Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sankey Valley, Cheshire - Part 2.

I promised you a Part 2 to the post I made before about exploring Sankey Valley - and here it is. This isn't the same route we took before, although it is connected - we drove to a car park further up the trail as we had the children with us. Little legs don't really walk as far as big legs do, so we made the executive decision that driving the route wouldn't be cheating.



As you can see by the map above, this is in the park closer to Warrington - there are a few car parking spots available if you look for the Gullivers World signs. We ended up taking the turn-off after Gullivers World and finding a close car park to the trail itself. Now, there will be a Part 3 to this post sharing some of the hidden attractions along the way (some are quite unexpected, I admit) so keep a look out. Look for the main location of the park which is marked with !


The day started off pretty grim, weather wise. It did brighten up as the afternoon progressed - and to be honest these pictures are a mixture of Saturday and Sunday as our camera ran out of battery on Saturday so we had to come back to finish taking pictures for this post.

The canal is back! And it has water in, not dirt! The canal actually acts as quite a focal point for the walk, its paved and well kept meaning cyclists can use it as well as groups of walkers and dog walkers. I actually saw a lot of families out for a stroll too, which was nice. The 'moment' though, was when we turned a corner and saw a group of dog walkers out with (at least) ten sausage dogs. Honestly, my heart melted as the army of sausage dogs came towards us - but I digress.

We ventured away from the canal, and discovered a whole variety of things. These buildings have been retaken by the woodland, and despite some newer apartments being used nearby they've kept this barn looking dilapidated and rustic. I love the mix of new and modern, versus industrial and aged!



We did get a little excited taking photographs of the woodland area. It looks like something straight out of Game of Thrones (something we both watch obsessively at the moment) and it is incredibly clean. Winter has made it crunchy and unforgiving to walk on, but it is walkable even off of the paved pathway areas. I urge you to have an explore if you ever visit, some of the wooded areas are so pretty it isn't worth missing them.

One of my favourite areas was this maze. It was gated with huge metal gates decorated with Elves and magic, so it was completely up my street! Unfortunately, the gates were locked so officially we didn't get to have a look around. On an unofficial note, there was a log propped up against the fence at the back so unofficially, we did get to climb over and have a look around inside. Its obvious that it hasn't been tended for a few months, but I liked that wild aspect to it.

In the summer when the maze is looking its best, I bet it really is magical. The flooring is pebbled (and in some places, magical Elvish mosaics are underfoot) and the maze itself really does add to the fairytale feel. I wouldn't completely recommend going in the unofficial way, as there were nettles and brambles to contend with - but in Summer - please go see it in its prime!
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