Ultimate Explorers – Three Walking Routes

Discover the charm and beauty of Congleton with these family-friendly walking routes, perfect for a day of exploration and adventure. Each trail offers a unique experience, from historical landmarks to scenic nature paths. Whether you’re uncovering the town’s rich heritage or enjoying the tranquillity of woodland and singing birds, there’s something for everyone. Detailed guidance and maps for these trails can be found on official websites, please click on the each walk to find our more.

Complete this challenge and receive your Ultimate Explorers reward sticker. Don’t forget to fill your Heritage Passport, the more activities you complete, the more stickers you are rewarded.

There are many beautiful trails and routes around the town We’ve put together three ideas for you and prepared educational materials so you can learn whilst you walk!

The Cloud is a prominent hill in the area, standing at 1,125 feet above sea level. The summit provides panoramic views of the surrounding Cheshire Plain, the Peak District, and even as far as the Welsh mountains on a clear day.

A typical circular walk from the nearby village of Timbersbrook is around 5 miles. The trail features a mix of terrains including woodland paths, open fields, and rocky outcrops.

Timbersbrook offers a picnic area, and offers parking and information boards about the trail and local wildlife.

Historical significance
The area around The Cloud has historical significance, with evidence of ancient settlements and Iron Age activity.

The trail passes through diverse habitats, including heathland, woodlands, and meadows, which support a wide variety of wildlife. Birdwatchers may spot species such as skylarks, kestrels, and buzzards. – Flora: Depending on the season, walkers can enjoy a range of wildflowers, heather, and bluebells in the spring, adding to the trail’s visual appeal.

More information can be found on the Visit Cheshire website.

Historical significance
The trail follows the route of the former North Staffordshire Railway’s Biddulph Valley Line, which was primarily used for coal transport and closed in the 1960s. The old railway track has been repurposed into a recreational path, preserving a piece of local history.

The path is home to diverse wildlife, including various bird species, making it a popular spot for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers. The flora along the way is rich and varied, with wildflowers, hedgerows, and mature trees.

Accessibility and facilities
The trail is relatively flat, making it accessible for people of all ages and abilities. There are several entry points along the route, with parking facilities available at key locations. Benches and rest areas are provided at intervals.

More information can be found on the Cheshire East website.

The walk
The main walking route around the lake is approximately 1.2 miles, taking around 30-45 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace.

The paths are well-maintained, level, and surfaced, making them suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs, and all fitness levels. Benches are placed at intervals for resting.

Astbury Mere is a haven for birds such as swans, ducks, and geese. You might also spot rabbits and squirrels in the wooded areas. Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting different species throughout the year. The park is home to diverse plant life, including wildflowers, mature trees, and reeds along the water’s edge, enhancing the natural beauty of the area.

The park has a visitor centre providing information about the park’s history, wildlife, and upcoming events. There are also toilet facilities. A small café offers refreshments, including hot and cold drinks, snacks, and light meals, check opening hours before visiting. There is a car park near the entrance of the park with spaces for cars, including accessible parking spots.

More information can be found on the Astbury Mere Country Park website.

The Cloud
Biddulph Valley Way
Astbury Mere

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