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to visit Cheshire; Anthony Woolford packs in a visit to a nuclear bunker and comes face to face with orang-utans on a weekend in Chester.

Byline: Anthony Woolford

1 - Chester Zoo Upton by Chester. Tel: 01244 380280 Giant anteaters will be making their home at the 110-acre zoo for the first time in 2010. They will be joining more than 7,000 animals including some of the most endangered species on the planet. Look out for the Asian elephants, the crash of nine black rhinos and the largest orang-utan house in Europe.

Open all year Tickets: Adult pounds 16.90; child pounds 12.45; concession pounds 15.25; Family (2+2) pounds 55.

2 - Blue Planet Aquarium Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port. Tel: 0151 357 8800 A magical day out. The biggest collection of sharks in Europe and the 70-metre moving underwater walkway will take you on a journey through Caribbean waters. More than 450 species of fish from clown fish to menacing piranhas can be seen alongside brightly-coloured poison dart frogs.

Open all year. Tickets: Adult pounds 14.75, children up to 14 pounds 10.75. Family (2+2) pounds 49.

3 - Jodrell Bank Visitor Centre and 3D Theatre Holmes Chapel, Cheshire. Tel: 01477 571339 The visitor centre for the Lovell Radio Telescope and the Jodrell Bank Observatory, the astronomy research centre of the University of Manchester. There's also a 3D theatre, arboretum and an environmental discovery centre. Opening hours 10.30am to 5pm. Adult pounds 2 per ticket, 4-16 years pounds 1 per ticket Admission to 3D theatre pounds 1 per ticket.

4 - Chester Heritage Tours Chester Visitor Centre Tel: 0870 7656840 Step back in time aboard this 1924 open-top sightseeing tour bus and enjoy a 40-minute fully guided city tour. The bus is the only one left in the world still in use. Open all year.

Tickets: Adult pounds 6.50; child pounds 3; concession pounds 5.50; family pounds 15.

5 - Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker Coole Lane, Nantwich. Tel: 01270 629219/01270 623353 For more than 60 years this vast underground complex remained secret. It would have been the centre of regional government had nuclear war broken out. Entering through the massive blast doors, you are transported into the chilling world of the Cold War. See the Government's preparations for nuclear war and step into the lives of those who worked there.

Open March 20 to November 30, 2010. Tickets: Adult pounds 6.80; child pounds 4.90; concession pounds 6.50; family (2+2) pounds 21.

6 - Gulliver's World Theme Park Old Hall, Warrington. Tel: 01925 444888 A theme park for the whole family. Offering more than 50 rides and attractions from log flumes to rollercoasters and dinosaurs. Open March 25 to October 30, 2010. Tickets: Adult pounds 12.50; concession pounds 11.50; children over 90cm pounds 12.50; under 90cm free.

7 - Chester Cathedral Tel: 01244 324756 There has been a church on this site for more than 1,000 years. Originally a Saxon Minster, then rebuilt as a Benedictine Abbey, this magnificent building is a national treasure in the heart of the city. Tickets: Adult pounds 5; child (10-16) pounds 2.50; concession pounds 4.

8 - Beeston Castle Tel: 01829 260464 Set 350 feet above the Cheshire Plain on rocky crags, Beeston Castle is a magical site with something for everyone. With stunning views, long walks through rich woodland for nature lovers and nooks and crannies for kids to hide in, it was inspired by the hill-top strongholds of the Holy Land. Legend has it that the majestic Beeston Castle guards buried treasure once belonging to Richard II.

Open all year. Tickets: Adult pounds 5, child pounds 2.50, concession pounds 4.30.

9 - Alderley Edge. This Cheshire village is a haven for celebrity spotting springing to prominence in recent years as the residence of some big hitters in the world of sport and TV. The Beckhams lived in the village for many years. The novelist Alan Garner spent much of his childhood there and used it as the principal scene of his fantasy classics The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath. Cristiano Ronaldo lived there before upping sticks to Madrid. A number of Coronation Street actors also live in the village.

10 - ChesterBoat River Cruises Boating Station, Souters Lane, Chester Tel: 01244 325394 One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty and character of this fascinating, well-preserved ancient city. Save money and buy a combined open-top bus tour and boat ticket onboard the boat.

Tickets: two-hour cruise pounds 12-pounds 14; half-hour cruise pounds 6 or pounds 6.50.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 1, 2010
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