A mixture of woodland and farmland walking, with good views and a visit to a pleasant Cheshire village (no pub). Some modest climbs and occasional rocky ground. Mud after rain.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Facing the Gresty’s Waste car park entrance, walk left to the corner of the car park nearest the main road, and follow a short path linking to the Sandstone Trail. Turn left, away from the road, and follow the Sandstone Trail down some steps to a footbridge, and up the other side. Walk alongside a ﬁeld containing gallops, passing through a pair of gates.
(1) When you regain the woodland, swing left then, where the Sandstone Trail swings right and uphill, leave it to follow a narrow path straight ahead along the bottom of the wood, with the open fields to your left. After ½ mile, you pass the bottom of a small valley with a pond on your left. (You may wish to turn right here for a short diversion to view the sandstone cliﬀ s of the Urchin’s Kitchen.). Continuing along roughly parallel to the bottom of the wood, you reach a forest road. Turn left. Ignore a footpath that leads out of the wood and across the ﬁeld, instead of keeping right, still following the forestry road.
(2) When you meet another track, turn left. This track swings right and passes below Primrose Hill House, at the top of the recently felled slope to your right. Look out for a line of beech trees on your right; here, turn right oﬀ the track and follow a path, rocky in places, uphill. At the top of the hill you reach a wider track at a bend; follow it straight ahead.
Beyond a metal barrier, at the entrance to Primrose Hill House, turn left and follow the driveway. Just beyond a steep valley on your left, the driveway swings left; to cut a corner, take a footpath straight ahead that climbs over tree roots and then follows a fence on the right (swinging left when the fence does) to rejoin the driveway further up. Follow the driveway beyond to reach a road junction.
(3) Take the road opposite (Tirley Lane) and follow it for ¾ mile until you reach Utkinton village. Cross over by the primary school and follow Northgate beyond. When the road ends, go down some steps and then swing right past a pond. You emerge by a thatched cottage; follow the road beyond (passing the end of North Brook Road) to reach the junction with John Street.
(4) Turn right. Pass the village hall on your left, and keep straight on past the war memorial and bus stop on your left, ignoring the road to the right. Just before the last house on the left, take a footpath alongside the perimeter wall. At the end of the property cross a ﬁeld and then pass through a belt of woodland with a large fishing pond on your right. Follow the right-hand edge of the next ﬁeld, meeting the Sandstone Trail between two metal hand gates, beyond which you continue with the hedge on your right. At the end of this ﬁeld, turn right over a stile and follow the left-hand edge of the ﬁeld beyond, until you reach a road.
(5) Turn left. Walk past a number of parking lay-bys, then, just beyond the entrance to Rock Farm on the left, turn right on the Sandstone Way. This hollow way leads steadily uphill between hedges for ¾ mile, passing through occasional copses, before narrowing and eventually emerging onto another road. Turn left.
(6) When the road shortly bends left, take the footpath straight on, along the side of a single-storey building (formerly a tearoom but closed at the time of writing). Follow the right-hand ﬁeld-edge beyond, before passing through a metal kissing gate and swinging left to reach a further kissing gate into woodland. Turn left along the forest edge, passing a Peak & Northern Footpaths Society signpost. When you see a mossy rock outcrop in the ﬁeld on your left, turn right, into the wood, following a Sandstone Trail waymark.
(7) At a crossing track, turn left (there is another opportunity to visit the Urchin’s Kitchen here if you didn’t before). When the track bends left, follow the Sandstone Trail straight ahead, up a slope which is rocky underfoot at times. At the top of the hill at a T-junction of paths, turn right, still following the Sandstone Trail. At the end of the wood, you meet the path you followed earlier.
(1) Swing left then right and retrace your earlier steps back to the car park at Gresty’s Waste.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 122m - Gresty’s Waste car park
1 : km 0.43 - alt. 133m - Woodland
2 : km 1.72 - alt. 125m - Track
3 : km 3.43 - alt. 156m - Tirley Lane
4 : km 5.08 - alt. 101m - John Street
5 : km 6.57 - alt. 107m - John Street
6 : km 8.15 - alt. 163m - Bend
7 : km 8.79 - alt. 125m - Crossing track
D/A : km 9.94 - alt. 122m - Gresty’s Waste car park
The walk begins at Gresty’s Waste car park, 1½ miles from the Fishpool Inn. To reach it by car, turn left as you leave the Fishpool Inn car park, following the A54 towards Chester and Kelsall. At the oblique junction with the A556, turn left; Gresty’s Waste is signposted on your left after ¼ mile, just after a former toll house (the car park is free, but closes after 6.30pm).
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
A short woodland stroll visiting an interesting and atmospheric geological curiosity. Some steep and uneven ground, and mud may be encountered.
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