Birdsong and boating

Cheshire Life|June 2020

Birdsong and boating
This month’s walk is an easy four-mile stroll through some pretty countryside just east of Lymm
Paul Taylor

If you are looking for the quintessential Cheshire country walk, then this gentle ramble is a strong contender. It begins at a lovely church with a sky-scraping steeple, overlooking lush pastures. It proceeds through wide grassy tracks – shaded by old deciduous trees, twittering with birdsong – and along winding country lanes beside meadows of snooker table green. Then it returns to the starting point along a pretty stretch of canal.

There is barely a hint of a hill from to start to finish, some very pleasant real estate to gawp at along the way and a pub at the mid-way point. Perfection.

The church in question is St Peter’s, Oughtrington – built in the 1870s in the gothic revival style. A handsome pile, I thought, but Pevsner’s Buildings of England begs to differ, sniffily dismissing the spire as “too thin for so substantial a church” and pointing out other bits of the fabric with no right to be there.

The canal is, of course, the Bridgewater, this stretch is the second phase of what, in the 1760s, had been the world’s first industrial canal. The walk takes us past Lymm Cruising Club, so there is a lot of boat-related enterprise on the opposite bank, and a long line of craft moored up.

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June 2020