It was a chilly buy sunny day in mid-February, a nice change from the storms that had been battering the UK for much of the year. With a day off work, it could only mean another walk!
This walk started in the Cheshire Workshops in Burwardsley where there is plenty of space in their free car park.
After a quick visit to use their ‘facilities’, we headed out of the car park taking a left on to Barracks Lane passing the Pheasant Inn pub
Staying on this road, we walked about 400 meters to join the Eddisbury Way path on the left, continuing until it reached another road, we take a right around the side of Outlanes farm before continuing on the Eddisbury Way, heading North East.
Eventually the path comes out on to another road, Wood Lane. Walking up this road, we passed several orchards before taking a left then immediate right at the end of the road.
The Eddisbury Way path continues to the right after about 100 metres.
The route passed under the busy railway line, we then followed the path heading North, ignoring right hand track.
We somehow managed to miss the path we wanted leading on to the canal and remained on the Eddisbury Way, hence the detour which can be seen on the route map.
We’ll put this mistake down to all the mud covering the paths!
After that slight change to the route, we eventually reached the Shropshire Union Canal, taking the tow path heading East.
We took Dale’s Bridge over the water which provided a good sheltered, sunny spot to fire up the meths burner for a nice warming coffee.
Continuing East along the side of canal, we past the Shady Oak pub. I can imagine the beer garden here being very tempting on a summer’s day!
At Wharton’s Lock, we took a right, joining the Sandstone Trail to the South, crossing back under the railway line.
The path joins the road around Beeston Castle. If time allows, the castle is worth a visit. Built in 1220, a lot of the ruins remain intact and, on a clear day, climb to the top of the castle for some great views over to the Pennines and the Welsh hills.
We followed the road around the castle clockwise, taking the Sand Stone trail which continues on the left hand side, just after the second road junction.
The navigation gets a lot easier here as the route is very well signed.
Following the path South, we reached the grounds of Peckforton Castle, now a hotel and wedding venue.
We took a right to go around the extensive grounds before joining the road back past the Pheasant Inn to the Cheshire Workshops.
After this 8.6 mile walk, I think we earned the coffee back at the Workshops!