Cheshire Challenge, Walk

Cheshire Challenge walk 18 – Eddisbury Way & Delamere Way

This was the walk I needed to rekindle my enthusiasm for the Cheshire Challenge.  After walking solo since November, the lovely Sarah Williams joined me for the day.  We spent the day putting the world to rights; walking and talking was the tonic I needed, from deep and meaningful discussion to silliness and laughter.

We started in Frodsham.  I try and plan walks so if there is an unpleasant trudge along a busy road its at the beginning when my legs are fresh and the conversation lively rather than at the end of the day when I’m weary.  So this first stretch was along the busy A56 before squeezing down the tightest passage way I’ve encountered on the whole challenge.  Of all the Cheshire Challenge paths I have walked so far, the Eddisbury Way seems to be the least valued; here is no signage to say this is the Eddisbury Way, let alone the start of the route.  Things start looking up for the path as it passes into woodlands, along fields and into a small gorge full of wild garlic.  The waymarking is really poor so I made a few navigation errors as I was concentrating far too much on chatting with Sarah to spot the right paths to take.

There are some lovely ancient byways on this walk, worn sandstone under foot always makes me wonder who has walked these paths before and what the countryside surrounding it was like.  Today the fields are a mixture of arable and livestock, the oilseed rape was starting to bloom brilliant yellow, the grass was lush and shooting up in the warm April sunshine and the sandy soil ploughed into deep furrows and planted with seed potatoes.  The Eddisbury Way pulled up onto the sandstone ridge with long views behind us across towards North Wales, the rural countryside contrasted with the heavy industry of Runcorn. 

We stopped for an early lunch in a grassy field protected from the wind by a sunlit hedge.   Lunch was made all the better by the amazing flapjacks that Sarah had made and the subsequent sugar rush powered us up the hill.

More navigation conundrums occurred when I thought I had missed the public right of way, but closer inspection showed that the waymarked route, with the yellow arrows that indicate a public right of way was not where it was shown on the map.  Here a brilliant navigation tip from Aaron Mitchell was put to use: high voltage pylons are marked on OS Explorer maps and if the insulators are hanging vertically then the cables are running in a straight line, if they are vertical then the cables are changing direction.  With hedges removed and the waymarked route being further along the byway than shown on the map it was the pylons that confirmed I was stood where I thought I was, it was the path that was not where it was shown.  The trodden path across the potato furrows meant we adopted a tigger-like walk bounding from the furrow-tops to cross the field. 

The Eddisbury Way and Delamere Way form a crossroads on the edge Delamere Forest and it was here that we switched paths and headed north on the Delamere Way.  There is a little more road walking but they are quiet back roads linking the byways and footpaths.  The highest point of the walk is shortly before the end and the air was so clear that the Liverpool landmarks twenty miles away, the cathedrals and radio tower, were easy to spot. In honour of the pylon navigation aid we created the pylon dance and much hilarity ensued making the video before a group of walkers appeared.  The walk descends steeply into Frodsham, sharing the path with the far better known Sandstone Trail.  The start/finish of the Delamere Way is at the curiously named Bears Paw pub and we made it just in time for the weather to take a major turn from the blue skies to snow and sleet.

I’m getting close to the 20% complete with just 30km to walk before I hit the milestone.   I have found my enthusiasm for the Cheshire Challenge again, with an aim to get some big miles under my feet over the next month.

Video of the walk HERE

The route is available on the Ordnance Survey website HERE

Cheshire Challenge distance12.5 km
Paths walkedEddisbury Way & Delamere Way
Total distance14 km
Total ascent301m
OS mapOS Explorer 267
Date walkedApril 2021
Time taken5 hours
CakeFlapjack AND Beetroot & Chocolate cake
Dance poseThe Pylon Dance
Total Cheshire Challenge distance completed268 km
the stats
A wooden fingerpost sign with an acorn logo and 'Oakmere Way' written on it. There is a wide path to the left with two cyclists in the distance. The sign is point towards woodland.
Cheshire Challenge, Walk

Cheshire Challenge walk 17 – Delamere Way

This was an intentionally shorter walk as I have volunteered to test the route survey form for the Slow Ways project.  I needed to stop and take measurements of the path and make notes so my overall pace would be much slower than normal.

