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The Hand and Trumpet and Betley

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The Hand and Trumpet and Betley
Author: Pub Walker, Published: 21 Sep 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walkstar1 The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walkstar1 The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walkstar1 The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walkstar0 The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walk
Staffordshire, Newcastle-under-Lyme
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
The Hand and Trumpet and Betley
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walk boot The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walk boot The Hand and Trumpet and Betley Pub Walk
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A 3 mile circular pub walk from the Hand and Trumpet in Wrinehill, Staffordshire. The Hand and Trumpet is a true classic with old floors, rugs, open fires, old furniture and a sizeable garden with a great deck. The walking route performs a simple circuit around the surrounding pretty, undulating countryside crossing a range of fields and pastures and passing through the neighbouring village of Betley.

The walk includes several steady climbs and descents and almost all of the paths are across fields – crop fields, water meadows and pastures – which can get very muddy so good waterproof boots are a must (along with a change of shoes for the pub!). There are a few gates plus 19 stiles to negotiate (including several fully enclosed stiles and one ladder stile that dogs may need a lift over). You are likely to come across horses, sheep and cattle grazing in the various fields so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1.5 to 2 hours.

Wrinehill is situated on the A531 between Nantwich and Newcastle-under-Lyme, close to the Cheshire/Staffordshire border. The walk starts and finishes at the Hand and Trumpet on Main Street in Wrinehill. The pub has its own large car park alongside. Approximate post code CW3 9BJ.

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Walk Sections

Start to Concrete Bridge
Start to Concrete Bridge

Start point: 53.0236 lat, -2.3692 long
End point: 53.0257 lat, -2.3779 long

Leave the pub car park via the vehicle entrance and turn left and then left again down the side road called Cracow Moss. Follow the narrow lane with the pub car park running to your left. At the bottom of the slope, fork right and then, immediately after The White Cottage, turn left down a side-branch of the stone track.

The track eventually leads you to a private timber-framed property (Brown Bank Farm) – immediately before this turn left down the grass track with the property’s fence running to your right. Continue past a number of small sheds and you’ll reach a T-junction with a track set within a small belt of trees. Turn right along this.

Cross over a stile ahead (there may be cattle in this next field – Longhorns when we passed through) and keep ahead along the right hand fence line. After just a few yards, turn right across a concrete sleeper bridge.

Concrete Bridge to Ladder Stile
Concrete Bridge to Ladder Stile

Start point: 53.0257 lat, -2.3779 long
End point: 53.0318 lat, -2.3782 long

Immediately after the bridge turn left following the fence line now on your left. Continue along this path using the strategically placed sleepers to cross the worst of the boggy areas. Over to the right you’ll see lots of reeds and other marginal plants growing, evidence that Betley Mere lies just beyond this. Betley Mere is one of the few natural standing waters in Staffordshire, developed in a natural depression in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets which covered the Cheshire-Shropshire plain some 15,000 years ago.

At the end of the pasture, pass through the gate and continue on the narrow grass woodland path, which leads you over a wide wooden footbridge. Pass through the gate into the next rough pasture and cross this between 1 and 2 o’clock. The path skirts between two sections of woodland and then comes out into the next open field, with a wind turbine visible on the hill over to the left.

Keep ahead, hugging the woodland to your right. As the woodland edge swings away to the right, keep ahead on the path as it bears left, striking across the centre of the field. At the far side you’ll reach a combination of obstacles – a stile followed by two footbridges (both with low stile barriers each end). Cross over all these obstacles and then cross straight over the next narrow pasture to reach the ladder stile at the far side.

Ladder Stile to St Margaret's Church
Ladder Stile to St Margaret's Church

Start point: 53.0318 lat, -2.3782 long
End point: 53.0335 lat, -2.366 long

Climb the ladder stile to reach the next pasture (likely to be holding sheep). Cross this pasture at about 1 o’clock, walking immediately to the left of a line of oak trees. As the line of the trees end, bear a little more to the left, heading for the rooftops visible between the two sections of trees.

As you reach the fence line you’ll see a stile. Cross this into a horse paddock and cut diagonally left across the paddock, crossing another stile to reach a small village lane. Turn right along the lane passing between a number of properties. You’ll emerge to a T-junction with the main road in Betley, with the pretty thatched Five Steppes Cottage opposite.

The village name of Betley means the ‘clearing in the woods of Bette’, a Saxon woman's name. It is an ancient settlement mentioned in the Domesday Book and one of several villages which seem to be have been named after women. At Betley Hall, a now-demolished country house, Charles Darwin conducted some of his zoological observations and Florence Nightingale was a visitor there.

Cross over the road with care, turn right along the pavement and after just a few paces bear left onto the paved path which leads you onto Church Lane. Keep left along the lane and you’ll pass the impressive Bow House with its imposing holly arch over the gateway. Follow the lane as it swings right passing in front of the primary school and you’ll come to St Margaret’s Church ahead.

St Margaret's Church to Wrench's Wood
St Margaret's Church to Wrench's Wood

Start point: 53.0335 lat, -2.366 long
End point: 53.0282 lat, -2.3598 long

Dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch, the church is a beautiful medieval building which was restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Head down Church Terrace, a signed footpath which passes immediately to the right of the church yard. Follow the stone lane as it swings left around the back of the church and keep ahead through the gateway into the grounds of the cricket club. Pass to the left of the club house and then keep ahead down the left-hand fence line with the cricket pitch to your right.

Ignore the stile in the fence on the left, instead continue and cross the stile ahead which is directly alongside the scoring hut. Keep ahead along the left-hand fence of this pasture (holding sheep and horses when we crossed). Go over the stile into the next pasture and cross this at about 11 o’clock to reach the far left-hand corner. Here, another stile leads you into the next very long open field. Cross this at about 10 o’clock and you’ll come to a stile in the fence which leads you into a very narrow strip of Wrench’s Wood.

Wrench's Wood to End
Wrench's Wood to End

Start point: 53.0282 lat, -2.3598 long
End point: 53.0239 lat, -2.3691 long

Cross the stile, footbridge, stile combination into the next field. Cross this field at 11 o’clock, passing immediately to the right of a large oak tree. Beyond this tree you’ll see a short steep slope down to a stile which is partially hidden in the sunken hedge. After crossing this stile, turn right along the right-hand edge of this long field.

In the top corner, pass through the arched gap in the hedge (via a pair of stiles) and then keep ahead along the right-hand boundary of the next field. Just before the hedge on the right swings away to the right, look out for a stile partially hidden within a gap in this hedge. Turn right over this stile and keep straight ahead across this next pasture (there was an electric fence running to the right when we walked).

Keep ahead through a wide gap into the next field and continue with a tree lined sunken track section running parallel to the right. Continue down to the bottom right-hand corner of the field where a stile leads you out to a farm track. Bear right along the track and follow it down to a T-junction with the road. Turn left along the pavement and after just a short distance you’ll come to the Hand and Trumpet for some well-deserved hospitality.

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

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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