Cheshire – A Dog Walker’s Guide: Frodsham

Parking: Beacon Hill free car park.

Distance: 4 miles.

Ordnance Survey Maps: Explorer 267 Northwich and Delamere Forest (GR: SJ519766).

Dog Factors:

Road walking: 50 yards at the beginning and end, and a couple more similar stretches in between. Also about 150 yards on a roadside bank (this could be doubled if bypassing cows).

Livestock: The one field where there may be cattle is easily bypasses – see text.

Stiles: None.

Nearest vets: Ashcroft Veterinary Surgery, Frodsham.

The Walk

Leaving the car park turn right on the road and in 50 yards take a sunken track on the left, signed with the footprint logo of the Sandstone Trail. The track leads on to a golf course, which you cross to reach a T-junction of paths. Go left here and immediately down steps, followed by another flight signed as the ‘Baker’s Dozen’. At the bottom, in Dunsdale Hollow, bear left to climb again, then continue on rocky steps up the cliff side. Now simply keep ahead on the level main path to reach a clearing with a seat and an information panel.

Take the path on the left here, going uphill, and curving around Woodhouse Hill, with its Iron Age fort on the right. After running along the edge of the wood, the path eventually turns left to a junction in a hollow.

Keep ahead here (now leaving the Sandstone Trail) and continue uphill through Snidley Moor Wood. At the path division, take the centre path going up log steps and, at the top of the rise, keep ahead on a wide hedged track. After passing through a wooden gate the track soon meets a road.

Turn left here and continue along the bank for 150 yards to a kissing gate on the left. Go through a bear right to cross the top corner of the field, then pass through a similar gate and descend to a farm access track.

(This field has an upper and a lower level and is often grazed by cattle. If the cattle are on the lower level, you will not see them, nor they you, until you almost reach the gate. But if they should be on the upper level, keep ahead beside the road (with care) for a further 150 yards, then turn down the farm access to pick up the route.)

Go up the bank on the opposite side of the track, through a kissing ate, and down a narrow path alongside the golf course. The path bends right and finally emerges in a field. Keep straight ahead through a gap to the road.

Turn left up the road and in 50 yards go right to pas Overhill Cottage and pick up a signed path. Continue on this through a gate, across the end of a tarmac access road, and down across rough ground on the side of the hill.

Reaching a road (take care), turn right downhill, then in 50 yards go left in front of the Belle Monte Hotel. Take the path into the woods at the back of the forecourt, and immediately fork left. A little farther along, at a Sandstone trail fingerpost, fork left again and climb up steps to come out at the war memorial and viewpoint.

7  Continue now on the path that starts near the toposcope, signed with the Sandstone Trail logo. At a fork keep right and continue on this main path as it weaves up and down along the hillside, passing a quarry and going under overhangs of rock. After a viewpoint with a seat you reach a wooden signpost indicating Beacon Hill car park to the left, and can simply retrace your steps across the golf course to the start.

From Cheshire – A Dog Walker’s Guide, by author Judy smith, is published by Countryside Books, available from local bookshops, Countryside Books, 3 Catherine road, Newbury, Berkshire; (ISBN 978 1 84674 302 3).

It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.