A Letter from Nantwich

Written in April 2011 | Updated in January 2015                                                               The Loop Walk launched  |  Other walks in the area             

A face lift for pleasant walk round the town

Nantwich Riverside Loop














One of the signposts on the Nantwich Riverside Loop walk

A REFURBISHED walk around Nantwich was announced by Chester East Council's
Countryside Access Development Officer, Genni Butler, in 2011.

   The Nantwich Riverside Loop walk has since become very popular and takes walkers along the side of the River Weaver, round Nantwich Lake, across farm fields, over a railway line(!), and along the Shropshire Union Canal before returning to the start (the free St Anne's Lane car park) off historic Welsh Row. Other starting points are available.

   Genni told me that work on the walk included improvements to the canal towpath surface, a connecting path between the existing Nantwich Lake-side path and Shrewbridge Road, gate improvements, and a causeway over a ponded area. And, of course, new signs  to guide walkers.

   The Loop, and a publicity leaflet (see below), was produced with help from organisations including Nantwich Civic Society, Shropshire Union Canal Society, WREN (the cash-from-waste benevolent body), Nantwich Town Council, Acton, Edleston and Henhull Parish Council, Nantwich in Bloom, Riverside Concern, and "many other partners".

    The walk is 5km / 3 miles long and is estimated to take between one-and-a-half and two hours to complete.


   The paths are surfaced with either tarmac or compacted stone and are between one and two

metres wide. The southern section is across fields and so "appropriate footwear" is recommended.

  The route is "relatively flat throughout though uneven." There are steps at each end of the canal towpath section - although the steps at the Welsh Row aqueduct end can be by-passed by using a ramp. There are no stiles on the walk but there are bridle gates (1.5 metres wide) and a field gate. There is also a railway line level crossing to negotiate.

    As well as the St Anne's Lane car park, parking can be found off Shrewbridge Road (opposite Nantwich Town Council's building) and at the northern end of Nantwich Lake (temporarily closed at the moment). So walkers can choose to vary the way

they complete the walk according to which car park is the more convenient.

    Apart from one place for refreshments (with toilets for customers, of course) near to St Anne's Lane car park, there are no further refreshments / toilets facilities on the walk. But there are plenty of coffee shops and other places in town participating in a "comfort scheme" before your start . . .

l See the What's On - General page on this website for details of guided walks in town. For more on the Riverside Loop, see Lake and Riverside pictures.


St Anne's Lane car park is one of three car parks which can be starting points for the walk. The numbers match notes about stages of the route. Nantwich Riverside Park is exactly that - not a car park.

  Image from Nantwich Information Centre's "Local Walks" leaflet. See below.




DETAILS of the Nantwich Riverside Loop walk are given in two leaflets available from the Nantwich Tourist Information Centre in the Civic Hall, Market Street, Nantwich.

  The original A3, folded, full-colour leaflet (referred to above) is "Nantwich Riverside Loop Walk" (left).

   As well as a map showing the route, the stages of the walk are listed in a comprehensive description.

   A second leaflet, produced by Nantwich Information Centre (the Town Council's Tourist Information Centre) is "Local Walks" (right). This is because it also covers an extension of the Nantwich Loop (a further 5 miles / 8.5 kilometres) to the village of Acton, taking in Dorfold Hall and more of the Shropshire Union Canal.

   There are also details and a map of Two Saints Way, the 88-mile pilgrimage route from Chester to Lichfield, which goes through Nantwich.

   The Crewe to Nantwich Greenway is for pedestrians, bicycles, disability scooters, children going to school on toy


scooters, and horses in places. It is not

for motorcycles or cars. But it is used by commuters cycling to work in one of the two towns while living in the other.  

   The Weaver Way is a 40 miles / 65 kilometre walk (!) between Audlem in South Cheshire and Frodsham to the north of the county. It takes in Nantwich, Winsford and Northwich, and includes mostly level terrain on canal and riverside paths, as well as country lanes and town centres. It has gates but it stile-free.

   The Sandstone Trail is elevated and so offers "stunning panoramic views. It is 34 miles / 55 kilometres long between Frodsham and Whitchurch (Shropshire). The highspots (literally) are Rawhead and Beeston Castle with view of many miles.

   The South Cheshire Way takes walkers from Grindley Brook in Shropshire to Mow Cop in Staffordshire. The Peckforton Hills and Marbury Mere are among the locations on the 32 miles / 51 kilometres route. 

l"Local Walks" is one of several leaflets on different subjects that are available. 


Weaver Loop launched (canal)




Left: The party of walkers who inaugurated the Loop Walk in 2011 seen at the new bench on the Shropshire Union Canal. To the far left is Genni Butler. Below, the party enjoy the walk.




Enjoying the Weaver Loop walk


















Pictures: Cheshire East Council

THE Loop was launched with a special walk organised by Genni Butler on Wednesday, May 18, 2011.

    Genni later said: "Thanks to all who braved the rain clouds to attend the launch of the Nantwich Riverside Loop walk.

   "Fortunately, the clouds parted and we completed the walk in sunshine, enjoying the newly-installed bench and the newly-improved towpath surface alongside the Shropshire Union Canal. 

   "Thanks go, also, to all of the individuals, groups and organisations involved in the project, who made the development of the Loop possible.

   "The route is proving very popular: an evaluation survey card inserted into the first batch of leaflets is returning some very useful responses, indicating the value of the route and the leaflet to local residents


and visitors alike. Early results show that:

l 95% of respondents were encouraged to do the walk by picking up the leaflet;

l 91% of respondents said that, having done this walk, they are more likely to explore other walks in the area; and

l nearly two thirds of respondents said that they were trying to exercise more or had been recommended to exercise more by a doctor or health professional."

What the walkers said

o"We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  We had a picnic and made it an all-day event. Thank you.”

o"The leaflets … are great.  You can explore places you never knew existed."


o"A really good project.  Thanks.”

o"The Loop is a great idea.”

o"Excellent information. Please use leaflets."

o"Excellent leaflet - interesting and easy route.  Thank you."

o"Very pleased about this walk.  As a female walker who walks alone I welcome these types of

walks as I feel safe and also feel reassured as there are plenty of signposts so I don’t get lost."

o"Enjoyed the walk … nice to have an easy stroll on our doorstep!"

o"We are on holiday in the area with our dog.  We enjoyed our visit to Nantwich very much and look forward to more walks in the area in future."

o"More routes please!”

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