Distance; 6 miles (2hrs 45 minutes)
Route; From Appleton Village Hall, through urban paths to golf course, past woods, round the reservoir and back along the Bridgewater Canal. We followed Jen Darling’s Walks in West Cheshire and Wirral (Northern Eye Books, Cheshire). In the book, Jen Darling says that she lived in the area for more than 30 years and she certainly knows her stuff. One of her ‘fascinating facts’ is that Oliver Cromwell’s horse is reputed to be buried on this route. A good I-Spy task for any children walking, if they still do that sort of thing.
Amenities; NONE!! as this is an urban walk and there are therefore people about I strongly recommend you go before you leave the house for this one… Alternatively, you could go to the café at Walton Hall Gardens (see their website for opening times) or the London Bridge pub. I’m sure they have toilets.
This was a very easy walk with little ascent or descent. There were good views of the Cheshire plain and pleasant woodland paths. I particularly liked the ‘toytown’ version of London Bridge on the Bridgewater Canal which was almost as picturesque as the Red Lane bridge (pictured above). Just beyond London Bridge is what used to be the old tollhouse. Adjoining this is a mews with an exquisite little dual aspect room perched above the entrance to the courtyard. This tiny room has a view of the bridge and the canal. Light flows right through it and, as we walked, I imagined living there….. what a wonderfully inspiring room it would be to write in.
From here, a fifteen minute stroll through a dog-legged warren of alley ways arched with greenery took us back to the village hall and the free car park behind.