THIS walk takes you in a wide circle, through the countryside around Winwick.

A village steeped in history, the tall spire of its ancient church is rarely out of sight.

Turn right as you leave The Swan down Newton Road.

Cross the road at the traffic lights here and turn left towards Burtonwood, passing the entrance to the 5 Borough’s Hospital.

Turn right at the footpath sign; then walk down the grassy strip separating two fields.

From here Vulcan’s chimneys tower above flat fields, before your bear right, the hedge on your left.

Cut into the little wood bordering the field along here, where a path brings you back onto Newton road.

Turn left, and immediately right down Old Schoolhouse Lane, where a grassy path turns sharp left away from bungalows.

Keep ahead into the field, walking to the left of a hawthorn hedge and passing a pylon.

As you continue up the grassy strip dividing two fields Parkgate Colliery appears prominently in front.

Then pass the end of a hedge and keep ahead again down a grassy divide until, on reaching a facing hedge, your bear left to a cart-track which takes you down to the road.

Turn right here down Hermitage Green Lane, passing Hermitage Farm to reach The Hermit.

Turn left at the pub and pass through the tiny hamlet of Hermitage Green, which encircles this particularly bad double bend.

As you pass the last house, look over the fenced-in enclosure above the pond.

This is St Oswald’s Well.

Reputed to be the spot where St Oswald, saint and king of Northumbria, was slain, its water is deemed to have special healing powers.

Look out for the footpath sign on the right, where you climb stone steps to a stile and then walk above a field.

Veer right down the fence when you reach the motorway slip road.

Continue in the same direction to cross the A49.

Then drop down steep steps and bear left over a stile.

Continue ntil you reach Middleton Lane.

Then take the first opportunity to turn left, doubling back to pass a bungalow before going right along a footpath through the wood.

Skirt the pond on your right and climb up to the stile, clearly discernible beside an oak tree in the facing hedge.

Go ahead along the strip of grass lying between two fields, then make a right-angled turn to the road.

Here, you turn left to cross the motorway before descending steps on your right.

At the bottom bear right, and then left down a path between rough fields and a hedgerow, which brings you to The Plough at Houghton Green .

Turn right and left here down Radley Lane, then bear left again after a short distance, and at the entrance to Peel Hall Park bear right towards a pretty wood.

Walk through this, then make for the back of Peel Hall Kennels, after which a grassy track takes you to the motorway footbridge.

Skirt to the right of the wood ahead; then bear right again along a cart track to Mainfield, keeping ahead at the signpost on the way.

After passing the farm keep along the track to Arbury Farm.

Keep left at Arbury Croft down Arbury Road, and turn left again along Myddleton Lane.

After crossing over the motorway spur you walk back into Winwick.

Distance: 7 miles Start: Swan Tavern (SJ 605927)

NB: Restrictions on space mean this article provides a summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey