A historic town centre, pretty stream valleys and an easy canalside return.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) From the front door of the Cheshire Cheese, turn right over the canal. Immediately over the bridge, go down steps on your right to a narrow canalside path (on the opposite side to the main towpath). Walk along the canal for a short distance then, beyond a car park at the back of the Zan industrial estate, turn left. Walk down and cross a stream. Follow the path upstream beyond the footbridge.
(1) Pass under a railway bridge and cross a footbridge over a boggy patch. Continue through trees to another footbridge into a field. Turn left and walk along the bottom of the sloping field. Follow the path over a footbridge on your left and bear right between gardens to emerge opposite Sandbach Mill. Turn left, over the millstream and up the road. Cross the end of Mill Hill Drive, then turn right into an alleyway by a substation. After a right-hand bend, emerge on Coronation Crescent, where you turn left. Turn left at a T-junction (Town Fields) then right at the next (Hungerford Place).
(2) On reaching Third Avenue, turn right. Turn left into Price Avenue, then immediately right into the unsurfaced Price Drive. Cross Fairfield Avenue onto a continuation of the path and pass a children’s play area to emerge at the end of Newell Avenue. Follow Flat Lane (ahead) with new housing on your right. Cross Union Street and continue along Flat Lane.
(3) Cross the A533 at the crossing and continue along an alleyway. On emerging in the town centre, cross the road into the square, and walk to the right of the Sandbach Crosses. Bear right past the Lower Chequer and right again behind the church (Crown Bank/Church Street). Keep straight on at the junction with Well Bank and then at the end of Bath Street turn right, out to the main road.
(4) Cross over and turn left across the stream. Cross Old Mill Road at the pedestrian crossing and turn right. Pass the entrance to Birch Gardens then, after the sign but before the roundabout itself, take a footpath off to the left. Go through a kissing gate and turn left, uphill along the edge of the field with houses on your left and a farm away to your right. At the top of the field, head out into the farm drive and follow it out to a road.
(5) Turn left along the road (ignore the footpath on your left), passing through bungalows to a T-junction. Turn right past the end of Coldmoss Drive, then turn left into a driveway with a footpath sign. When the drive bends right towards the house, turn left along the hedge at the bottom of the gardens on your left. Shortly, bear right, downhill to some steps and a footbridge.
(6) Follow the hedge opposite to the top of the field, then cross another narrow field to reach a metalled farm drive. Go straight across through a metalled kissing gate and bear right, passing right of an old oak and then through a kissing gate and to the left of the large house aptly named Tall Chimneys. The path leads pleasantly through trees down to a track over a bridge across the River Wheelock. Cross the track and take the path opposite through the kissing gate, with the river on your right (diverting into the woods if necessary at a muddy spot).
(7) As you near the motorway, cross a footbridge over the river on your right and bear left up the bank. Keep left along the top of the wooded valley then, 100 yards or so short of the motorway, bear right across the field to a stile. Cross a second field to a double stile into a lane. Turn right (away from the motorway) along the lane for 400 yards then, at a right-hand bend, take a footpath on the left.
(8) Walk down to the canal then turn left for a short distance to lock 59. Squeeze carefully past the end of the fence onto the lock surround, walk pass both sets of lock gates and cross the canal via the footbridges beyond the second pairs of gates. Turn right along the towpath. Pass lock 60 and go under its adjacent bridge (149) and similarly for lock 61 and bridge 150. Beyond lock 62 (with the houses of Malkin’s Bank on the opposite side) you cross a short canal arm then pass lock 63 and bridge 151.
(9) After lock 64 you pass under the disused railway bridge (now carrying the Wheelock Rail Trail) and continue along the towpath to adjacent locks 65 and 66. Pass under bridge 152 and the larger bypass bridge. Continue along the towpath to Wheelock Wharf, where you leave the canal to pass through the Crewe Road Car Park back to the Cheshire Cheese.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 174ft - Cheshire Cheese
1 : mi 0.26 - alt. 187ft - Railway bridge
2 : mi 0.84 - alt. 217ft - Third Avenue
3 : mi 1.23 - alt. 223ft - A533
4 : mi 1.55 - alt. 197ft - Stream
5 : mi 1.96 - alt. 223ft - Houdings Lane
6 : mi 2.33 - alt. 200ft - Footbridge
7 : mi 3.02 - alt. 210ft - Footbridge
8 : mi 3.65 - alt. 243ft - Canal
9 : mi 4.63 - alt. 194ft - Disused railway bridge
D/A : mi 5.07 - alt. 174ft - Cheshire Cheese
Some paths may be muddy after rain, or slightly overgrown. One urban interlude with some road walking. Deep water alongside the canal.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
An easy stroll that packs a lot into its short distance.
Two contrasting waterways lead you through pleasant Cheshire countryside.
A short farmland walk offering good views over the village, and a brief but pleasant stretch alongside the River Wheelock, frequented by Kingfishers.
An interesting walk that visits several of the Sandbach Flashes, a series of intriguing lakes formed by subsidence after salt extraction.
An extended walk visiting many of the Sandbach Flashes (lakes formed by subsidence following salt extraction) and including sections along the Trent and Mersey Canal and River Wheelock.
Locks, bridges and aqueducts on the Trent & Mersey and Macclesfield Canals (with an optional 1-mile extension to their junction).
A wooded stroll with a visit to a rewarding church, passing a stately home (private) and some interesting remnants of its estate.
Field and quarry paths up to the famous folly, with superb views in all directions, and a pleasant canalside return.
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