Madeley: One Way or Another:
Walk One: In Betley Country; Two Mills, A Mere, Woods & A Castle.
There are two walks: a red walk (5½ miles) & a purple walk (4 miles); do them separately for two half day walks or combine them to make a full day walk. All distances are approximate. Start at The Madeley Centre, New Road, Madeley CW3 9DN (Grid Ref: 773451). Tel: 01782-751808.www.madeleycentre.co.uk. The Madeley Centre has car parking, catering & toilet facilities. Please enjoy a walk in the country, but if you can, support our local businesses, Listed under The Adverts – but check opening times beforehand! Explorer Map 257: Crewe & Nantwich.
• Croft at The Centre Cafe & Restaurant at Madeley Centre: 01782-751808.
• One Stop, Grocery & Convenience Store Greyhound Corner: 01782-750373.
• Shepley Butchers, Greyhound Corner: 01782-751775.
• Tang Dynasty Chinese Takeaway, Greyhound Court: 01782-752288.
• Village Shop & Newsagent, Greyhound Court: 01782-750525.
• In 2 Wine, Off Licence, Greyhound Court: 01782-751708.
• Raj Indian Takeaway, Greyhound Corner: 01782-752000.
• Homers Cafe, Greyhound Corner: 01782-751800.
• Madeley Spice, Restaurant & Take Away. Greyhound Corner: 01782-750088.
• Poolside Fish Bar:01782-752546
• The Offley Arms, Poolside. 01782-750242.
• The Crown Inn, Wrinehill: 01270-820472.
• Hand & Trumpet, Wrinehill: 01270-820048.
• The Swan Inn, Betley: 01270-820332.
• Betley Post Office & General Stores: 01270-820544.
• The Broughton Arms, Balterley: 01270-820227.
FP = Footpath
KG = Kissing Gate
L = Left
MC = Madeley Centre
R = Right
TP = Telegraph Pole
Red Walk: 38 Stiles
Purple: 14 Stiles
(A lot do have work around’s)
Hey Ho. Let’s Go! Wrinehill Loop (Red Walk: 5½ Miles)
1. Turn R out of MC, pass Furnace Lane, The One Stop & Shepleys Butchers; turn R into Moss Lane, after 100 yds, after the converted mill, [Early 19th Century building, used for grinding corn, then cheese making & in 1984 converted to luxury apartments] turn R into River Lea Mews; L into Lea Lane & to the end, where the gate in front reads: ‘United Utilities, Treatment Works, Madeley’.
2. Cross stile on R & follow the well-trod path round keeping The Works on your L. When the Works end, carry on in same direction, over a brick water tunnel pipe & stile & into an avenue of trees. Emerge from the avenue & continue in same direction to meet the hedge row in top R corner of field.
3. Here cross a double set of stiles, wind R & then sharp L up the bank. With your back to the stile head up the field, in a NW direction, to the R of the middle one of three wooden TP’s (following the line of trees & bushes in a slight depression up the field).
4. Cross stile directly ahead in hedge & turn half L to merge half way down the field with the railway line at a bridge; cross it & turn R over the stile. Follow railway line on R over two fields, & two stiles, heading to a farm (Wrinehill Mill Farm), to emerge on to lane.
5. Turn L & then take R fork (passing horse ménage on your R), & a mill stone reading ‘Wrinehill Mill Farm, Hattons’ & mill pond on L. Head past white farm building on R & down cobbles into farmyard; 100 yds to top L corner & thru’ small galvanised swing gate; turn R, thru’ another gate & walk at back of farm barns down track: hedge on L, paddock on R, for 100 yds, then L over FB. Keep stream to R & over another FB. Another 100 yds & then turn R over another FB & turn half L to cross a waymarked footbridge.
