Chester to Chester

Chester – Beeston – Chester
Distance: 27 miles
Category: Moderate

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Overview:
This ride starts from Chester and takes you south through Cheshire along relatively quiet lanes, before curving east towards the imposing remains of Beeston castle. Return uses the well marked Cheshire Cycleway, following the Shropshire Union canal back into Chester. Route uses some very short sections of A road, but mostly quiet lanes and B roads. Mostly flat, with the odd, short, rolling hill thrown in for good measure. Plenty of cafes etc in Chester, with a few pubs and cafe’s on the route.

Roo Dee car park at Chester

The Ride:
Starts off at the Roo Dee car park (map ref. SJ403656) . This is on your right as you enter Chester over the Grovenor Bridge on the A483 Wrexham to Chester road .
Ride down to the river at the bottom of the car park and get onto the cycle path next to the river. Go Left and follow the cycle path along the river, crossing the bottom of Bridge Street (the single lane stone road bridge on your right is an obvious clue!) and continuing alongside the river passing the bandstand on your right, under the pedestrian suspension bridge until you hit the end of the stretch alongside the river and taking a sharp left at the Boathouse Pub up the short section of steep hill, continue to follow the road until it climbs to a “T” junction at the top where you meet the A5115 (dual carriageway).

Cross the road (Caution!) at the crossing by the T junction and head straight down the narrow lane just to the right of the crossing which takes you to the canal. Turn Right along the canal (so canal is on your left) and follow the tarmac towpath until you come to a set of lock gates (just as you approach them on your right is a sculpture in the form of a set of massive canal boat rudders set in front of a set of flats) . Go up the sloping path at the right
(if you follow the towpath to the left it takes you up a narrow curving slope, the cobbled
surface of which will rattle any fillings you may have…) then cross the road (caution!) and get on the service road which parallels the towpath for a further 100yds or so then follow the road as it curves sharp Right (by a massive brick wall surrounding a water tower complex) and then left then right until it comes out onto the busy carriageway (A5115) you crossed earlier. (Note: If you walk down the footpath on your right for about 100 yards – towards Chester centre – there is a large bike shop “The Bike Factory” and alongside a Specialized Concept Store if you feel the urge to window shop!) Turn Left onto the A5115, but keep in the right hand lane of the dual carriageway , then follow the road as it curves sharply to the right at the traffic (by the motorcycle showroom) – look for signs for the B5130 to Huntington and Saighton.

Follow the road back around (effectively curving back on yourself back into Chester), then almost immediately take the sharp Left onto the B1530 which drops sharply down a hill into Huntington, opening out on your right to fine views of the River Dee and the launching area for the local boat club.
As you climb out of Huntington, you cross over the busy A55 and just after a Fiat garage, turn Left down a lane signposted Saighton.
Follow this road as it passes through Saighton (the site of an extensive Army camp on your left) and follow road for a further 1.5km into Bruera where you turn sharp Left at the Church (the church is bordered by a low wall). Follow this road as it first doglegs right and then left for 2.25km until you come to a T junction with the A41.
Turn Right onto the A41 (Caution) – then turn almost immediately Left onto a lane (towards Gatesheath). Keep Left as you pass through Gatesheath towards the village of Tattenhall.

At Tattenhall (which itself is a fine place to dawdle as it has a fine collection of half timbered character buildings as well as an ample supply of tea shops and pubs to check out), you come to a four way cross roads (with an open green to your left). Turn Right at the first junction (effectively straight on – you’ll understand when you get there) and almost immediately bear Left as it leaves the village heading east towards Newtown. After 1.6km, take a Left at Newtown and follow the road past Owler Hall, go straight across the cross roads at Elm Farm and follow the road as it bears sharp right towards Beeston Castle.

As you reach the base of the castle, which looms above you, turn Left around the base of the castle, and after 300metres adjacent to Home Farm, take the lane on the Left (this is signposted Cheshire Cycleway) which takes you over the railway line and onto a bridge over the Shropshire Union canal at Bate’s Mill Bridge. Caution here as you get to the bridge, as it is approached by a very sharp left and right kink in the road. On the other side of the bridge is a pub – an ideal rest stop, and the pub’s beer garden slope down to the canal, so you can enjoy your pint/orange juice and watch the boats go past as well.

Follow the lane to a T junction and turn Left – following signpost for Cheshire Cycleway. Follow the Cycleway to the village of Huxley, where you turn Left (again following Cycleway signage). After 150 metres, at Higher Huxley Hall, take a Right (still following the Cheshire Cycleway signs) and follow lane for a further 2km to a T junction and turn sharp Left over a narrow, hump backed stone bridge crossing the Shropshire Union canal. Follow the lane (called Long Lane) as it parallels the canal, then swings off to the left before entering the village of Waverton. Follow this lane (Common Lane), still signed the Cheshire Cycleway, until you hit a cross-roads. Turn Right at cross-roads, crossing over the canal again, then turn Left (signposted Christleton and the Cheshire Cycleway) until you hit another cross-roads, where you turn Left into Plough Lane (signed Cheshire Cycleway) and enter the outskirts of Christleton.

As you enter Christleton village, take a Left at the cross-roads by the School (on your right) – this is where you leave the Cheshire Cycleway. Follow the road for 500metres until the houses on the left peters out as the road reaches the very edge of the canal and begins to swings away from the canal to the right.

As the lane bears to the right, dismount and go over the narrow bridge over the canal on your left and then as you hit the footpath turn right, follow the path for 50 metres or so until a gap in the hedge line on your right where you can drop off onto the canal towpath. Follow this all the way back towards Chester. After passing several pubs (the Cheshire Cat and the Trooper) and as you approach a set of locks you will see the high wall to your left and the massive water tower structure you passed on the way out of Chester (where you came off the canal towpath on the outward journey).

At this point you just retrace your steps back into the centre of Chester and back to the Roo Dee car park.

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