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The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail

There are currently 2 comments and 8 photos online for this walk.

The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 11 Aug 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walkstar1 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walkstar1 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walkstar1 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walkstar1 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk
Shropshire, Whitchurch
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk boot The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk
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A 5 mile circular pub walk from The Cock and Greyhound in Whitchurch, Shropshire. The Cock and Greyhound, one of the oldest inns in Whitchurch, is a beautifully restored British pub serving local cask ales, food from local farms and producers, and quality affordable wines, in all its proud glory. The walking route heads north through farmland and a golf course before returning alongside the Shropshire Union Canal, taking in sections of the South Cheshire Way and the Sandstone Trail along the way. There’s lots of variety on route with wildlife, boatlife, farmlife and golf-life to enjoy on your journey.

The route has a few steady climbs and descents throughout but there are no particularly steep sections. The paths can be very muddy in winter and some parts can be a little overgrown in the summer so shorts are not recommended (unless you’re immune to nettles). You will need to negotiate several gates plus 7 stiles (some of which are entirely enclosed with wire fencing so dogs will need a lift over). You will be sharing some of the fields with sheep and cattle so take particular care with dogs. The canal is deep and busy with boat traffic so take care with young children on this part. Approximate time 2.5 hours.

Whitchurch is located in North Shropshire, close to the borders with Wales and Cheshire. The town is 20 miles north of Shrewsbury and 20 miles south of Chester. NOTE: There are several other towns in Britain named Whitchurch, so do make sure you are heading to the correct one. The walk starts and finishes from The Cock and Greyhound on Bargates, opposite the church. The pub has its own small car park at the rear, but if you are planning to walk at busy times please consider parking elsewhere in the town to help other visitors. There is a free car park near the end of the walking route, at the junction between Waterside Close and Sherrymill Hill. Approximate post code for Cock and Greyhound SY13 1LL.

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Walk Sections

Start to Golf Course
Start to Golf Course

Start point: 52.9711 lat, -2.6859 long
End point: 52.9776 lat, -2.6853 long

Leave the pub’s rear car park via the vehicle entrance, cross over the road and turn left along the pavement. Follow this heading downhill, passing the former Grammar School on the right. The school was originally founded in 1550 and the present ornate red and black patterned brick building is a reconstruction built in 1848, using a Tudor style believed to be similar to the original. Today, the building is private apartments.

At the first mini-roundabout, cross over the side road to go straight ahead (NOTE: if the traffic is busy, there is a pedestrian crossing with lights just down to the right). At the second roundabout, go along the small surfaced track ahead (passing the properties Bargates and The Croft on your right) to continue along the right-hand pavement of Taporley Road. Follow the pavement steadily uphill and, immediately before Meadow Court on the right, you will see a small wooden fingerpost marking a footpath to the right.

Turn right through this gate and walk directly ahead through the rough meadow, staying close to the fence on the left. In the bottom corner, cross the stile and follow the path which leads you along the left-hand edge of a large pond. Keep ahead and at the end of the field you will come to a pair of stiles ahead, cross these to enter the next pasture (which may be holding sheep). Continue through this pasture staying close to the line of the fence on the right. At the far end, cross the stile, walk directly ahead through the narrow field and you will come to the next stile ahead. Cross this to reach the edge of the grounds of Terrick Hall and its golf course.

Golf Course to Hinton Old Hall
Golf Course to Hinton Old Hall

Start point: 52.9776 lat, -2.6853 long
End point: 52.9846 lat, -2.6883 long

NOTE: This next section of the route follows several rights of way across this golf course, so please show respect for the golfers by allowing them to play their shots before you proceed and take care to avoid any flying stray golf balls.

Walk directly ahead through the trees and you will emerge to the edge of the golf course, with a tee on the right. Go directly ahead over the fairway to pick up the next waymarker post within the belt of trees. Turn right here to join the tarmac path winding through the golf course. If you look across to the right you will be able to see the skyline of Whitchurch, dominated by the tower of the church which sits alongside the Cock and Greyhound.

Just before the tarmac path leads you between an oak (on the right) and a chestnut tree (on your left), you will see a waymarker post on the left. Fork left here, passing just to the left of the chestnut tree, crossing the fairway to reach the next belt of trees. Beyond these trees, turn left to follow another tarmac path heading uphill. Follow the path which leads you into the complex of leisure buildings. Pass to the left of the glazed building which holds an indoor pool and stay on the path closest to the hotel on the right.

Follow the path right under a glass walkway to reach a tarmac access lane. Bear left and then immediately right (passing to the left of a green corrugated building). Follow this tarmac path past a beautiful old property on the right. Fairly soon afterwards (immediately before a pond) you will see a waymarker post, turn left across the fairway. Bear left along another tarmac path, follow it over a ditch and then turn immediately right to reach the next waymarker post.

You need to take the path marked as straight ahead at this point, crossing back over the ditch and then following the line of the ditch on your left. As you approach a large pond ahead, rejoin the tarmac path which leads you left over the ditch and then swings right.

The path leads you through the edge of a belt of trees. As you emerge from these, leave the tarmac path and continue along the grass verge staying close to the right-hand tree line. 30 metres down the slope (at a small waymarker post) turn right through the conifers to reach a stile. Cross this and the next one a short distance ahead, to reach a T-junction with the access drive for Hinton Old Hall (visible to your right).

