These notes are intended to help you enjoy walks around the Village when you are taking the opportunity to exercise. Please stay safe and obey the instructions given by the authorities during this coronavirus period. E.g. Please leave 2 metres between you and other walkers / cyclists. Only walk with family members, and do not converse with other people you meet on your route. The suggested walks last approximately 1hour at a steady pace. Where possible distances are given in metres. Some of the walks take advantage of the fact that there is little traffic using local roads at present, but please take care and walk facing oncoming traffic if there is no footpath.
These suggested routes have all been walked in the last ten days, but conditions across fields can change due to farming activity, or bad weather. Please keep to the designated footpaths. Fuller versions of these walks will be published in due course with lots of information of history, natural history or local geographical features to enjoy.
These walks and the information below are kept simple deliberately, as on these occasions it’s the exercise that is important. There are however many things to look out/listen for in spring
Peacock, small tortoishell, orange tip, comma, common & holy blue, brimstone
Chiff chaff, goldfinches, black cap, chaffinch, great spotted woodpecker, buzzard, sparrowhawk, grey heron, moorhen, coot, mallard & ducklings, kingfisher. house martins, swallows and swifts.
Celendines, marsh marigolds, lady smock, hawthorn, bull rush, yellow flag iris
Start at the entrance to Skips Lane at the end of Rowton Bridge Road and follow the Baker Way parish footpath. At the end of Skips Lane a narrow path on the left takes you to a kissing gate. Follow the path ahead of you diagonally towards the canal but take the route through another kissing gate, and then walk towards the canal. The footpath along this next section is very narrow, so please give way to other walkers if necessary. Go thorough a metal kissing gate and after 200m or so the path dips left away from the canal through a small copse to another kissing gate, and then follows the field boundary on your left towards a large marl pit, and a newly planted potato field. The main footpath then goes left and in a short time right, through another kissing gate and then follows a narrow path with a tall hedge on either side and comes out in the Capesthorne Road estate. Keep going south diagonally towards Fox Lane, passing the sign to Sheraton Road on your left, along a small passageway, and then walk along Fox Lane to the main road and Egg Bridge. Keep to the right over the bridge and then turn sharp right down a small path towards the canal. Turn left at this point, and then follow the canal towpath for 1,800m, back to Rowton Bridge and Christleton Village. On your way notice the Christleton/ Rowton Parish Boundary stone (CP/RT 1645-1995) on your left. In another 600m or so there is a new footpath via steps on your left, which leads to Rowton Poplars Restaurant & Pub which is now open. (Sept 2020). This is a good place to have a stop. Return across the field back to the canal towpath, turn west (left) and you will soon pass the Netherwood Caravan Park on your left, and the houses & canal side gardens of Skips Lane will be on your right. You end your walk at Rowton Bridge. (Bridge 120)
You could extend the walk a little by continuing walking to Quarry Bridge (121)+ 800m or Trooper Bridge(122) + 1100m, and then back along Pepper Street to the Village Green. + 500m
Start at Rowton Bridge (120) and take the canal towpath towards Chester passing the Cheshire Cat on your left and the former Dean’s Marina boatyard on your right. Walk along the towpath and go under Quarry Bridge (121). Note the former Butler’s Mill and the old Trooper Inn on your left and go under Trooper Bridge (122) and then in a short distance under the extension of the M53/ A55 road with the Law College gardens on your right, and soon reach Christleton Lock. Keep following the tow path until you reach the Ring Road lock. Don’t go under this bridge but take the slope up to the left and then turn right for a short distance and walk on the pavement for 100m or so towards Pearl Lane.
Turn right onto Pearl Lane and walk safely on the right side of the lane until you reach the bridge over the A55 and continue for another 150m until you reach the kissing gate on your right and take this footpath back towards Christleton. Follow the footpath keeping strictly to the path until you reach a kissing gate and a short passageway alongside the churchyard at St James, and a gateway onto Pepper Street. Turn left towards the village centre where you could end your walk on the Village Green, or continue back through the village to Rowton Bridge.
