Since living in the county, I’ve discovered an abundance of beautiful and varied Cheshire walks. 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 this county. I’d like to share my most memorable moments with you, so here are favourite Cheshire walks:
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. It then ducks into woodland and circulates 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. It looks out over the Cheshire Plain, with the hill, ‘The Cloud’ and Bosley Reservoir in the foreground. There are also 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. It takes you through woodland, across fields and on to Danebridge, Wincle’s neighbour.
Don’t miss the historical Hanging Stone. The rocky outcropping has 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. It provides views over 7 counties, as well as Manchester and Liverpool’s skylines.
‘The Edge’ at Alderley Edge
Part of the ‘Golden Triangle’, Alderley Edge is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK, outside of London. There are a number of woodland walks around Alderley Edge, making it a great place to come for a refreshing country ramble, followed by some posh nosh in the village (or be a cheapskate and take a packed lunch, like me).
The Edge itself is a dramatic escarpment, which overlooks the beautiful Cheshire countryside, with the city of Manchester gleaming in the distance against the far hills of the Peak District.
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. Enjoy 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.
Finally, one of my favourite Cheshire walks. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Matterhorn of Cheshire’, and not dissimilar to a shark fin in shape, Shutlingsloe is the third highest peak in its county. It sits just south of Macclesfield Forest on the edge of the Peak District.
You can access the hill from Trentabank car park (SK11 0NE). The walk up is incredibly steep in places, but the 360 degree views at the top are some of the best in Cheshire. On a clear day you can see the glinting skyscrapers of Manchester!
For more Cheshire walks, check out Chester, Cheshire and Beyond.