We have a fairy door which lives in our garden and every now and then the fairies decide to move their door to another location within our borders. They’re pretty forgetful folk and don’t seem to move on that often. In fact I’ve noticed it coincides with when I weed the garden which also lacks the same regularity…!
But oh the delight on my little boy’s face when they (ahem!) do finally move on is magical. So when a kind follower told me about the Ashton Hayes Fairy Door Trail I was straight on it!!
Hidden away on the outskirts of Ashton Hayes village (near Delamere Forest) in a small wood known as Andrew’s Wood, is a short walking trail with ornate fairy doors dotted along the way. It’s a great example of a successful community project, with the idea being conceived during lockdown by a local lady and achieved with support from the Parish Council.
Great credit must go to Kelsall artist Paul Tucker aka Barnsie who is the man responsible for these creative creations. Much of his work uses reclaimed pieces and that’s very much evident in the imaginative homes of the fairies. You can see some other examples of his work on his facebook page here.
For parking you can use the car park of the village hall - the Sat Nav link in the info bar will take you right there.
Coming out of the car park, turn right and walk down the hill.
After about 250 metres, walk down this small path in between the gate and the hedge.
After just a few metres turn right to follow the line of the fence straight ahead.
You’ll then find these two delightful sculptures marking the start of the Fairy Door Trail.
Keep your eyes peeled for fairy doors from this point on! Some of them are next to the path but others are a few metres away up the banks. My youngest absolutely loved running down the path looking for them and shouting ‘fairy door’ at the top of his voice every time he saw one!
At this point here, turn right and you’ll go round in a big circle.
We didn’t spot any fairy doors on this circular part of the walk but there are a few dens here which will entertain older kids who may not be as charmed as the preschoolers by the world of fairies!
The woods just on their own make for a very pleasant walk.
Just make sure you turn left here and don’t wander straight on like we did the first time we came, not that you’ll get eaten by fairies or anything if you do decide to go that way, it just doesn’t really lead to anywhere!
Follow it round and you’ll then be back at the start of the circle and can retrace your steps to the car.
As the trail is only short, the perfect add on is Ashton Hayes playing field, either a 1 minute drive away or an 11 minute walk (I’ll let you guess which option my kids chose!). I’ve written that up here. It’s in my kids top five, so highly recommended! The other option of course is the ever reliable Delamere Forest, just a five minute drive away.
If you’re after a quick snack there is a small cafe at Ashton Hayes playground, however check the website as opening times are very limited. For pub food head up the road to The Goshawk which has a small children’s playground, quite a rarity nowadays it would seem, so this is a big draw for us!
One final point to note is that the trail is on private land which the owner has kindly allowed access to. The fairies have left messages for the little ones at the start of the walk to help protect their land, so best stick to them else we’ll be put in fairy jail!!