The forest is becoming a bit of a popular film location and there was a small encampment of shiny white trailers as I walked through the old carpark, I curbed my curiosity and upped my pace as I walked past.  This short section is along the same path as the Delamere Loop and I had to stop myself on autopilot missing my turn.  The whole walk I was keeping alert for the factors that Slow Ways project want to know, all relating to the accessibility of the paths.  I started volunteering for Slow Ways when it started early 2020 and needed people to map possible routes, the ones I did are all back in the East Riding of Yorkshire and one day I will go and walk them.

After the forest the route winds its way into the back of Norley, then on to Cuddington. I take the notes I need to, realising that my bright idea of a small lightweight tailors tape measure rather than a heavy retractable DIY one was not so clever after dragging it through the mud a few times.  Before I mapped out the whole Cheshire Challenge and the pattern of the paths crossing was clear, the routes I planned were good walks but not terribly efficient in making sure I covered all the paths I needed to.  For this walk, it meant a short stomp along the road to pick up where I had left the Delamere Way in walk 3, then turn round and walk back to turn this walk into a decent circular.

After Cuddington, the walk picks up the top of the Oakmere Way.  Following the railway along a permitted path and around the edge of the tree nursery it crosses the road and back onto the now very familiar paths around the quarry.  The weather had closed in and the rain became persistent, but I like walking in the rain.  Head down and dry inside my waterproofs, I marched homeward.

Video of the walk HERE

The route is available on the Ordnance Survey website HERE

Cheshire Challenge distance6.3km
Paths walkedDelamere Way
Total distance16km
Total ascent215m
OS mapOS Explorer 257
Date walkedMarch 2021
Time taken5 hours
CakeCherry cake
Dance poseTap dance
Total Cheshire Challenge distance completed256km
The stats

rough grass banks either side of a wide river with woods in the distance
Cheshire Challenge, Walk

Cheshire Challenge walk 3 – North Cheshire Way & Delamere Way

A lovely warm and sunny summers walk along the river started this walk from just outside the village of Kingsley. The track down to the river was a footpath with hedges either side, full of butterflies and bees on the wildflowers. The path opens up to a grassy field and the river, breakfast smells rising from a narrowboat moored on the bank as we headed up river.

The Weaver here is navigable and in its hey day was busy bringing coal to the salt works and the salt back out, which makes it a fascinating place to walk. A fallen tree in a wooded section provided entertainment to the others as we each ducked underneath it trying not to catch our back packs. The path briefly ducked away from the river at Pickering Cut through a small mobile home park and over what was once the original path of the river, now a quiet back water and a haven for wildlife. A short distance further on is the impressive Dutton Viaduct, carrying trains between Liverpool and London, after some silliness listening to the echoes under the arches we carried on Dutton Lock. This is where we left the North Cheshire Way and joined the Delamere Way.


After the flat river walk, the pull up the hill got the blood pumping and we wove round fields and briefly popped out onto the road and under the railway. We stopped for lunch under a large tree and watched the trains whooshing past. The route then follows the top of the railway bank all the way to Acton Bridge. It was here I made a minor navigation error where several paths criss-crossed in small fields, I may well have been absorbed in conversation! The downside is that I now have an orphan section of just a few hundred metres, the upside is that we passed the Hazel Pear pub, which had just reopened with Covid restrictions in place. We stopped for a drink and sat in the pub garden, it felt very odd to be back in a pub though it felt very safe and well organised.


Refreshed, we carried on. The route took us along the road out of Acton Bridge, and just before we turned down a hedge-lined footpath we heard snuffling and a small black pig wandered up to the gate for a scratch behind the ears. The remainder of the Delamere Way alternates between fields and back roads, as we left Ruloe we waved goodbye to the Delamere Way, it heads south-west towards Delamere Forest but we needed to head north-west back to our start point. The paths were again mixed between quiet roads, byways and footpaths, the last couple of kilometres on the tarmac made tired legs complain a little in the heat of the late afternoon but nothing to spoil a lovely day in the Cheshire countryside.

Video of the walk HERE

This route is available on the Ordnance Survey website HERE

Cheshire Challenge distance9.48km
Paths walkedNorth Cheshire Way, Delamere Way
Total distance16.3km
Total ascent143m
OS MapOS Landranger 257
Date walked12th July 2020
Time taken5 hours 15 minutes
CakeTunnocks – OK, so that’s not really cake!
Dance poseJazz turn
Total Cheshire Challenge distance completed41km (1500km total)
Walk stats