Country cousins: Pretty towns and villages dot Cheshire’s famous plain
Although the Sandstone Trail crosses rural Cheshire, there are several interesting and attractive towns and villages along the way.
The main ones are:
Frodsham is a vibrant medieval market town in north Cheshire at the northern end of the Sandstone Trail. Founded by the Saxons and mentioned in the Domesday Book, the town occupies an ancient site at the foot of Frodsham Hill where the River Weaver and the Manchester Ship Canal meet the broad Mersey Estuary. Frodsham is 9 miles north-east of Chester and easily reached by road, rail and air.
The town lies just off Junction 12 of the M56, has its own railway station on the Chester-Manchester line, and is only a short drive away from Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester airports.
Market day: Thursday—all along Main Street
Early closing: Wednesday
Parking: Station car park, Church Street; Moor Lane car park, off Main Street
Pubs: Bears Paw and Golden Lion, Main Street; Helter Skelter, Queen Street; Ring o’ Bells and Bulls Head, Overton
Cafes: Cottage Teashop, Main Street; Lunchbox, Church Street; Mia’s Coffee House, Eddisbury Square, off Church Street.
Toilets: In main car park off Main Street.
Mouldsworth is a quiet rural village close to the Sandstone
Trail on the edge of Delamere Forest. Less than 8 miles north-east of Chester, it’s easily reached by road and rail. Mouldsworth is on the B5393 between Ashton and Manley, and there are regular train services from Mouldsworth Station to Chester and Manchester. Mouldsworth Motor Museum is nearby.
Parking: Along Station Road
Pubs: The Goshawk, Station Road
Public toilets: None
Hatchmere is a compact settlement centred around a reed fringed, spring fed lake on the eastern edge of Delamere Forest. Long popular with day-trippers and forest visitors, it has a pub, Chinese restaurant and picnic area. It straddles a minor crossroads of the B5152
Frodsham-Delamere road and the well-known ‘switchback’ road through Delamere Forest.
Parking: Car park opposite Carriers Inn
Pubs: The Carriers Inn, Delamere Road
Public toilets: Closed.
Kelsall is a large, straggling village clinging to the western slopes of the sandstone ridge 10 kilometres/6 miles from Chester. Small fruit farms, market gardens and plant nurseries shelter below the hillside. Now bypassed, this quiet and attractive village has a medical centre, combined pharmacy and specialist off licence, several other shops and pubs.
Parking: Various places on the old A56 on Kelsall hill
Pubs: The Farmers Arms and Royal Oak Hotel, Chester
Road; Boot Inn, Boothsdale, Willington
Cafes: Summertrees Tearoom, Tirley Lane (on the Sandstone
Public toilets: None
Tarporley grew up on the old London-Chester coach road and is one of the largest and most prosperous villages in rural central Cheshire.
It is close to the halfway point on the Sandstone Trail and has excellent facilities including numerous shops, pubs and hotels, restaurants, cafes, banks and a petrol station, as well as clothing, craft, antique, chocolate and other specialist shops.
Parking: Public car parks behind the Rising Sun and the British Legion, both on the High Street
Pubs: The Swan Hotel, Rising Sun and Foresters Arms, High Street
Cafes: Number 6 Coffee Shop, High Street
Public toilets: North end of the High Street, opposite the NatWest bank.
Overview: Beeston Brook is a tiny roadside community near Tiverton
that grew up around the now disused Beeston Station, Beeston cattle
market and nearby Shropshire Union Canal. Less than 1 1/4 miles from the Sandstone Trail, it is easily reached via the canal towpath. Small shop, cafe and pub.
Beeston Market: Wednesday
Parking: Lay-by on A49
Pubs: Beeston Castle Hotel
Cafes: Lock Gate Cafe
Public toilets: Toilets for customers at the Beeston Castle Hotel.
Higher Burwardsley is a pretty rural hamlet high on the western slopes of Cheshire’s wooded central ridge, close to the Sandstone Trail. The nearby Cheshire Workshops is a popular day trippers’ destination.
Parking: Dedicated Sandstone Trail parking area in the front section of the Cheshire Workshops car park
Pubs: The Pheasant Inn
Cafes: Cheshire Workshops coffee shop and restaurant
Public toilets: Toilets for customers at the Pheasant and the Candle
No Man’s Heath
Now by-passed, the quiet residential village of No Man’s Heath has an attractive pub but few other amenities.
Parking: Roadside parking along the quieter parts of the old Chester
Pubs: The Wheatsheaf Inn and Restaurant, old Chester Road
Public toilets: None
Grindley Brook is a small roadside settlement that developed originally around the junction of the Llangollen Canal, the now disused railway, and the old turnpike road – now the A49. Facilities include the Lockside Stores, petrol station shop, a pub and cafe.
