Cheshire is located in the North West of England and is one
of the UK’s ceremonial counties. Cheshire’s county town is Chester which is
located in the west of the county on the England-Wales border. Cheshire's
borders are Clwyd to the West, Derbyshire to the East, Merseyside and Greater
Manchester to the North and Staffordshire and Shropshire to the South.
As part of the local government restructuring in April 2009 Cheshire
County Council and the Cheshire districts were abolished and replaced by three
new unitary authorities - Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester.
Cheshire's area is 2,343 square kilometres (905 sq mi) and
its inhabitants number approximately 700,000. Cheshire is predominantly a rural
area with small villages supporting an industry of agriculture, the exceptions
being the large industrial towns positioned on the River Mersey and the City of
Chester. It is historically famous as a former principality and for the making
of Cheshire cheese, the mining of salt, the manufacture of bulk chemicals at
Runcorn and, in Macclesfield, woven silk production.
In 2001 Cheshire boasted an overall population of 673,781
Cheshire is home to the 'Cheshire Gap' a boulder clay plain
separating the Peak District of Derbyshire and the hills of North Wales. Cheshire’s
rolling green pastures have been the source of its wealth over the years and
its prime location between the cities of Liverpool and Manchester have made it
a prime commuter area attracting many high net worth individuals and sportsmen
Cheshire is home to some of the wealthiest areas of Northern
England, including Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Prestbury, Tarporley and Knutsford
which was named in 2006 as the most expensive place to buy a house in the north
of England. The former Cheshire town of Altrincham was in second position in
terms of expense. The expensive nature of the properties in this area has led
it to be known as the 'Golden Triangle'; possibly also a reference to the fake
tans sported by some Cheshire residents. Cheshire is famous for its ‘Cheshire
Set’ and is the Ferrari capital of the world as there are more Ferraris than any other area
in the world.
Warrington Wolves are the premier Rugby League team in
Cheshire and play in the Super League and Widnes Vikings joined the Super
League in the 2012 season.
Cheshire County Cricket Club competes as one of the Minor Counties
of England and Welsh Cricket.
Many well known sport persons and athletes have had homes in
Cheshire, including Dean Ashton, Djibril Ciss, Peter Crouch, Seth Johnson,
Michael Owen, Freddie Flintoff and Wayne Rooney.
Tourism in Cheshire from within the UK and overseas
continues to perform strongly. Over 2.8 million visits and over 8 million
nights of accommodation in Cheshire are recorded each year.
Cheshire has many road links including the M56, M53, M62 and
M6 motorways and so is well connected to the national motorway network making
Cheshire a central location for commerce. The M6 motorway at the Thelwall
Viaduct carries 140,000 vehicles every 24 hours.