Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Friday, 16 November 2018

Friday 16 November 2018 – Raw Head

1601pheasant1

On our way home from Porthmadog we decided to recce another of Jen Darling’s routes, to provide feedback for the text of her new edition of ‘Pub Walks in Cheshire’.

This walk is entitled ‘Rawhead’ and it starts from the Pheasant Inn in Burwardsley, pictured above. There’s an interesting history of the pub on its website.

After coffee and cake at the nearby Cheshire Workshops, we started outside the pub and headed off down the hill, past a small Methodist chapel.

1603chapel

Two estate cottages are named Meshach and Shadrach. I’ll leave the reader to contemplate the reason for this (to be explained in Jen’s book in due course).

1604Meshach1605Shadrach

The road is soon deserted in favour of a steep path up Willow Hill.

1606steps

After we had met a couple of people with clacking sticks, and Sue had scrumped some apples which we later enjoyed for our dessert, we walked briefly along Sarra Lane and found the booty that resulted from the clacking and the distant gunshots.

1608pheasants

The route now turned SSE across a field and past an electricity pole, before heading up fields to join the Sandstone Trail.

1609towood

This is one of my favourite sections of the Sandstone Trail, as it heads along the top of the escarpment towards Raw Head.

1610Sandstonetrail11612Sandstonetrail2

En route, beside a rampant holly tree, a spring is encountered at the Dropping Stone.

1615DroppingStone31614DroppingStone2

A little further on, the summit of Raw Head has a trig point and a bench conveniently placed nearby. We enjoyed our lunch there.

1616Rawhead11618Rawhead3

Normally there are good views from the escarpment over the Cheshire plain to Liverpool, and to the hills of North Wales. I think the Shropshire hills can also be seen. However, today it was misty. At least it wasn’t raining, and the autumn colours were still pleasing to the eye.

1623STview6

Soon after leaving the trig point, Musket’s Hole is traversed. Looking back at the deep gully you can admire the eroded sandstone, before heading onwards to Chiflik Farm.

1624MusketsHole1

After passing Chiflik Farm, signs to Coppermine Lane are followed. The sole remnant of the copper mine, apart from some mineshafts, is a lone chimney which appears to be dated 1856.

1629chimney11630chimney2

Once we were on Coppermine Lane, Jen’s description said ‘turn right between two gates’. We thought she meant here:

1631noentry

She didn’t. We soon found the gates, and in gathering gloom, although it was only mid afternoon, we continued – now back on the Sandstone Trail – over Bulkeley Hill and back to the Pheasant Inn.

1621pheasant2

This was another very pleasant ‘Pub Walk’ in a lovely area. Here’s the route, which without any diversions is about 9.2 km (5.75 miles), with about 250 metres of ascent. It took us 2.5 hours plus stops.

1640route

4 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

I bet most of those pheasants will be palmed off onto friends and relations who wont have the motivation, or desire to pluck and cook , and then they'll end up in the bin, all for the gratification of those who have actually ENJOYED killing them.

Phreerunner said...

I got the impression that the pheasants were most sought after and would all find their way into tasty suppers. I think the pheasant shooting is very much a tradition around here, although the pub has only had that name since the 1970s. I'm reluctant to condemn, and death by shooting may be a lot less painful than death by car tyre....

AlanR said...

Raw Head Rang a bell with me. Only when I checked the map it became clearer. I did a few walks around here which included the castles and the hotel at Peckforton. It’s a nice walking area with quite expansive views from what I remember.
Pheasant can be bought for a couple of quid in the butchers at this time of year. Shows that the demand is less than supply.

Phreerunner said...

The Sandstone Trail has numerous excellent walking routes that can be made into circuits. This particular walk could also be done from the Bickerton Poacher, marked just off our route on Sandy Lane (the main road).

I picked up a 'ready for the oven' pheasant today - £4.50 - a sideline of our Fleetwood fishmonger.