Parking: No parking alongside the busy A49
Pubs: Horse and Jockey Inn
Cafes: Lockside ‘@29’ cafe (with internet access), on the
Shropshire Union Canal
Public toilets: None
Whitchurch is a bustling old market town in north Shropshire at the southern end of the Sandstone Trail. Founded by the Romans – who named it Mediolanum, ‘the settlement in the middle of the plain’ – the town contains fine Georgian buildings, old inns, and the attractive
Queen Anne church of Saint Alkmund’s. Whitchurch is also famous for its clocks.
Market day: Friday.
Early closing: Wednesday.
Parking: Sherrymill Hill car park, at the north end of Jubilee
Pubs: The Red Lyon and The Black Bear, High Street; Red Cow
Inn, Pepper Street; Old Town Hall Vaults, St Mary’s Street; Fox &
Goose, Green End; Bulls Head, Watergate Street; and others
Cafes: Jones Coffee House, Green End; Fiona’s Coffee Shop, Watergate Street
Public toilets: White Lion Meadow; Brownlow Street car park. There are also toilets for customers at the bus station and Tesco’s
More Places of Interest
Looking for somewhere particular? Other places of interest along the Sandstone Trail, listed here roughly north to south, include:
Frodsham, Bear’s Paw Frodsham, Helter Skelter Frodsham, Overton, Ring o’ Bells Overton, Middle Walk, Overton Hill, Ladies Walk, Beacon Hill, Jacobs Ladder, Dunsdale Hollow, Baker’s Dozen steps, Abrahams Leap, Woodhouses, Woodhouses hillfort, Scout Rock, Snidley Moor Wood, The Ridgeway, Alvanley, Alvanley Cliff, Austerson Old Hall, Yarrangall Green, Simmonds Hill, the Ravelstone, New Pale Road, New Pale, Manley, Manley Common, Mouldsworth, The Goshawk pub, Delamere, Delamere Forest Park, Grey’s Gate, Go Ape!, Delamere Forest Visitor Centre, Barnesbridge Gates car park, ‘Switchback Road’, Fox Howl, Hatchmere, Blakemere, Pale Heights, Grey’s Gate, Eddisbury Lodge, Eddisbury hillfort, Eddisbury, Eddisbury Hill, Old Pale, Nettleford Wood, Hangingstone Hill, King’s Chair, Gresty’s Waste car park, Kelsall, Watling Street, the Yeld, Kelsall Hill, Organsdale, Walley’s Gate, Primrosehill Wood, King’s Gate, Roughlow Farm, Urchin’s Kitchen, Dogfall, Whistlebitch Well, Boothsdale, Boot Inn, Chapel Lane, Kelsborrow Castle, Summertrees tearoom, Pearl Hole, Sandy Lane, Rock Farm, Rock Lane, Willington, Wiilington Hall, Willington Corner, Utkinton, Old Gypsy Lane, Wood Lane, Fishers Green, Gullet Lane, Ash Hill, Back Lanes, Iddenshall Hall, Iddenshall Rough, Tarporley, Rising Sun Tarporley, Swan Inn Tarporley, Ferney Lees, Tiverton, Hulgrave Hall, Brassey Green, Beeston, Beeston Gap, Whartons Mill, Whartons Lock, Shropshire Union Canal, Shady Oak pub, Beeston Brook, River Gowy, Pudding Lane, Crib Lane, Beeston Crag, Beeston Castle, Beeston Iron Age hillfort, Beeston caves, Beeston well, Beeston treasure, Beeston village, Beeston Brook, Peckforton Castle, Peckforton, Peckforton elephant, Peckforton Oak, Peckforton hills, Stanner nab, Peckforton Cyclone, Horsley Bath, Horsley Lane, Cheshire Ice Cream Farm, Higher Burwardsley, Pheasant Inn, Candle Factory, Peckforton Gap, Bulkeley Hill, Name Rock, Coppermines Lane, Bickerton Poacher pub, Droppingstone, Droppingstone Well, Queen’s Parlour cave, Rawhead, Bloody Bones caves, Musket Hole, Tower Wood, Bickerton, Walesmonsway, Gallantry Bank, Bickerton church, Mad Allen’s Hole, Pool Dale, Brown Knowl, Fullers Moor, Larkton Hill, Maiden Castle, Cuckoo Rock, Hether Wood, Larkton Hall farm, Duckington, Hampton Green, Robber Hill, Nomansheath, No Mans Heath, Hampton, Hampton Post, Barhill Fall, Bickley Brook, Bickley, Bickley Wood, old St Chad’s chapel, Bluebell Inn, Bell o’ th’ Hill, Tushingham, Pearl Farm, Willeymoor, Willeymoor Lock, Willeymoor Lock Tavern, Tushingham Hall, Land of Canaan, Jackson’s Bridge, Grindley Brook, Llangollen canal, Whitchurch arm, Chemistry, Sherrymillhill, Jubilee Park, Whitchurch.
To learn more about the route of the Sandstone Trail and places along the way, as well as fascinating details, illustrated histories, old photographs, anecdotes and stories, buy the official Sandstone Trail guide: Walking Cheshire’s Sandstone Trail.