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Top Trails and Delamere Forest Walks in Cheshire

With a choice of Delamere Forest walks to suit all fitness levels, it’s easy to explore this beautiful part of the country. Several trails start right outside local forest cabins, which means you can wake up and step right onto a leafy path as you explore this beautiful area. 

Whether you’re looking for a serene and quiet stroll, a great place to walk the dogs, or a family-friendly adventure for the little ones, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

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Hiking and Gentle Walks Around Delamere Forest

Neighboured by North Wales and the Peak District, the picturesque countryside of Cheshire is often overlooked as a destination for a walking holiday. However, look again, because Cheshire is something of a hidden gem. 

With forests and fields, hills and valleys, wildlife and bird watching, spectacular views and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, staying at Delamere Forest puts you in the perfect position to explore several trails and walks of varying degrees of difficulty.

Even the gentlest walk is rewarded with commanding views that stretch across many counties. 

Parks, Open Spaces and Top Delamere Forest Walks to Explore

Delamere Forest forms part of the famous Sandstone Trail that runs from Frodsham to Whitchurch in Shropshire. A shady oasis of 972 hectares, it is the largest woodland in Cheshire and is managed by Forestry England for all to enjoy. In addition to several open spaces, paths and parks in and around the area, there are three main walks around Delamere Forest, which allow you to meander through the trees, enjoy Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and discover meres and mosses that are Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Drop into the Forest Retreat after your walk for refreshments before heading back to your cabin.

Easy Walks

  • Old Pale
  • This family-friendly forest walk is a 3.1km gravelled forest track through deciduous and evergreen trees to Old Pale Heights, where the views are amazing. Old Pale boasts lots of places to sit and benches along the way so you can take in the scenery. 

  • Linmere Trail
  • The Linmere Trail is famous for taking you straight to the Delamere Forest Gruffalo trail, which is perfect if you have smaller children in tow. This is a very engaging walk for kids, and is a great way to introduce them to a map for the first time as they play, explore and use their imaginations. 

  • Blakemere Trail 
  • A haven for nature and bird lovers, Blakemere trail is sheltered by mature trees which provide cool cover as you explore its winding pathways. This is one of the easiest Delamere Forest Walks which makes it perfect for families looking for an easy day out. 

  • Maybury Country Park 
  • Further afield, Marbury Country Park is a delightful open space, with lime tree avenues, an arboretum and even an outdoor pool, open during the summer months. With picturesque picnic spots and a children’s play area, Marbury Country Park is a great idea for a family day out.

  • The Countess of Chester Country Park 
  • This rural haven is an overlooked gem as it is hidden in the suburban heart of Chester, beside the hospital. Here you might spot bluebells and butterflies, kestrels and kingfishers. The Countess of Chester Country Park is well worth the small detour on a day trip. 

Challenging Walks

Many of the more challenging hikes in Cheshire are on the border with Derbyshire at the edge of the Peak District, about an hour’s drive east from Delamere Forest.

  • The Sandstone Trail 
  • The longest Cheshire Walk is the Sandstone Trail, which passes through Delamere Forest. It starts in nearby Frodsham and runs along a ridge down to Whitchurch in Shropshire, 55km away. A good day’s walking for a seasoned hiker takes you from Delamere Forest to Larkton Hall, a hike of about 29km. The undulating hills reveal many stunning views along the route, as well as intriguingly named landmarks such as Urchin’s Kitchen, Old Gypsy Lane, and Bloody Bones caves. 

  • Shutlingsloe
  • On this eastern edge of Cheshire, climb Shutlingsloe - known, rather optimistically, as Cheshire’s Matterhorn - for rewarding views. 

  • Shining Tor
  • Scale Shining Tor, the highest point in Cheshire, for some of the most spectacular views in the area, including the hills of the Clwydian Range in North Wales, and several other landmarks. This walk is one of the more challenging but well worth the effort. 

  • Axe Edge Moor
  • Explore this scenic area and stand at the Three Shires Head, where the three counties of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire meet. Axe Edge Moor is an easy to follow route which is well marked. Enjoy exploring stony tracks and picturesque bridges as you navigate your way through this trail.

Delamere Forest Dog Walks

No need to leave your dog behind when exploring the landscape. With nearly 1,000 acres of natural woodland to explore, the forest is a haven for your four-legged friends too!

Top 4 places to walk your dog in Delamere Forest

  1. Dutton Locks: an easy, flat trail with some off-lead areas and interesting landmarks, such as the sunken boat, ‘Chica’ and the 22 arches of the Dutton viaduct.
  2. Little Switzerland: one of the best Delamere Forest circular walks for dogs, enjoy a wander through this pretty valley and finish at dog-friendly pub, The Morris Dancer in Kelsall.
  3. Sandstone Trail: pick up Cheshire’s longest trail at Delamere Forest and enjoy the views while your dog gets some fresh air and exercise.
  4. Raw Head: this five-mile walk circular walk has everything, including views from the highest point on the Sandstone Trail and a nearby dog-friendly pub, The Bickerton Poacher.

Images and details are representative and may be subject to change before the opening of our Delamere Forest location