A short farmland walk offering good views over the village, and a brief but pleasant stretch alongside the River Wheelock, frequented by Kingfishers.
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 to the Bear’s Paw, turn right across the bridge over the River Wheelock. Turn left into the churchyard and walk clockwise round the church, noticing the Norman cross base on the far side. Return to the road and turn left, passing the fine half-timbered wing of Church House on your right. Keep along the road past a farm on your left, keeping a keen eye out for the traffic once the verge narrows.
(1) After half a mile, well before a house on the left, take a welcome footpath signposted on the right. The path beyond drops to cross a footbridge over a stream then follows the hedge beyond. In the next field turn right then immediately left over a stile and walk along the edge of the field, in the same direction as before. Keep to the left in the next field as you approach Ridding Farm.
(2) Well before you reach the farm buildings, look out for a stile on the left before a pond, and at this point turn 90° right and walk boldly across the field, aiming for an oak tree. The line of the path may not be obvious. Pass to the right of the tree and follow the broken line of trees beyond, passing an overgrown pond partway along. Cross into the next field via a belt of young trees. Keep to the left-hand edge of this field until you see a stile on your left, before you reach the line of pylons.
(3) Turn right at the stile and strike out across the field. A hedge joins from the left, which you follow to the far side of the field. Beyond the stile head across the next field, aiming just left of a gap on the far side where you will find another stile. Keep along the right-hand side of the subsequent field, and then cross a stile and follow the path downhill with woodland on your right. Cross a footbridge and skirt the next field to meet the River Wheelock, where you turn right. Keep alongside the river as it curves left and passes through a garden. At the road, turn left to cross the bridge back to the Bear’s Paw.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 40m - Bear’s Paw
1 : km 0.51 - alt. 45m - Footpath
2 : km 1.37 - alt. 51m - Pond
3 : km 1.92 - alt. 50m - Pylons
D/A : km 2.96 - alt. 40m - Bear’s Paw
The opening section is along a busy road with narrow verges; later sections may be muddy after rain and you may encounter cattle in the fields.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
An extended walk visiting many of the Sandbach Flashes (lakes formed by subsidence following salt extraction) and including sections along the Trent and Mersey Canal and River Wheelock.
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