Sandstone Trail

A 36 mile traverse of sandstone outcrops from Frodsham to Whitchurch. A route which we’ve talked about and Graham decided to organise at the end of November. 

 An early start from Shrewsbury saw us take a direct train to Frodsham which as we stepped off dawn had barely broken. Importantly, we needed breakfast, and one was provided by Costa which set us up nicely as we walked up to monument above the town. The forecast was not great and we lingered only briefly at the viewpoint looking out at the refineries before turning and setting off along the escarpment. We made good time and by 10.30 we were into Delamere forest on good tracks and a cafe stop. As we left, the weather had been steadily looking more ominous. We headed south leaving the tree cover towards Taporley, and then the rain came. Quickly donning our waterproofs we continued into the rising wind across open fields towards Beeston, difficult conditions under foot made our progress more laborious and Beeston Castle seemed to be elusively distant. 

 Eventually we were beneath the rocky ramparts and a sense of the end of day in sight. Tim stiffened our resolve not be tempted by the castle cafe but to press on to the day’s end at the Pheasant Inn. Half an hour later we crossed the finishing line and planted ourselves beside the fire. After spending the evening in Nantwich the following day we were taxied back to the Pheasant Inn to recommence battle; Raw Head was our first target for the day which reminded me of my sore feet, with the weather prospects looking increasingly threatening . 

 However, the rain held off as we traversed Bickerton and Larkton Hill we enjoyed reasonable views of the surrounding countryside, although, Ellie was nearly blown away at one point. We stopped for a snack under cover afforded by the southern flank of Larkton Hill looking towards the final 7 miles weaving its way through the relatively flat agricultural fields of south Cheshire. This was the unglamorous section and meant getting our heads down and soldiering on. We eventually staggered onto the canal tow path and a very welcome pub which raised spirits and with only a mile or so remaining we celebrated our triumph. 

 

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