An interesting walk that visits several of the Sandbach Flashes, a series of intriguing lakes formed by subsidence after salt extraction.
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) From the entrance of the Bear’s Paw, turn left and walk up the main village street, passing the primary school and village hall on your left.
(1) At a road junction just beyond the end of the village, turn right into Crabmill Lane. Almost immediately turn left into an entrance and cross a stile between two field gates. The path beyond leads up the side of a field and then into a green lane. When you meet a crossing path, follow the green lane to the right. This leads through a couple of fields and past a house to a lane. Turn left past a sign warning of subsidence. Follow the lane as it drops to cross Warmingham Flash and then, just before a second, smaller, flash, take a footpath on the right. Beyond the end of the pond on your left, look out for a stile, also on your left. In the next field, head diagonally right across the field. As you reach the brow of the hill you pass a circular plastic water trough. In the far corner of the field, you will find a stile into the next field. Keep to the left-hand edge as it kinks left then right and then drop down some steps into another lane.
(2) Turn right and walk down the lane past Yew Tree Farm, before taking a path on the left that leads into damp woodland (if the path proves impassable, keep along the road until you reach the canal at step (3)). Follow the path through woodland until it emerges onto another road by the lake known as The Moat. Turn right past the lake. Beyond the lake, follow the road until you reach a junction by a canal bridge (bridge 160).
(3) Cross the road and take the towpath opposite. After 250 yards look out on the right for a footpath that leaves the canal and crosses the field to join another lane at a bend. At the road, turn right. When this lane bends right, take the no-through road straight ahead (Watch Lane), which leads to Watch Lane Flash. Walk through the fishermen’s car parks, with lakes to either side, then follow a hedged green lane beyond.
(4) This lane becomes metalled once more at Watchmill Farm – follow it to a T-junction, where you turn right. After a short distance, you will pass a brick cottage on your right and get a glimpse of Crabmill Flash away to your left. Keep on along the road.
(5) Ignore a footpath on the right, then shortly afterwards turn left into a short green lane with hedges on either side. At the end of the hedged section, turn right and follow the field edge. Keep along the right-hand edge of a series of fields, ignoring any crossing tracks, until you emerge between houses on School Lane, Warmingham. Turn left and return to the Bear’s Paw.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 40m - Bear’s Paw
1 : km 0.75 - alt. 50m - Crabmill Lane
2 : km 2.46 - alt. 52m - Yew Tree Farm
3 : km 3.3 - alt. 50m - Canal bridge
4 : km 4.74 - alt. 47m - Metalled road
5 : km 5.4 - alt. 47m - Footpath
D/A : km 6.49 - alt. 40m - Bear’s Paw
No major difficulties, though section (2) may be muddy or even flooded after heavy rain.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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