With views of rolling hills as far as the eye can see, there are few more spectacular places to stop for an ice cream across the north west than at Blaze Farm. This hilltop farm, which produces the award-winning Hilly Billy ice cream, boasts a nature trail around its farmland with panoramic views of the Cheshire plains and the Peak District.
The ice cream farm is a popular destination for families as there is also a host of animals on the farm that you can visit – including goats, miniature ponies, sheep and ducks on a tranquil duck pond on the site. There are also large tearooms serving hot and cold breakfasts, lunch and afternoon snacks with indoor and outdoor seating.
Outside you can take in the simply breathtaking views of the countryside and hilltops of Cheshire including the distinctive peak of Shutlingsloe and across to Macclesfield Forest. Blaze Farm is located in the village of Wildboarclough in Macclesfieldon the main A54 road between Congleton and Buxton.
You can take a short loop around the farm taking in the duck ponds and gorgeous views of farmland. And, if you’re feeling more adventurous you can take one of the nature trails a little further out to woodlands where you’ll find tree stump sculptures of woodlands animals.
The basic half of the nature trail is accessible to wheelchairs and buggies. The second, more challenging part of the trail allows ramblers to head up 1,200 feet of the Hield Rocks – with impressive views once you reach the peak.
All dogs must be kept on leads. Both routes end up at the same place and are great for spotting wildlife amongst the ancient woodland.
The farm is run by the Waller family, who first ventured into ice cream making 20 years ago – producing all their own ice creams from their own dairy herd. The farm fast grew a reputation for its tasty scoops and several awards have followed for its Hilly Billy Ice Cream brand.
They serve up daily changing flavors served by the scoop in the shop – and you can choose one scoop from £ 2.50 and two scoops from £ 3.75, with the option of traditional cone or waffle cones with chocolate. Flavors on our visit included the divine Turkish Delight, white chocolate mountain, bubblegum ripple, toffee malt ball as well as the more traditional flavors like mint choc chip, strawberry, lemon and vanilla.
Kids love the seating area outside – which comes with a refurbished old tractor that they can all leap in. And just try to keep them away from a tube slide that takes them down the hillside (recommended for ages over three only).
In more recent times a barn close to the entrance of the site has been transformed into a new attraction on the site – The Potty Sheep. The ceramic paint-a-pot-studio is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and can be booked for parties as well as regular sessions for families and friends to get creative in the studio.
Back in the ice cream shop and parlor, there’s also an extensive menu of hot and cold treats for those who may not be in the mood for an ice cream, although be warned no hot food is served after 3.30pm. Hot drinks are priced at £ 1.80 for teas and fresh-ground coffees and hot chocolates from £ 2.
You can get a scone with jam and cream for just £ 2.50, toasted sandwiches are priced from £ 4, and you can also get Staffordshire oatcakes here from £ 4 and jacket potatoes from £ 4.75.
Sheep roam wild in the fields here while chickens also strut about the farm. There are also some rare breed rams to visit at the farm itself, as well as adorable miniature ponies and donkeys.
If you’re headed out this way for a day out, it’s only a ten minute drive down the road to the High Peak tea rooms – which we featured in the MEN recently. Owners there boast of being the ‘highest tea room in England’ and so as you might expect it also has spectacular views of rolling countryside.
How to get there
Blaze Farm is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5.30pm (shut Mondays and Tuesdays). It opens bank holidays, but will be closed on Friday June 3 for the Queen’s Jubilee.
The farm is based on the main A54 Buxton Road between Congleton and Buxton and is well sign-posted, with the postcode for sat nav of SK11 0BL.
For those using public transport, the 58 bus service from Macclesfield to Buxton, operated by High Peak, stops at Macclesfield Forest and Wildboarclough. There are main line train stations at both Macclesfield and Buxton.
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