Saughall Loop to The Saughall Saunter

Saughall Loop – ‘The Saughasll Saunter’ – 18 miles.

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Start by church in Saughall, west Cheshire. (Map ref. SJ352 688) Just off A548, 2km east of A550. Some car parking by church, and further limited parking just past the church in a couple of lay-by’s.
Relatively flat, but some climbing at start of ride though. Mostly on quiet country lanes and dedicated cycle path, but a very short stretch of busy a road for a couple of hundred yards mid way through the ride. Lots of pubs en route – but possible to divert into Chester on return leg of journey from cycle path to enjoy numerous pubs and cafes in the city. Exits off cycle path way-marked accordingly.

Cycle away from Saughall church (away from A548) and follow road towards Saughall as it leads up a hill towards the village (almost immediately going over a bridge which spans the old railway line which is now a dedicated cycle path and the route you will return back to your starting point). As you go through village there is a pub on the left immediately opposite the village hall with its imposing clock tower.
Carry on through Saughall village until you reach junction with A540.
Turn Left onto the A540 then almost immediately turn Right down Coalpit Lane (marked as a dead end – but ignore that).

Follow Coalpit Lane (keeping an eye on your right for an impressive owl carving out of a

Coalpit Lane

complete tree by a barn just after the lane bears sharp right). As you enter the edge of a village (school on right) you come to an obvious Y junction – go Left (signposted Lea). Follow the road as it goes over the railway line and then goes into a steep section as it reaches the crossroads with the very busy A41 (Liverpool Road).

At the junction, cross the A41 and take Rake Lane directly opposite and follow this lane for a kilometre until you see a lane called Chorlton Lane on your Right. Turn down this lane (which is quite narrow and surface tends to be somewhat gravelly) and follow for about 500 metres until you come to a junction, taking the Left fork up Little Rake Lane.

Follow Little Rake Lane to a T junction on a bend, go Right (effectively Straight On) and follow the road as it passes over the motorway and you pass The Rake pub on your right.

Just past the Rake you hit the junction with the busy A5117 – turn Right then almost
immediately take the Right signposted Stoak and Picton. (You may wish to push your bike along the adjacent footpath for this very short stretch to avoid crossing and re-crossing the A5117).

Follow this road through hamlet of Stoak, with the Banbury Inn on your right (complete
with beer garden!) and almost immediately the road goes over a bridge over the canal (note the much older, stone, bridge to the right of the new one) following the road as it winds up and over the M56, with the views over the Wirral and north Cheshire opening up to your left.

Continue to follow this road (Picton Lane) all the way to a T junction. Turn Right at the T junction, then after a couple of hundred metres take a Left down a lane signposted Mickle Trafford. Follow this road – and after a short stretch you suddenly reach the very busy crossing with the A56.

Go straight across the A56 down a road called Station Road.

Follow Station Road for about 3 km then, keep an eye out on your Right for a finger post with “Greenway” on and the start of the dedicated cycle path which will take you all the way back to Saughall..

Follow this cycle path until it curves right and comes out on the edge of a large playing field in Hoole (on the outskirts of Chester). Turn Left onto the cycle path which crosses in front of you and follow the cycle path as it skirts the playing fields on your right and follow it as it passes through the outskirts of Chester.

Follow the path through Blacon (note the mock station ephemera, and also the carved animals either side of the cutting in this stretch) all the way back towards Saughall.

Whilst we stay on this all the way back to the bridge we cycled over when we first started our journey, you can take a detour into Chester at any of the signed turn-offs (you can drop off onto the towpath at one point and follow the canal right into the heart of Chester if you wish – just follow your steps back to the main route)

After about 3Km past Blacon you come to a bridge. Take the spur off to the Left of the cycle path immediately adjacent to the bridge with a fingerpost pointing at Saughall (the one you went over at the start of the ride).

Follow this spur for about 200 metres until you come back to your starting point.

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