6. Turn half L & emerge into field, carry on in same direction, (a NW direction) heading for gap where hedgeline on R ends & trees are to the L, (there is a circular concrete inspection unit with a square metal hatch) turn R over the stile just above. Keep the hedge to your R & head straight upbank to the R corner of the hedge line on the skyline. Cross stile (ignore FP to the L), keep the hedge to your R for 200 yds then cross a stile & turn L & head upwards between two barbed wire fences; then down to a wooden gate, half right, over a stile & into Checkley Lane & over the stile opposite.
7. Head up the hill in the centre of this field; a pool is seen on the R; the FP is along the top far side of the pool, follow it round & up to & over a Railway Bridge. With the stile behind, head straight ahead; using a white cottage with two white chimneys as your marker (only the roof & chimneys can be seen from the stile on a clear day Mow Cop folly can be seen in the distance behind it); cross the stile here into Den Lane (The Crown Inn is 100 yds R).
8. Turn L & then cross a stile after 10 yards on the R next to a metal gate (hidden by the hedge & just after a driveway). Keep the hedge on your R for 200 yards & reach a stile with two waymarkers: AND THEN IT’S MAKING YOUR MIND UP TIME!
9. For the longer walk, skip on down to 14.
For the shorter walk, turn R, & head for the gap about 50 yards down from the field corner. Follow wooden railings on your L, over three stiles & L down to a road. Turn R & reach The Hand & Trumpet. At the top of the road (signed Cracow Moss), turn L along the A531 for 200 yards & turn R up the pathway to Ravenshall Farm.
10. Pass between the farm buildings & after 100 yards take the stile on the L, into the field & keep hedge line on L. After 200 yds, follow the old wagon track between trees & bushes, emerge into a field. Carry in same direction uphill to far hedgerow & cross stile 25 yds in from R hedgerow. Continue in same direction to double stile mid-way in next tree & hedge line. Turn half R & head for double stiles in holly hedgerow about 250 yds up. With stiles behind you, carry on in same direction, over another double set of stiles, & a stile into a wood & go straight on following the narrow path downhill & ignoring the broader track to immediate L & R.
11. At the corner of the wood, go over the stile, turn R, ignore stile on immediate R, and walk 20 yds to cross stile ahead turn L into farm lane & pass ruins of Bowsey Wood Water Mill [A corn mill that had stopped production several years before the Second World War. The water wheel and all its ironwork were taken out for munitions for the war].After 100 yds, cross stile on R, turn half L & follow depression made by old wagon track, passing Bowsey Wood Farm up above on the L. As you crest the rise, see a small converted chapel a field away – head for this, and cross the stile to the R into a lane. After 200 yds, turn R onto tarmac, & then in 15 yds, turn L onto a trackway (passing semi-detached cottages on L & green storage unit on R) & follow this for half a mile. [The steep slopes on the L lead up to all that remains of Heighley Castle. Built sometime between 1215 & 1233 by Henry de Audley under charter from King Henry III. It was intended as a Marches Fortress against the Welsh. It was demolished in 1644 under instructions from the Parliamentarians in The Civil War to stop it being used as a Royalist stronghold.]
12. 100 yds before a farm house ahead, take the gate on R into woodland. Follow the winding well-trod track thru the woodland over three footbridges, path then veers left & five yards before a minor road (Heighley Lane), turn sharp R uphill thru the wood to emerge thru a gate onto the A531.
The road opposite is Heighley Castle Way – take FP on the L, behind a blue sign ‘Unsuitable For Heavy Goods Vehicles’. Follow this path gently uphill for half a mile as it runs parallel with Heighley Castle Way, ignoring any tracks L or R, reaching a stile (a green national grid gas substation is on the R), & turning half L towards a white building [This is Madeley Manor Nursing Home. The land was purchased in 1822 by Lord Crewe & built for his daughter, Lady Emma, and her husband Foster Cunliffe in Regency Style as the new Madeley Manor.], then pass two garage units & a wooden fence on L (ignoring the waymarker to the L) & turn R up Madeley Manor Nursing Home’s driveway.