Hinton Old Hall to Grindley Brook Locks
Hinton Old Hall to Grindley Brook Locks

Start point: 52.9846 lat, -2.6883 long
End point: 52.9846 lat, -2.7125 long

Turn left along the drive and follow it out to reach a junction with the main road. Cross over with extreme care and go directly ahead onto the tarmac lane (signed as a bridleway and part of the South Cheshire Way). Pass through the small gate (which sits just to the right of the wider vehicle gate) and follow the access lane ahead.

Pass a number of houses on the left and then, immediately before a cattle grid ahead, fork left through a wide wooden gate (do not worry that the public footpath signs are missing here). Walk diagonally across the field to reach the furthest bottom corner. Pass through the wide metal gate and bear right to join the tree-lined stone track.

Where one branch of the track swings left into a field, ignore this and simply keep ahead along the grassy track leading you down through the trees. As you emerge from this section you will come to a crossroads with a dirt access track for the adjacent fields. Go straight ahead, through the metal gate to enter a hillside pasture (which may be holding cattle). Walk directly ahead, following the left-hand fence line (and ignoring the stile also on the left). Pass through a gate ahead and continue along the left-hand edge of a second pasture (where you will see the buildings of Grindley Brook Farm on the left).

Go ahead through the next gate and cross the pasture diagonally right (between 1 and 2 o’clock). Towards the far side of the field, continue with the fence line for an access drive running on your left. In the corner, pass through the metal gate to merge with this drive. Follow the drive under an arched bridge (which carries a dismantled railway overhead) and then over the canal bridge. Immediately afterwards, turn left to reach the towpath alongside Grindley Brook Locks.

Grindley Brook Locks to Lift Bridge
Grindley Brook Locks to Lift Bridge

Start point: 52.9846 lat, -2.7125 long
End point: 52.9693 lat, -2.7041 long

Walk ahead along the towpath, with the Shropshire Union Canal running on the left. The towpath leads you past the series of six locks known as Grindley Brook Locks. The latter three locks are a staircase formation, meaning one lock runs directly into the next, creating an extra challenge for those navigating by canal boat. This makes a great spot to pause and enjoy the busy life of the canal should you wish.

Beyond the hustle and bustle of the locks and service area, the towpath continues along a more tranquil stretch of the Shropshire Union Canal. The Shropshire Union Canal is a complex network of waterways and this branch was re-named as the Llangollen Canal in the 1980s to promote its use for leisure. This section of the canal towpath also forms the last part of the Sandstone Trail, a 34 mile long-distance path which runs from Frodsham in Cheshire to Whitchurch in Shropshire.

After passing under Bridge 30A, which carries an A-road overhead, the towpath swings left and then right to reach a black and white lift bridge (No. 31).

Lift Bridge to End
Lift Bridge to End

Start point: 52.9693 lat, -2.7041 long
End point: 52.9714 lat, -2.686 long

Turn left over this bridge to cross the canal and then walk ahead, following the left-hand towpath of the Whitchurch Arm of the Llangollen Canal. This short arm of the canal operated commercial traffic until 1936 and is now managed by Whitchurch Waterway Trust, a group of volunteers. Ignore the path into the nature reserve on the left, simply keep ahead along the towpath.

Where the canal ends, keep directly ahead passing under an old canal bridge and follow the stone path ahead through sections of wild meadow and hedgerow. Across to the left is a stream, Staggs Brook. Whitchurch is an important hotspot for native watervoles which have suffered national decline in recent years, thanks to habitat loss and predation by the alien species American mink.

As you emerge out to the road, turn left and then immediately right to continue along the footpath through the meadows, still part of the Sandstone Trail. At the T-junction keep right, following the path through Whitchurch Waterway Country Park. Staggs Brook, now running to the right, is a haven for wildlife and provides a green corridor running into the heart of Whitchurch. Otters are regular users of the brook and you may just be lucky enough to see a flash of blue as a kingfisher patrols the banks.

Continue straight ahead on the stone path which leads you past a new housing development, The Brambles. At the road junction, go straight ahead, signed for The Town. Follow the stone path through a section of trees and out to a junction with the main road, Sherrymill Hill. (You will see the car park mentioned in the introduction opposite, so start the directions here if this is where you have chosen to park).

Turn left along the pavement (passing the car park to the right) and at the mini-roundabout, bear left alongside Castle Court. Just before you reach the church ahead, you will come to the Cock and Greyhound on the left for some well-earned hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail"

Did this walk on 27th August. Excellent directions. Lovely walk but beware of golf balls as you cross the fairways.

By sookay13 on 2015-08-30 17:35:54

walk is well documented and the footpaths are well marked out going across the golf course which is always a bonus.

By Sinclair on 2015-09-10 14:14:59

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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8 images to "The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail"

4819_0Richard1439322643 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The Grammar School near the start of the walk.
4819_0Richard1439360255 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The grassy track...
4819_1Richard1439360256 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
A narrowboat just leaving staircase of locks.
4819_2Richard1439360256 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The more tranquil section of the canal.
4819_3Richard1439360256 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
There's something rather pleasing about the way that old canal bridges frame the narrowboats as they pass through.
4819_4Richard1439360256 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
We watched as someone wound the bridge up and then back down again. We were pleased that the boaters did the hard work and not the walkers.
4819_0Richard1439805324 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
We had a superb lunch at the Cock and Greyhound - fish and chips...
4819_1Richard1439805325 The Cock and Greyhound Whitchurch Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
...and fish finger sandwich....

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