If the weather has made the footpath very muddy, an alternative is to walk into Littleton and at the crossroads follow the footpath on the right side along Littleton Lane back towards Littleheath Pit and Christleton Village, taking great care crossing the road before the dangerous bend opposite the Pit. (This adds 200m to your walk)
Start at the Lych gate to St James Church, and walk west along Pepper Street to the end of the churchyard wall, and turn right to take the field footpath to Pearl Lane and Littleton
The church is on your right and you go through the short passageway to the kissing gate, before taking the footpath across the fields to Pearl Lane. There is a kissing gate to get onto the lane. Walk carefully on the right side of the lane until you reach thecrossroads.
Cross over here with the old farm buildings on your left and Castle Cottage on your right.
Walk for 75m or so and bare right towards the entrance to Fir Tree Lane. Walk along the lane with the fields on your right for about 600m until you reach a footpath sign to the right, back towards Christleton village.
After 100m or so following the hedge, the footpath goes diagonally back right, through an old sandstone stile and then follows the field boundary until you reach another old stone stile, where you turn right onto Bricky Lane and walk for another 100m or so until you reach Little Heath Road, with Littleheath Pit on your left. Walk along the small footpath alongside the Pit and then turn left towards the Playing fields with the Alms Houses on your right. Take the footpath to the right at the end of the Alms Houses wall, through the metal gate to the Little Mere complex, and then right through the wooden kissing gate onto the meadow. Follow the mowed footpath right back towards a small copse of trees, and through a narrow passageway back to Little Heath Road. Turn left here and walk along the pavement back to the village centre and St James Church.
An extension to this walk is to go left through the meadow and take the gate at the field gate end, turn, right, then almost immediately left and follow the line of hedgerow and trees for 150m or so, before turning right and walking the footpath diagonally right towards Birch Heath Lane. Go through another old sandstone stile and turn right along the pavement back to the Village Green and St James’ Church. (+600m)
Start outside St James Church, or from the Village Green, cross the road carefully and then walk along the pavement of Birch Heath Lane to the footpath on your left just before you reach The Park. Go through this traditional Christleton old sandstone stile and follow the footpath diagonally left until you reach the line of trees. Keep to the right and follow the footpath to Birch Heath Common going through another 2 old sandstone stiles until you reach a large marl pit on your right. Continue walking along the green path around the pit/pond, passing a memorial seat to John Salter, and then follow the walkers path across the common. When you reach the low fence at the corner of Birch Heath Lane and Stamford Lane, cross over Birch Heath Lane and walk safely along the right hand side of the road towards Rake Lane, and the Plough Lane crossroads. Turn right here onto Plough Lane and walk on the pavement along Plough Lane back to the High School, and then right along Village Road back to the Village Green or St James’ Church.
Start at St James Church or the Village Green and go left (n) along Littleheath Road towards the Methodist Chapel and Littleheath Pit. Keep to the right alongside the black and white Dixon’s Alms Houses and take the footpath at the gate to Little Mere houses towards the Legion Meadow. Go through the wooden kissing gate and then take the mown path through the meadow to your left. When you reach another kissing gate turn right, and then after 20m or so, turn left and follow the hedge boundary footpaths to meet another footpath coming diagonally from Birch Heath Lane. Turn left onto the main footpath to Birch Heath Common going through two old red sandstone stiles, where the wooden slats are missing. You arrive at Birch Heath Common with a well filled woodland marl pit on your right, and you walk around the memorial seat to John Salter and onto Birch Heath common itself. Carry on across the common on a “walkers” path keeping Stamford Lane on your left until you reach the fence and the road junction between Stamford Lane, Birch Heath Lane and Rake Lane.
Cross over Birch Heath Lane walking towards Waverton at this point, and continue safely along the side of the road towards Rake Lane, but in 400m take the field footpath on your right. Follow the hedgerow on your right for another 400m until you reach a wooden stile. Turn right here onto a narrow path between the trees with Christleton High School/Sports Centre Grounds on your left. You will notice some intensive badger activity along this path and then when you almost reach Birch Heath Lane turn left along the continuing path for another 150m. At this point you cross over the road, turn to the left and follow the lane safely back towards the village with the houses of The Park on your left. Continue on the pavement back to the Village Green.