13. Cross Heighley Castle Way, turn L, and follow the road downhill. At the bottom, the road turns sharp R (just after College Close cul de sac on R), head across the road with care, to pass to the R of a post box & thru a gap in a laurel hedge, turn half R & follow the well-trod path above the Bryn Wood Estate on L. The path exits into New Road thru a squeezer stile; turn L & on to MC in 300 yards (passing Woodside, Holm Oak Drive & Greenmeadows Road). Job done!
The Long(er) & Winding Road: Betley & Balterley Loop (Purple Route: 4 miles):
14. For the longer walk: head downhill, half right, over a stile & in the same direction passing to R of gorse bushes. Turn L & cross a stile by a green gate & follow the well-trod track as it goes between trees & bushes, passes a Mock Tudor Black & White building on the R to reach a stile; after 50 yds cross a footbridge & stile on the R. Turn L & walk parallel with the wire fence on your L (As you walk on by a galvanised trough on your L, look away to R & Betley Mere [a SSSI] can be seen thru the trees). Go thru a gateway, over a footbridge & then stile, next to a gate, & the path goes half R towards the trees but then turns left to a gap in the far corner negotiated over, not under, a board walk.
15. Head straight ahead thru’ tufty grass & after 200 yards emerge on to a green grassy trackway & turn R to cross a stile & 2 footbridges. Turn L & head for wooden gate & wooden KG in a tree lined avenue. After 200 yds, turn R into Common Lane. (The Swan & Betley Post Office & General Stores are 600 yards further on.) After 300 yds, just past a TP take stile on L into a field.
16. Head half L to pass between the 3rd & 4th TP’s from the R – heading for a stile to the L of woodland. Cross the stile, over a footbridge & sharp L to walk on the woodland edge for 200 yards; at a well-trod crossroads go straight ahead & walk between a barbed wire fence on the R & hedge on L. Follow it around to the R & drop down to a wagon track on L & over a gate barrier; After 50 yds turn L over an X stile & another stile, into a field, & continue in the same direction to a stile & footbridge on the far side. Carry on in same direction to the top of the hill in this large field, at the top you will see a fishing lake & farmstead to your R – the FP is thru the pair of galvanised gates to L of farmstead & cross into Waybutt Lane. (If the field has crops, skirt round the edge of the field; keeping the hedge to your R until you get to the pair of galvanised gates.)
17. Turn R & follow lane for half a mile, passing Anchorage Farm, Border Fisheries Fishing Lake, Lakeview, West Heath Farm, and The Elms Barn Conversions & Farm. At the Stop Sign, take care & cross the busy A531 into Black Firs Nature Reserve, [www.staffs-wildlife.org.uk/page/black-firs-cranberry-bog] an SSSI, owned by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. (The Broughton Arms is L along A531 in 300 yds.) Follow the well-trod track along the R hand side of the woodland & cross a stile into a field. Follow a line of three trees to a TP in the far hedge & cross the stile there. Walk straight on, past a concrete slab shed on L, cross another stile; straight across this narrow field, thru’ a gap in the hedge & turn sharp R to follow the hedgerow on R. Carry on in same direction for half a mile to reach Back Lane.
18. Turn L, walk up road for 400 yds, & when woodland on R ends, follow FP sign into wood on R (about 50 yds past a barred entrance). Straight across to take stile into field opposite. With stile to back, walk ahead, parallel with the woodland below on L. Head for a white building on horizon, between wire fenced, bush edged pond on R & wire fenced tree enclosure on R. As soon pass the wire enclosed pond, turn sharp L & head for a white chalet type house, overlooking a lake. Keep it &its wall on L & follow down along an old wagon track to the A531.
19. Turn L & walk one mile through Betley towards The Hand & Trumpet, passing The Swan & Betley Post Office & General Stores. (The Village Hall has a car park which can be used by walkers) 200 yds before The Hand & Trumpet, turn L up the waymarked farm track to Ravenshall Farm & pick up instructions again at point 10.