Aldford is one of the most picture-perfect Cheshire villages you can come across, a walk through here feels like you’re stepping back in time. It forms part of the large Eaton Estate, owned by the Duke of Westminster and is famed for its many distinctive red brick buildings which were built in the middle of the 19th century for the Duke’s family, the Grosvenors.
With the River Dee on it’s doorstep, this circular walk takes you across fields and rivers and around the village itself. There’s even a playground, pub and great village cafe to explore too. My only word of warning to add is that in the summer months it is popular with the old mosquitos so take some repellent if they’re a fan of your skin!
As always, the Sat Nav link on the Info bar will take you to the parking place, which is an unnamed side road by Saint John the Baptist Church. If these few spaces are taken you can park adjacent to the church on Church Lane.
There is a car park opposite however it’s been blocked off for quite some time now, so it’s worth checking when you go to see if it’s open again.
To start the walk, go down the side road by the church and head through the white gate into open fields.
Follow the path and after about 100 metres, on the left hand side look out for a hollowed out oak tree which even an adult can fit inside! Our kids absolutely love this tree and we can easily spend half an hour playing here. It’s definitely the highlight of the walk.
When you can escape the clutches of the tree, follow the path directly ahead, walking through into another field and following the path to the bottom right hand corner.
Go through the gate and you’ll meet one of the private roads of the Duke’s estate where you turn left.
Follow the road until just before it goes over a bridge and take the left hand path to the side of it.
However before taking the side path, do have a walk onto the bridge for a lovely view of the River Dee. This beautiful Grade 1 listed bridge was designed by Thomas Telford (a famous engineer of the 17th & 18th centuries) for the 1st Marquis of Westminster and was completed in 1824. They certainly don’t build them like this anymore!
Back on the path, go through a kissing gate. The path immediately straight ahead runs right on the edge of the river bank and is very overgrown, so take the left hand path instead. Although the river views aren’t great from it as there’s a lot of bushes in the way, it makes for a much easier walk.
You’ll notice they’ve planted rows upon rows of Oak trees and some other tree types along the route (sorry, I’m no arborist!) so it would be interesting to see how this looks in another 100 years, although I don’t think I’ll be around for that one!
There’s not a great deal of interest on this path for the kids, although halfway along there’s this tree they always like to play on.
At the end of this long path go through the gate and take the left hand path.
Keep following it round to the left and you’ll come to this track road.
Follow this up the slight hill, go through the wooden gate at the top, you’ll then come to ‘Mill Lane’ where you turn left.
If the kids have had enough and want to go back to the car, just follow this road all the way back to the church. But if you’re keen for more, take the first right into ‘Rushmere Lane’, there’s no pavement but the roads are fairly quiet so it’s not too much of a worry with the kids in tow. After about 200 metres you’ll come to a little barn conversion which houses the village store, a beauty salon and a hairdressers.
Inside the village store is Lily’s Coffee Shop which I’d really recommend stopping at, they have seating inside and in the courtyard outside. It’s really reasonably priced and the cakes are delicious!
Back on Rushmere Lane (turning left out of the shops), continue straight ahead and you’ll get to the main road which runs through Aldford. There is pavement here but the cars do whizz quite fast down here so take care. After 60 metres go through the little white gate and follow the path into Alderford park.
You’ll pass the Aldford community barn which the lucky people of the village can hire for events. It was built using traditional building methods and the wood used in its construction came from trees felled on the Eaton Estate. What I wouldn’t give to have that in my garden, I think it’s a work of art.
The playground is definitely more suited for preschoolers, but there’s a large field with goal posts so older ones can have a run around here. There’s also a bike/scooter track which runs around the perimeter of the park.
If you fancy a visit to a pub then the Grosvenor Arms (one of the Brunning & Price’s establishments) can be accessed from the park. Just follow the path straight ahead leaving the barn and playground behind you and take the first right hand path which leads into the car park of the pub. I’ve eaten here many times and the food is good, if it’s a nice day, sit outside and there’s an old tractor the kids can play on.
Otherwise keep on the main path which curves round to the left and you’ll then come to the park’s car park, walk through this and you’ll be back at the church.