Northwich is at the centre of Cheshire Plain at the confluence of the Rivers Weaver and Dane, and is an interesting town to visit.
The suffix 'wich' indicates the presence of brine springs, and salt was first extracted at Northwich by the Romans.
Salt mining began again in the town in 1670 but by the 19th century it had become uneconomical to mine for salt. Instead hot water was pumped into the mines to disolve the salt which was then extracted from the brine. However, this weakened the mines and led to widespread subsidence.
Northwich and the surrounding area have been seriously affected by subsidence but a stabilisation programme, begun in 2004, has been carried out to rectify the situation.
The brine produced is transported to British Salt in Middlewich where it is used for a range of products including road de-icers and water softeners.
Northwich's salt industry is celebrated at the Salt Museum, donated by two local salt proprietors Thomas Ward and John Brunner in 1889. The museum is now located in the town's old Workhouse because its former building subsided as a result of salt extraction!
Northwich is known for its chemical industry. In 1874 Brunner Mond began producing soda ash at Northwich using salt as a main raw material. Brunner Mond amalgamated with other chemical companies to form Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), one of Europe's leading chemical companies.
One of the most important tourist attractions is the Anderton Boat Lift in nearby Anderton. This structure, known as the 'Cathedral of the Canals', links the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Dating from 1875, the Anderton Boat Lift was the world's first and is currently England's only boat lift, the only other working UK boat lift is the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.
After being out of action for almost 20 years, the Lift reopened in 2002 following a £7 million restoration.
Another highlight of the area is Arley Hall and Gardens, located five miles north of Northwich.
Towns Near Northwich To Visit - straight line distance:Winsford (4.42 miles) Middlewich (5.46 miles) Knutsford (6.95 miles) Daresbury (7.40 miles)
Anderton Boat Lift A fascinating feat of engineering.
Arley Hall & Gardens An impressive red-brick neo-Jacobean house.
Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse Discover more about the area's history.