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Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail

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Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail
Author: Claire, Published: 18 Feb 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guidestar1 Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guidestar1 Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guidestar1 Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guidestar0 Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guide
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guide boot Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guide boot Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail Walking Guide
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A 3 mile circular walk taking in the Bickerton Hills which form part of the Sandstone Trail in Cheshire. A really popular route with walkers, the trail is fairly strenuous but you will be rewarded throughout with stunning views of the surrounding valleys. On clear days it is possible to see as far as the Liver Building and Ellesmere Port.

The route has many climbs and descents, some of which are fairly steep. There are 4 stiles (which are tall and do have wire fencing around so dogs may need a lift over), a few kissing gates and several flights of steps set into the woodland and sandstone trail. The paths can get quite muddy after periods of wet weather and the paths are very uneven with rocks and tree roots, so sturdy waterproof boots are recommended. Whilst the route is just over 3 miles in length, the undulating nature of the terrain adds further distance so allow 1.5 to 2 hours.

The walk starts from the car park alongside the Bickerton Poacher pub which is on the A534 Wrexham Road in Bulkeley. Approximate post code SY14 8BE.

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Walk Sections

Start to Coppermine Lane
Start to Coppermine Lane

Start point: 53.0855 lat, -2.7125 long
End point: 53.0872 lat, -2.7189 long

From the Bickerton Poacher pub car park, cross over the village road with care and take the signed footpath opposite. Go up the steps and through a kissing gate and follow the fenced path heading fairly steeply uphill. Keep left at the first fork, continuing uphill. Go up the blockwork steps and through another gate to continue on the steep woodland path.

At the top of the hill you’ll reach a T-junction with a three-way signpost. Take the left hand turn signed to Coppermine Lane. Cross over the stile ahead and keep straight on past the cottage on the left. A little further on, look out for a stile on the right within the fence line. Cross the stile and follow the short grass path which emerges through a gap in the hedge and over another stile onto Coppermine Lane.

Coppermine Lane to Sandstone Trail
Coppermine Lane to Sandstone Trail

Start point: 53.0872 lat, -2.7189 long
End point: 53.0815 lat, -2.7261 long

Turn left along Coppermine Lane taking care of any traffic. Follow the lane heading steadily downhill passing Lilac Cottage on the left. As the lane bends hard left, fork right up the steps and over a stile alongside a cave.

If you glance to your left here, you will see a tall chimney over the brow of the hill. The sandstone hills have been quarried and mined for copper since the 17th century, and this Grade II listed engine house chimney is a remnant of that mining industry.

Keep straight ahead following the path winding downhill with the fence immediately to the right. Cross the small brook using the sleeper bridge and then continue on the opposite side climbing up the steep steps. Follow the obvious path and some distance later at the fence corner you will come to the sign post for the Sandstone Trail.

Sandstone Trail to Rawhead
Sandstone Trail to Rawhead

Start point: 53.0815 lat, -2.7261 long
End point: 53.0885 lat, -2.7354 long

Turn right to follow the Sandstone Trail. Join the stone lane heading uphill and signed to Rawhead passing to the left of the large stone farmhouse. After the farmhouse, pass through a metal kissing gate and continue on the well worn fenced trail.

Enjoy this short relatively level section with great views across to the right. The entire Sandstone Trail is a 34 mile long-distance-path from Frodsham to Whitchurch. This walk follows just a short part of the trail but the views are particularly good in this section with the Liverpool skyline visible on clear days.

Continue on the trail as it begins to gently wind and undulate through the woodland. There are many viewpoints on the left where you can have chance to catch your breath and enjoy the views to the east. Eventually you will reach the trig point at Rawhead where the views are at their best.

Rawhead to Woodland Gate
Rawhead to Woodland Gate

Start point: 53.0885 lat, -2.7354 long
End point: 53.0899 lat, -2.7138 long

Rawhead is the highest point on the Sandstone Trail sitting at 227 metres (746 feet) above sea level. The trail follows the Mid-Cheshire Ridge – an ancient red sandstone ridge – and there is evidence of a settlement in these hills dating back to the Neolithic or Bronze Age.

Continue past the trig point on the waymarked Sandstone Trail. After a few twists and turns you’ll pass by the wooden steps on the left which are the access point to Droppingstone Well. Don’t take the steps, just stay on the main trail and soon you’ll pass under and alongside some impressive rock outcrops.

At the end of the woodland trail, pass through a kissing gate and turn right onto a narrow stone track. Continue straight ahead at the junction on the wider stone lane and follow this for some distance, ignoring the path heading into the fields on the left. At the next crossroads (with Coppermine Lane) continue straight ahead onto the footpath into the field signed to Bulkeley Hill. At the end of the field you will come to a kissing gate on the edge of woodland.

Woodland Gate to End
Woodland Gate to End

Start point: 53.0899 lat, -2.7138 long
End point: 53.086 lat, -2.714 long

Pass through the gate and a few paces later you will reach a three-way signpost. Here you fork right, leaving the Sandstone Trail, taking the smaller path signed to Stonehouse Lane and Bickerton Poacher. Follow the path as it swings right and after a short distance fork right again (signed for Bickerton Poacher) passing through a metal kissing gate and onto an open grass path.

At the next three-way signpost turn left (again signed Bickerton Poacher). Take care down this short steep slope and through a metal kissing gate. This woodland path soon emerges to a T-junction with the steep path you began the walk on. Turn left to follow the path downhill back to the Bickerton Poacher for some well-earned refreshments.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

5 comments for "Bickerton Hills and Sandstone Trail"

Fantastic walk with some beautiful views. Steep climbs are worth it.

By meaghan on 20 Feb 2015

Stunning views, history and adventure, woods, hills steep cliffs, caves, mines and chimneys galore. Wasn't sure if I was on a walk or in a lord of the rings movie, expected trolls and orcs around every corner. Really simple walk to follow with options for further exploration if you wish. If you don't want to park at the pub park at the end of copper mine lane and join the walk there

By Lyndslee on 30 May 2015

Jan 2016 wet and muddy but good fun. Great views, but tough for my dad at 77 but for me great. Pub for lunch great too

By carolegeorgi on 09 Jan 2016

Great walk with some beautiful views over the Cheshire countryside. Some quite steep climbs with, at one point, a steep drop to one side which was a bit scary, but well worth the exertion. Back to the Bickerton Poacher for a delicious Sunday roast (finishes at 5pm - we just made it!)

By hellydilly on 20 Mar 2016

Recommend. Walked with baby in carrier, 1.5hrs. Stunning views for relatively little effort. Although steep at the start it soon evens out.

By hellosharpy on 30 May 2016

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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