Fancy a scoop of Hilly Billy Ice Cream? That’s the kind of choice they sell at Blaze Farm in Wildboarclough (say wil-ber-cluff), a welcome reward for striding out in the neighbouring Peak District National Park. Coconut, Ginger, Turkish Delight with White Chocolate Chip, take your pick of the unusual (as well as traditional) flavours dreamed up for the menu in this parlour and cafe. There’s a Nature Trail to follow, too, with carvings and other creations to spot. Blaze Farm, Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 0BL (01260 227229; www.blazefarm.com).
American Brian Brereton and his wife, Deborah, have been pursuing the perfect ice cream for many years. Now they’re creating it at The Mobberley Ice Cream Co, made with milk from the herd at Greenoaks Farm. Roasted strawberry with buttermilk or bourbon with toasted pecan are the kind of wow flavours you’ll find on the menu at the farm’s parlour in tubs, or scoops can be bought at Apus Peak in Knutsford. And keep your eyes peeled for Brian and Deborah scooping at farmers’ markets and other events across the county. The Mobberley Ice Cream Co, Greenoaks Farm, Ostler’s Ln, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 7LY (https://mobberleyicecream.co.uk).
They like to add a dollop of seasonal fun at Dunham Massey Farm Ice Cream. In summer, there’s a sunflower trail to follow while snacking on an ice cream mixed with the honey-toasted bloom. In autumn, there are thousands of pumpkins to pick while devouring a special scoop of gourd-geous pumpkin spice latte ice cream. It’s a refreshing pitstop on the way to or from Dunham Massey, too, the Georgian house, gardens and ancient deer park cared for by the National Trust. Dunham Massey Farm Ice Cream, 34 Station Rd, Dunham Massey, Cheshire WA14 5SG (www.dunhammasseyicecream.com).
Fresh gelato made with juicy fruits is the speciality of The Real Fruit Creamery. All the gelato and sorbets are made daily in small batches behind the scenes at the Malt Street premises in the heart of Knutsford. What will you choose – blackcurrant and cassis, passion fruit, Sicilian pistachio? They’re just a few of the inspired flavours to try (there are vegan choices, too), perhaps on a walk around Tatton Park, the grand National Trust estate at the top of town. The Real Fruit Creamery, 1 Malt St, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6ES (01565 849364, www.therealfruitcreamery.co.uk).
It doesn’t get more indulgent than at Seven Sisters Posh Ice Cream – lemon meringue, Kinder Bueno, cake-batter mix are some of the naughty but nice treats served up in its Instagrammable parlour. The ice cream is made with milk from the farm’s Holstein Friesian herd, which Seven Sisters dubs “the supermodels of the cow world”. There are sundaes and shakes, waffles and cookie dough, or scoops and tubs just ready to go. Seven Sisters Farm, Holmes Chapel Road, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 9ER (01565 723813, https://sevensistersfarm.co.uk).
There’s a new kid on the ice-cream block, Bidlea Dairy, at Twemlow Green. This dairy has been producing milk for three generations yet only recently turned its hand to creating some very slurpable ice cream – Jaffa Cake, Raspberry Ripple… the choice is yours. Plus, you can taste a scoop at the impressive new shop while gazing in awe at one of Cheshire’s iconic sights, the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank, just across the fields where Bidlea’s herd of Holstein Friesians graze. For the best views, take a seat on the parlour’s balcony. Bidlea Dairy, Twemlow Lane, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire CW4 8DS (01477 544777, www.bidleadairy.co.uk).
Great Budworth Real Dairy Ice Cream Farm is set on the edge of one of Cheshire’s prettiest villages. So after you’ve admired the timbered cottages and quaint church, enjoy a freshly made cone on the farm’s tearoom patio or while meeting resident goats Monty, Raisin and Dig. In season, there’s a Maize Trail to follow, too. Great Budworth Real Dairy Ice Cream Farm, New Westage Farm, Great Budworth, Northwich, Cheshire CW9 6ND (01606 891211, icecreamfarm.co.uk).
Small is beautiful at Daresbury Dairy, where they pride themselves on making ice cream in small artisan batches from the milk of their herd of Friesians. Even the journey from cow to cone is a short one – just across the farmyard. And it’s not much further to where you can have a taste in the on-site shop. Savour a scoop of strawberry ice cream, created with a handmade purée of the freshest fruits, while you look around the charming nearby village of Daresbury, where Lewis Carroll was born. Daresbury Dairy, Penkridge Lake Farm, Newton Lane, Daresbury, Cheshire WA4 4HZ (www.daresburydairy.co.uk).
After a long day’s shopping at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, or a few hours talking to the animals at Chester Zoo, make a refreshing pitstop at nearby Backford Belles. Choose from 14 flavours of award-winning ice cream – including sticky toffee fudge, traditional honeycomb and more – all made from the milk of the farm’s herd of doe-eyed Jersey cows. There’s a small playground and meet calves, ducks and geese here, too. Backford Belles, Acres Farm, Chester Road, A41, Backford, Chester CH1 6PE (01244 851029, www.backfordbelles.com).
So good they did it twice. Now it’s possible to sample Snugbury’s ices (see 12) by the river in Chester (hot puds in winter, too). The Nantwich-based ice-cream maker opened this parlour on The Groves in 2019 for city dwellers, day trippers and short breakers to enjoy a slurp of their creamy creations. Snugbury’s on The River, 4-6 The Groves, Chester CH1 1SD (01244 346827, snugburys.co.uk).
It’s no wonder The Ice Cream Farm near Tattenhall is one of Britain’s favourite tourist attractions. After all, what child wouldn’t want to romp around an adventure playground themed on the sweet stuff? There’s sand-and-water play at Honeycomb Canyon and adventure golf at Strawberry Falls, a mini Land Rover experience at Rocky Road and quad-bike racing on the Silvercone track. Plus you can refuel on one (or more) of the 50 flavours sold here in the world’s largest ice-cream parlour. A word of advice: get your little ones to play first and eat later… The Ice Cream Farm, Newton Lane, Tattenhall, Chester, Cheshire CH3 9NE (0800 133 7000, www.theicecreamfarm.co.uk).
At Snugbury’s Ice Cream near Nantwich you can wander around a 40-foot high, 5-tonne bee while devouring a double scoop of creamy honeycomb. The awesome apis is the latest straw sculpture to take up residence in the field next to Snugbury’s farm shop. Previous landmarks on this horizon have included Peter Rabbit, a British Olympian cyclist, and a Dr Who Dalek – or should that be DaLICK? Snugbury’s Ice Cream, Park Farm, Hurleston, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6BU (01270 624830, snugburys.co.uk).