but we are a destination shop, people come here from all over."

Carmel also revealed exciting plans for the community: "We've also got a big event being planned for August 3 with a French flea market where we're bring vintage traders to the village cricket pitch and we'll have cream teas too."

A stroll through the manor gardens unveils an array of seasonal blooms, leading visitors to a hidden sunken garden and a path offering stunning panoramic views.

Perched on benches, one can gaze out over the meadows towards the Clwydian range in Wales.

Connie Draper, 84, a Burton resident for 22 years and a garden volunteer, expressed her fondness for the locale: "I absolutely love the village, we don't have any shops or any transport anymore, but it's a very idyllic place."

"We have a lovely church, we have lots of events and we do an awful lot in the village, it's a very good community."

"Someone in the village thought it might be a good idea to turn the bus stop into a little library and it's been a real success. We also have a book sale in the visitor centre at the gardens."

"There's no way I'd ever move now, it's exactly how you think of a little village with the pretty thatched houses and cottages."

This weekend (June 30) there is also an Open Gardens event as part of the National Gardens Scheme in the village. Visitors will be able to walk around some of the spectacular residents' gardens here for a charity donation.

Recent developments in the village have seen a new housing estate built within the manor grounds, which has brought new residents into the village. Two five bedroom properties are currently for sale on the site, priced at £895,000 and £935,000.

They're not the most expensive properties currently for sale in Burton though. There are currently four large mansions on Rightmove priced from £1mn to £1.57mn looking for buyers in the village.

On the edge of the village, you'll find Burton Mere Wetlands, where a long-established RSPB Reserve sits. This is a stunning spot for twitchers and walkers to explore.

The RSPB describes it as such: "The gateway to the Dee Estuary reserve, Burton Mere Wetlands straddles the border between England and Wales with a mosaic of freshwater wetland habitats, mixed farmland and woodland. The area is bursting with wildlife, hosting Avocets, egrets, harriers, Redshanks, Swallows and Swifts."

It adds: "This is a place where wading birds and wildfowl thrive among wet grasslands, lagoons and shallow pools, known as scrapes. Reedbeds come alive with warblers in spring, with Grey Herons, egrets and Kingfishers often seen on the lookout for food."

"In the ancient woodland, Bluebells carpet the floor in spring, while fungi pop up come autumn. Grazing livestock are used to manage our wet grassland area for breeding Lapwings and Redshanks."

The reserve itself boasts a number of hides along wooden walkways where birdwatchers can sit and monitor the activity, and survey the simply stunning views here across the wetlands. The trail is also pushchair and wheelchair accessible.

For family visitors there's also regular trails for kids to look out for bird pictures along the way.

There's also a brilliant café here on the site, offering more stunning views across the Dee Estuary with indoor and outdoor seating. They serve a range of hot and cold dishes, ice creams, cakes and beverages - and there's free colouring for kids.

The RSPB Reserve is free for all RSPB members and for 16-24 year olds. Adult and child non-members are charged £7 and £3.50 respectively. The reserve is open daily in Summer from 9am to 9pm, while the cafe is open 9.30am to 4.30pm.

For those planning a day out here, Burton is also just a mile away from the famous Ness Botanic Gardens. Entrance fees apply here, and the gardens are open daily 10am to 4.30pm.

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