Woodhouse & Helsby Hills

Two hillforts, mixed walking in farmland and woodland, and rocky outcrops with wide views.

Technical sheet
No. 15499432
A Alvanley walk posted on 04/10/21 by Walks from the Door. Update : 04/10/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h20[?]
Distance Distance : 9.59km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 199m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 198m
Highest point Highest point : 140m
Lowest point Lowest point : 25m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Alvanley
Starting point Starting point : N 53.260812° / W 2.754996°
Download : -


(D/A) From the front door of the White Lion, facing the church, cross the road and turn right past the lynch gate. Before the first house on the left, turn left and follow the field edge to a kissing gate on your right.

(1) Pass briefly between hedge and fence, then turn right across the field on your right. Go through a gap and follow the right-hand edge of the next field. On reaching a kissing gate (on your right) at a junction of paths, turn half-left and walk diagonally to a stile by a gate. Cross and continue in a similar direction to a kissing gate. Cross a paddock behind the farm to a kissing gate in the far left-hand corner. Follow the right-hand side of the next field to a kissing gate into a lane.

(2)Turn right and follow the road for 300 yards, passing a series of entrances. Beyond a layby, cross and turn left at a Sandstone Trail fingerpost signposted to Woodhouse Hill and Frodsham. Walk down the right-hand side of a series of fields until you reach a foot-bridge into a wood.

(3) Swing left past a bench, then turn right up the wooded bank (steps) before dropping to meet the road opposite a holiday park. Turn left for a short distance then leave the road, turning hard right into a track behind the mobile homes (still following the Sandstone Trail). Pass a pond and continue along the Trail as it slowly ascends, ignoring Woodland Trust paths to the right and left. After a sunken section with rocky outcrops, you reach a T-junction with a bench at the woodland edge; turn left. Follow the path just inside the wood with open fields to your right, then bear left alongside the mossy remains of a wall as you skirt Woodhouse hillfort on your left.

Guided by Sandstone Trail waymarks, descend steps to a contouring path; turn right past a bench and viewpoint. Wind past a golf course on your right and descend a rocky section then bear left over a footbridge below more rocks. At a junction turn left, sign-posted “Carriage Drive” (unless you wish to try the Jacob’s Ladder scramble up the cliff ahead of you, returning via the Baker’s Dozen steps on the Sandstone Trail).

(4) The Carriage Drive descends below a red sandstone cliff to meet a wall on the left. To visit the Netherton Hall, carry on ahead descending alongside the wall to meet the metalled road, which you follow to the A56 and the pub, returning the same way. Otherwise, leave the Carriage Drive down the stone steps, then descend steeply down the hillside. Bear left within the wood across the bottom of a valley then climb a wooded spur be-yond. Follow the path as it twists and turns along the bottom of the wood until you meet a metalled drive. Turn right and follow the drive down to Tarvin Road.

(5) Take a few steps to the left then turn right down Chestnut Lane. Beyond the last of the houses cross a footbridge and go through the gate in front of you. Follow the path ahead along a field edge and then between gardens to a road. Cross and go through a kissing gate opposite, bearing right across the field to enter another narrow path between gardens.

(6) When you emerge in Bates Lane, turn right and walk down to the junction with Old Chester Road. Turn left for a short distance, then turn left up a narrow path (signposted Helsby Hill) before a white-painted cottage. Climb the wooded hill to a path junction, where you turn right over a stile.

(7) Take the higher path (signposted to “Hill Top”). Climb up through the trees until you emerge in an open area above the crags of Helsby Hill. Having admired the view, pass the trig point and follow the path above the cliff edge which passes below a field then drops down into the trees and starts to descend. When you reach the top of a road, go through the gate and descend to the road junction.

(8) Turn left past the car park for Helsby Quarry and follow the road past Alvanley House. Keep on along past The Paddock, Alvanley Drive and Nemos Close.

(9) Keep straight on along Helsby Road at the junction with Back Lane. After a stretch with no footway, pass the end of Primrose Lane as you approach Alvanley. When you meet the B5393, turn right and pass the Primary School on your way back to the White Lion.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 76m - White Lion
1 : km 0.42 - alt. 83m - Hedge and fence
2 : km 1.12 - alt. 94m - Commonside Lane
3 : km 2.08 - alt. 68m - Bench
4 : km 4.67 - alt. 78m - The Carriage Drive
5 : km 6.08 - alt. 41m - Tarvin Road
6 : km 6.81 - alt. 46m - Bates Lane
7 : km 7.3 - alt. 83m - Signpost
8 : km 8.37 - alt. 80m - Car park
9 : km 8.84 - alt. 73m - Back Lane
D/A : km 9.59 - alt. 76m - White Lion

Useful Information

Some moderate ascents and descents with short rocky or uneven sections, and some steep drops. Muddy or overgrown in places in season. Some road walking at the end.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The views from craggy Helsby Hill (1413) stretch from the Clwydian mountains in the west to the cathedrals of Liverpool to the north. Recent additions to the view are the windfarm on Frodsham Marsh, which came into operation in February 2017, and the Mersey Gateway bridge, which opened in October 2017. Also visible are the M56 motorway (opened 1971) and the Manchester Ship Canal (opened 1894).

Jacob's Ladder is a short scramble up a sandstone cliff. Although not part of the route as described, enterprising walkers can try it out, returning via Baker's Dozen steps on the Sandstone Trail. The scramble starts at the junction of the Trail with the Carriage Drive above Netherton.

The Sandstone Trail is a 34-mile long-distance footpath from Frodsham to Whitchurch the wooded Mid-Cheshire Ridge, offering some of the most scenic walking in the country and fine views from the numerous sandstone edges.

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