August 28, 2019

The act of indulging in a bit of spa time has been around for centuries. The Romans are generally credited with the idea – as they marched across their empire they established baths as they went – along with the Ancient Greeks, who also liked to indulge. But the belief in the curative powers of bathing in certain waters actually goes back to prehistoric times. 

Archaeological investigations near hot springs in France have revealed Bronze Age weapons and offerings. In this country, ancient legends credited early Celtic kings with the discovery of the hot springs in Bath, now one of our best known spa resorts. 

To be specific, a ‘spa’ is defined as being a location where mineral-rich spring water – or in some cases, seawater – is used to give medicinal baths. The word itself is derived from the name of the...

June 26, 2019

Watersports are soaring in popularity, with more and more of us wanting to try something wet and wild. With summer in full swing, we take a look at the wealth of water activities available across the Shire region

Around 12.5 million people in the UK take part in some form of water sport activity every year. And while for many people this simply involves spending time at the beach, going for coastal walks or swimming outside, some of the more adventurous among us have been going further and getting wetter than ever before. Approximately 3.2 million people in the UK took part in a recreational boating activity in the last 12 months, for example, and 20 per cent of them did so at least six times throughout the year. Over the same time, around 1.4 million people went canoeing, and recent surveys have also fo...

April 24, 2019

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of buying locally grown and sourced food – reducing food miles, celebrating our gourmet greats and championing the producers in our midst. Here we take a closer look at some of our local food and drink heroes

If you appreciate well grown, produced, brewed and bred food, you’re living in a great part of the world to embrace it. Across the lush valleys of Wales, throughout the rich plains of Cheshire and across the fertile lands of Shropshire, the Shire patch is one of gourmet greatness. 

Changing consumer preferences also make this a good time to be one of those aforementioned producers – as shoppers and eaters, we’re getting pickier and demanding more from our plate than the mass-produced supermarket fodder so many of us were brought up on. 


April 24, 2019

As the weather gets warmer and the nights get lighter, more interesting ways of getting active outside become available. We look at the companies and individuals in the Shire area helping us find new ways of enjoying ourselves as we keep fit…

Gone are the days when popping out for a stroll was the only way to get your daily exercise. Much as the Victorians loved a promenade to ‘take the air’, things have moved on in leaps and bounds – quite literally. 

While walking is the top active pastime for most people, even that has taken on a life of its own. Official routes are cleared and cared for across the country, rambler and orienteering clubs make it a more sociable sport, and walking festivals celebrate the event. 

Now summer is almost here, many of us will be upping our game. Don’t forget that Shire’s regu...

February 26, 2019

Now is the perfect time to get outside and appreciate the wonderful gardens all around us as they burst back into life

We are truly spoilt in our region by the number of formal, informal, traditional and unusual gardens that are lovingly tended and nurtured throughout the year for our benefit. Many are open to the public, either to fund their upkeep, to raise money for charity or just out of the benevolence and pride of their owners. Many local estates house rare and unusual species that were imported during Victorian times, making a garden day out the botanical equivalent of an exotic zoo visit. But you don’t have to be green-fingered to appreciate all they have to offer. Here are five alternative things to look for.

Firm floral favourites

Some gardens are legendary in horticultural circles and deserve th...

February 26, 2019

The modern world we live in is largely shaped by the events of the past, no matter how distant. Shire takes a look at the ancient Roman history that has made us who we are – and made our treasured local area what it is…

Our area of Britain has been inhabited for so long, it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to looking at the ancestors who did the most to shape us. Stone Age relics have been discovered across Shropshire; Cheshire was famously home to the preserved prehistoric Lindow Man; the Wirral is awash with Viking legends; and Wales has signs of human settlement going back more than 230,000 years. In short, populations have been happy to call this area home since well before the dawn of history. But having only so many pages to investigate our past, we have decided to focus on the myth...

January 1, 2019

With Christmas behind us and the new year full of promise, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your life and create the perfect opportunity to try something new. Whether you want to learn a language or get involved in a local drama group, now’s the time to sign yourself up for a new pursuit!  So the Shire team have a few suggestions for hobbies that might inspire you to try something creative, crafty or choral. Don’t put it off any longer – make your new year’s resolution now and pick up a pastime!

Feeling Crafty?

These days people are rediscovering the joy and fulfilment of creating something with their own hands. And who better to give us insights into the hot trends and topics on the craft scene than Shire’s own resident craft columnist Janet Dallolio?

Craft and artistic pastimes are right on trend a...

October 30, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and at Shire we’re all busy getting our Christmas on! In case you need a little extra help on your way to feeling fully festive, we’ve rounded up our recommendations for leading up to the big day

1. Whether you’re looking for a family outing or planning an office celebration, it isn’t Christmas without a festive party or two thrown in the mix. Many people head to Chester for a Christmas night out. One great option in the city is 1539 Restaurant & Bar. The sumptuous Christmas menu is available throughout the week and features refined dishes, from succulent butter-roasted Cheshire turkey with winter berries to rich, chocolatey desserts. Another great venue in the city is The White Horse at Chester Racehorse, where you’ll find a festive option to suit any jovial gath...

October 30, 2018

Winter may be well and truly upon us, but don’t let that stop you from getting out and enjoying some of our amazing outdoor spaces. Over the next five pages, we take a look at the glorious gardens worth visiting at this time of year, even if you have to wrap up warm…

A treat for the season

Although humans aren’t hibernating animals, many of us tend to stay in and keep warm rather than getting out and about over the winter. It’s understandable – the summer sun is appealing for long lazy walks, flowers in full bloom make attractive surroundings to wander in, and just the extra rigmarole of finding hats, gloves and scarves can put many of us off a winter expedition. But if we give in to this reluctance, we are missing a treat.

The UK doesn’t routinely administer vitamin D supplements to children in winter as...

August 28, 2018

As autumn surrounds us in its golden glow, there can be no better way to celebrate the season than to wrap up and head out on a stunning woodland walk. Shire takes a look at what makes our local forestry so appealing and how it has evolved into the wooded wonderland it is today

There’s something primeval about a walk in the woods. It’s getting back to nature in the best way, connecting with trees centuries older than ourselves, that have seen more life than we can ever hope to experience. 

There’s no better time to enjoy these magical places than now, as the green leaves dramatically change through reds, browns, golds and oranges, leaving a delightfully crunchy forest floor of fallen debris. In Britain, we’re lucky to have a thriving population of native and non-native tree species, which give us a rich d...

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About SHIRE Magazine

We hope you enjoy reading the features and articles we have put together – it may be a new magazine, but the team that have brought it to you have many years of experience between them so hopefully there will be a something for every reader to appreciate…

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