Looking for a walk to do over Christmas time?
Henbury resident, and keen walker, David Walker has kindly suggested the following two routes around Henbury (maps attached below).
The first walk is all road, about 5 miles but it is one we used to do with the family on Boxing Day and still do on a Monday if the weather is bad. The route is Henbury Rise to Moss Cottage/Mossways (the only real public footpath on the walk) and across to Anderton's Lane, then Whirley Lane, Wrigley Lane, Cross Lane and on to Birtles Lane. Down then to cross the A537 and up Birtles Lane South to join School Lane at the Old Smithy. Up School Lane, across to Pepper Street and you're back!
As you walk up South Birtles Lane there are superb views across to Shutlingsloe and the ridges across to Teggs Nose one way and Sutton Common the other on the left.
On the way you get sight of:
- Whirley Hall (Queen Anne)
- St Catherine's Church in Birtles (good place to stop for a flask of coffee, preferably with a drop or two of rum in it!)
- At the bottom of Birtles Lane you get a glimpse on the left of the old Birtles watermill
- The Old Smithy at the top of Birtles Lane South, with the pinfold opposite where stray livestock was once penned until claimed
- Henbury Hall
- Old School House (formerly the C of E primary school until Whirley opened — was converted from a farmstead in second half of the 19th century).
See our separate article about these landmarks here.
There is a shorter (but likely to be muddy at this time of year) variant cutting across the fields behind Whirley Hall to Birtles Lane. Even so all the sights are passed! If it's frosty and hard underfoot this is a good (maybe better) option.
Unfortunately Henbury doesn't have many footpaths that link up to form a circular walk without a good deal on (quiet) roads.
Certainly, if it is wet underfoot, the road one is the better option but both have the same interesting features.
Allow 2.5 to 3 hours for each.
If the weather is good enough for the field part, the paths are quite obvious but there are stiles. Both walks pass the Blacksmith's Arms at the end for refreshment.
For other ideas — look at our walks page here. These were developed some time ago, so advisable to use an Ordnance Survey Map as well. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you discover any necessary amendments!
Note — the footpaths around Sandbach Farm have been changed recently (Walk 8). Please see here for photos to help with this route.