November Walk: Wardle Wanderings. Saturday 3rd

A walk centred on Middlewich, Cheshire with a special opportunity to see progress on the Middlewich breach.

OS Landranger 118   Pathfinder 775   Start at SJ 696671 (A53/T&M crossing)

Start 10.30am

Lunch planned at 12.45 at The King’s Lock/Cosy Tea Room, by lock 71 of the Trent & Mersey

This 5½ circular mile walk will see us walking in an anticlockwise direction, starting north of Middlewich on the Trent & Mersey Canal. We shall soon take a route cross-country, closely following the River Wheelock, going west of Mill Farm and then south to the Wheelock aqueduct via the Grade II listed 18th century Stanthorne Mill. We are due to meet CRT’s Clive Mitchell, Project Team Manager for the North West, at 11.30 at the Middlewich breach. This is a special visit for our group and an opportunity to see how work is progressing. The disaster happened on Thursday 15 March and the plan to re-open before Christmas is still the objective.

After the breach area we shall walk eastwards to the T&M, approached by the short Wardle Canal and its lock. There’s an excellent watering-hole, the King’s Lock Inn/Cosy Tea Room, with good food and ale. There’s a seating area outside between the pub and the canal.

If you plan to have some pub food, please let Kathy & Paul know your order by Tuesday 30 November. It’s a small pub and they will appreciate advance notice of our needs. The menu is attached.

After the lunch stop we shall walk south down the T&M as far as Cledford Lane, head east to the start of a footpath that passes north through old brine settling lagoons. We shall recover the T&M by lock 72 and then head north until we reach our start point, passing the Big Lock pub next to the 14ft lock which gives the pub its name.

As always, sturdy shoes/boots please – a particular request from CRT for the breach visit.

There is parking in the picnic area layby at the start (A53 Croxton Lane) but, should we have an unusually large number of vehicles, or if the layby is already filled, then we have a backstop parking arrangement nearby. This can be implemented on the day, if needed.

Any additional information, requests, or lunch orders, to Kathy & Paul Niblett in Stoke-on-Trent. Telephone 01782 641967 (answerphone enabled).