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’.
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.
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).
The road is soon deserted in favour of a steep path up Willow Hill.
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.
The route now turned SSE across a field and past an electricity pole, before heading up fields to join the Sandstone Trail.
This is one of my favourite sections of the Sandstone Trail, as it heads along the top of the escarpment towards Raw Head.
En route, beside a rampant holly tree, a spring is encountered at the Dropping Stone.
A little further on, the summit of Raw Head has a trig point and a bench conveniently placed nearby. We enjoyed our lunch there.
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.
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.
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.
Once we were on Coppermine Lane, Jen’s description said ‘turn right between two gates’. We thought she meant here:
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.
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.