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Walks & trails at Delamere Forest, Cheshire

Explore the forest, following the many trails that start from outside your cabin. Take the little ones on family-friendly adventure around Delamere Forest including Old Pale, a 3.1km route through deciduous and evergreen trees to Old Pale Heights, where the views are amazing. 

Walking and hiking holidays in Cheshire

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. Stay at Delamere Forest and you are perfectly located for a walking holiday that takes in forests and fields, hills and valleys, wildlife and bird watching, spectacular views and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Cheshire’s gently undulating countryside, with manageable hill climbs and flat, open plains, makes it a great choice for walkers of all abilities. Relatively easy walks are rewarded with commanding views that stretch across many counties. Here we’ve curated a selection of the best walks in Cheshire, with forest walks, easy family-friendly strolls, best dog walks, and more challenging climbs and trails.

Top dog walks in Cheshire

  1. Delamere Forest – With nearly 1,000 acres of natural woodland to explore, Delamere Forest dog walks are heaven for your four-legged friends.

  2. 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.

  3. Little Switzerland – Enjoy a circular walk in this pretty valley and finish at dog-friendly pub, The Morris Dancer in Kelsall.

  4. Sandstone Trail – pick up Cheshire’s longest trail at Delamere Forest and enjoy the views while the dog gets some fresh air and exercise. 

  5. Raw Head – this five-mile walk circular walk has everything, including views from the highest point on the Sandstone Trail and a dog-friendly pub, The Bickerton Poacher.

Walks from your cabin at Delamere Forest

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. 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.

More challenging walks and hikes in Cheshire

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. 

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. On this eastern edge of Cheshire, climb Shutlingsloe - known, rather optimistically, as Cheshire’s Matterhorn - for rewarding views. Scale Shining Tor, the highest point in Cheshire, or explore Axe Edge Moor and stand at the Three Shires Head, where the three counties of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire meet.

Family walking trails

Family-friendly Delamere Forest walks include Old Pale, a 3.1km gravelled forest track through deciduous and evergreen trees to Old Pale Heights, where the views are amazing. The walk is described below. Other family friendly walks in this beautiful corner of Cheshire are the Linmere Trail, which passes the Gruffalo sculpture and is great if you have smaller children, and the Blakemere Trail, for nature and bird lovers. 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. Another overlooked gem is The Countess of Chester Country Park, a little rural haven, hidden in the suburban heart of Chester, beside the hospital. Here you might spot bluebells and butterflies, kestrels and kingfishers. It’s worth the small detour on a day trip to Chester.

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