At the end of last year, I waved goodbye to Manchester and moved temporarily back into my family home in Cheshire, in order to save money for my upcoming Appalachian Trail adventure next month. Since then, I’ve been incredibly lucky to discover an abundance of beautiful, varied walks on my weekly training hikes, in and around the area.
In just two months, these walks have taken me through quaint villages steeped in history, along ridges boasting panoramic views as far as the eye can see, across lush, rolling pastures, into eerie ravines and amongst dense forests.
I’ve well and truly fallen head over heels for Cheshire, and want to share my favourite moments with you, so here are my 7 favourite walks so far:
Three Shire Heads
Three Shire Heads is an 18th century packhorse bridge on the River Dane in which Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet.
Starting from Clough House Car Park, you can take a number of walking routes to reach this picturesque spot. We opted to climb up and over Danebower Hollows behind Cumberland Brook and Farm.
We then ascended down into the secluded valley and followed the River Dane to until we reached the old bridge.
The walk continues on along the river, before cutting across rolling sheep pastures, into woodland and circulating back down the road to the car park.
Wincle is a delightful little Cheshire village nestled on the edge of the Peak District, bordering Staffordshire. There are numerous walks in and around this area, including links to the Gritstone Trail, Cheshire’s famous 56km long distance footpath.
We followed the River Dane and made our way up onto Wincle Minn, which looks out over the Cheshire Plain, with the hill, ‘The Cloud’ and Bosley Reservoir in the foreground and views as far as the Welsh hills and even Liverpool on a good day.
Be sure to visit The Ship Inn or Wincle Brewery as a treat after your walk – you’ll have earned it!
Parking in the car park off Gradbach Mill Lane, Lud’s Church is technically in Staffordshire, however, the area borders Cheshire and you can easily incorporate the above two walks from here.
Once again, the River Dane is present along this walk, which takes you through woodland, across fields and on to Danebridge, Wincle’s neighbour.
Don’t miss the historical Hanging Stone, a rocky outcropping with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.
Lud’s Church is not in fact, a church, but a chasm. This Millstone Grit geological formation is blanketed with damp moss and has an eerie feel to it as you explore its depths. It was said to be a secret place of worship during the early 15th century. Keep your eyes peeled for the coin log!
Delamere Forest is the perfect place for a relaxed amble. It is popular amongst families, dog walkers, cyclists and horse riders, so probably not your cup of tea if you are after solitude.
As well as numerous routes for gentle strolls through the forest, there is a short, steep walk called Old Pale, which provides views over 7 counties, as well as Manchester and Liverpool’s skylines.
The Cloud at Bosley
The Cloud is a prominent hill with magnificent views over the Cheshire Plain. Parking at Timbersbrook picnic site, the walk up to the top is steep but relatively short (just a few miles).
Whilst in the area, it is worth exploring Bosley. The reservoir especially, which was created to feed the Macclesfield canal system, has an attractive walk around its edge.
Wincle Minn is also within walking distance from Bosley, if you want an alternative to parking in Wincle.
The Bickerton Hills are maintained by the National Trust and have a number of walking routes, including links to Cheshire’s 55km Sandstone Trail.
Here, you’ll find red sandstone, lowland heaths, charming woodlands and views across the Dee Valley to the Welsh hills.
Beeston Castle and Woodland Park is cared for by English Heritage and has a 4000 year history. The remains sit atop a rocky sandstone crag overlooking the Cheshire Plain, with views of the Pennines and Welsh mountains visible on a clear day.
The walk up to the top is short but steep. You will need to pay for parking and an entry fee at the visitor centre.
Have you been walking around Cheshire? Do you have any recommendations? Comment below and let me know!