Start at the entrance to Skips Lane at the end of Rowton Bridge Road and follow the Baker Way parish footpath as in Walk 1. At the end of Skips lane, a narrow path on the left takes you through a ruined stone stile to a kissing gate. Follow the path ahead of you diagonally towards the canal but take the route through another kissing gate, and then walk towards the canal. The footpath along this next section is very narrow, so please give way to other walkers when necessary. Go thorough a metal kissing gate and after 200m or so the path dips left away from the canal through a small copse to another kissing gate, and then follows the field boundary on your left towards a large marl pit, and a newly planted potato field. The main footpath then goes left and in a short time you pass through a kissing gate at the side of a 6 bar farm gate, and walk towards Brown Heath Road. Immediately opposite, the Baker Way route takes you along a tree sheltered private road to Dolly Peg Hall. Take the narrow footpath ahead and left between the garage and the gated field with a caravan. This narrow path takes you to a metalled kissing gate with a planked bridge. Continue along the field footpath ahead of you, around a large marl pit on your right to another metal kissing gate. Continue across two more fields passing through the gaps in the hedgerows via metal kissing gates, each with a small planked bridge. When you reach the farm track lined with mature trees, you will spot the new red sandstone Cotton Cross to your left, and Cotton Abbotts Farm buildings in the distance on your right. Keep walking straight on into the next field, and take the diagonal path NE towards a large oak tree. Beeston Castle can be seen in the distance on your right. Go through another metalled kissing gate and small planked bridge, at the side of the big oak tree** onto Plough Lane. You can then turn left (westwards) and walk along the length of Plough Lane back to Christleton via Cheshire View, the Plough Inn, Brown Heath crossroads, and The High School. The first section of this road has no footpath so keep right and take care. Once you get near to Cheshire View there is a footpath back to the village.
You could add more distance to your walk by turning right at the metalled kissing gate ** when you reach Plough Lane, and follow the road to the right (east) for another 1000m or so to the Roman Bridges across the River Gowy at Hockenhull Platts. This is a delightful tree lined route along the ancient highway from Chester to London. After a stop, to admire the view, the historic bridges and the CWT Nature Reserve, return the way you have just walked and pick up the route along Plough Lane detailed above.
Start on Christleton Village Green and walk along Littleheath Road towards The Pit. Continue towards Littleton but turn right at the north side of the pit onto Bricky Lane. As you approach the house and garage ahead, go left towards the old stone stile, and then take the path to the right. Follow this footpath for 600m where it bends toward the left for another 100m before reaching another stone stile. Go right here and follow the field boundary for 700m until you reach a wooden stile, before continuing for another 400m along the field boundary towards Stamford Lane. Go over the wooden stile here onto the lane, and turn left towards Vicars Cross Golf Club. When you reach Tarvin Road, turn left and walk for 500m or so along the pavement, until you reach a signed footpath entrance on your left. Heathfield House is on your right and the narrow footpath ahead goes slightly left then right around the former Littleton Barn, now a private house. In the 1880's this was the seed warehouse for the famous Dobies Seeds Company.
At the end of the little passageway turn left for 50m then right, and through a narrow gap in the hedge onto Fir Tree Lane. The passageway at this point is quite narrow, but it soon opens out into a delightful tree lined lane. Continue along the lane until you reach Brickfield Lane cross paths, with white gates on your right and footpath signs to your left. **At this point you can turn left onto the footpath, walk to the south for 250m before turning right again(SP) on a diagonal path towards another old sandstone stile and then continue until you reach Bricky Lane and eventually Littleheath Pit. Walk to the Village Green.
If you want a longer walk, continue straight ahead along Fir Tree Lane until you reach the cross roads at the By Pass in Littleton. Cross the road carefully here and go onto Pearl Lane in the direction of Chester, and follow the lane for about 200m. Then take the footpath left towards Christleton village and head towards the church following the well used path along the hedgerows. When you reach the churchyard and Pepper Street, turn left and end your walk at the Village Green.
Please keep to the designated marked footpaths on this walk, and don't be swayed by other well worn paths that you come across. This area is also farmed intensively, so please don't stray off the paths and cause damage to the arable crops.