Lymm & the Penny Ferry

Much of interest, including a visit to historic Lymm and an (optional) crossing of the eccentric Penny Ferry.

Technical sheet
No. 15803560
A Grappenhall and Thelwall walk posted on 12/10/21 by Walks from the Door. Update : 20/10/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h35[?]
Distance Distance : 7.65mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 82ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 82ft
Highest point Highest point : 135ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 33ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Grappenhall and Thelwall
Starting point Starting point : N 53.372082° / W 2.543825°
Download : -


(D/A) From the front door of the Parr Arms, turn left and walk down the cobbled village street past the church. Cross the canal bridge, and turn right to join the canal towpath in front of a white-painted house. Continue along the tow path to pass under the A50. An aqueduct carries you discreetly over Cliff Lane, and the next landmark, after a further half-mile, is Pickering’s Bridge. Continue over another aqueduct after a further 400 yards, then after another three-quarter of a mile pass under the M6. 600 yards further on you pass under the A56 and the towpath briefly follows a driveway.

(1) You finally leave the canal after passing over Barsbank Lane Aqueduct: double-back left down a track, then turn left under the canal. Climb Barsbank Lane to the A56, and turn left to the Crown at Lymm.

(2) Opposite the Crown, follow the tarmac path to the right of St Winefride’s Catholic Church. Walk down the side of a football pitch then follow the path to the right between pitches beyond a litter bin. Follow the path through a play area and exit the park into Maltmans Road.

(3) At the end of the road, opposite the United Reformed Church, turn right then left into Davies Way. Pass the library and walk through a car park, keeping left to follow the canal. Cross the Bridgewater Street aqueduct and proceed along the canalside to the A6144. Head right if visiting Lymm Cross and the village centre.

(4) Otherwise, turn left over the bridge, then at the end of Dane Bank Road double back on yourself past some canalside cottages (“Lymm Bridge nos 1–7”) to return to the canal. Turn right and follow the towpath. Cross the Bridgewater Street aqueduct again and continue, to pass under a road bridge. 450 yards beyond the bridge, turn right onto a narrow signposted path between gardens. Cross Statham Avenue and follow the path opposite. Cross the Trans-Pennine Trail (here following a disused railway) and again follow the path opposite.

(5) On reaching Albany Road, turn left past a parade of shops and then right into Whitesands Road. Pass The Farthings on the right, and follow Whitesands Road round to the left. Fifty yards beyond the bend, turn right down another narrow path between houses. Cross and turn left along Whitbarrow Road.

(6) After 140 yards, turn right down another narrow path blocked by a bollard. After a gate, pass between fishing lakes and cross a broad ditch, beyond which the path bends left by another overgrown pool. Follow the winding path through trees until it emerges in the corner of the field, where you bear right and follow the field edge to a gate into a track. Turn left then immediately right, into a hedged green lane that leads to the Ship Canal. A permitted bridleway to the left follows the canal and passes under the two Thelwall Viaducts. Continue in a similar vein along the canal, passing through a waymarked gate, and then a further gate a little way on. Follow the path as it leaves the canalside and climbs slightly before returning close to the water’s edge.

(7) Continue along the canal until you join a metalled track, which leads to the bottom of Ferry Lane, Thelwall. Turn right to reach the Penny Ferry. (If the ferry is not running, turn left along Ferry Lane, then turn right by the Pickering Arms and follow Thelwall New Road for a mile to Latchford Locks; turn left into Bradshaw Lane and jump to step (8) below.)

If the ferry is operating, use it to cross the Ship Canal then turn left along a broad track that runs parallel to the canal. Pass an industrial estate on your right, then continue along the potholed entrance road before turning left in front of a house to cross the enormous lock gates at Latchford Locks (take care: deep water). Walk between the locks to the second lock-gate crossing, then wind your way as directed to the other side of the canal. On reaching the road, turn left then immediately right into Bradshaw Lane.

(8) Pass under the disused railway and continue along the road until you meet the A50 Knutsford Road. Cross at the crossing and follow East View, opposite.

(9) Cross the A56 Chester Road into Lindi Drive opposite. Follow the road round to the right by the end of Portola Close, to St Wilfrid’s Drive. Cross the road and turn left, looking out for a path on your right after 50 yards that leads to the Bridgewater Canal. Turn left along the towpath. Leave the towpath as you approach the next canal bridge, and turn right over the bridge to return to the Parr Arms.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 115ft - Parr Arms
1 : mi 2.45 - alt. 89ft - Barsbank Lane Aqueduct
2 : mi 2.79 - alt. 135ft - The Crown
3 : mi 3.16 - alt. 121ft - Davies Way
4 : mi 3.32 - alt. 92ft - Bridge
5 : mi 3.84 - alt. 56ft - Albany Road
6 : mi 4.07 - alt. 56ft - Whitbarrow Road
7 : mi 5.86 - alt. 46ft - Penny Ferry
8 : mi 6.94 - alt. 56ft - Disused railway
9 : mi 7.25 - alt. 82ft - Chester Road
D/A : mi 7.65 - alt. 115ft - Parr Arms

Useful Information

Several suburban interludes with some road walking. The Penny Ferry (11p per head as of summer 2017) operates 7 days a week from 7–9am, 12–2pm and 4–6pm, but may not run in even quite moderate winds. An alternative route avoiding the ferry is described below. Some short sections may be muddy after rain or slightly overgrown in summer.

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

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.