The Hikers group followed the Sandstone way starting from the bustling town of Frodsham. We were soon climbing above the town wending our way up a dry path making the ascent easier. We paused at the war memorial at the top where the views over the Mersey Estuary were spectacular. Much of this section of the Sandstone way meanders around outcrops of sandstone through birch and oak woodland. We followed the waymarks along the edge of the hill pausing to look for the lettering carved into the rocks many thought to have been written by Edwardian women. The path dropped into Jacobs Ladder, a steep staircase carved into the rock. Today there is a much safer route down Baker’s dozen named after Jack Baker who was instrumental in devising the trail. The trail followed the edge of the woodland on Alvanley Cliff. Several quarries are nearby, including one which produced particularly fine sandstone used to rebuild Chester Castle and Eaton Hall. After a short walk along the road, we stopped for lunch at Stonebridge Farm. The food was delicious and very good value with picnic benches set out in the field for our use. We now entered the Delamere Forest, a remnant of the ancient hunting forest of Mara and Mondrum used for hunting by the Earls of Chester and later the King. We reached the visitors centre where a number of hikers stopped for further refreshments whilst the others made their way to Delamere train station. We finished our day feeling very fortunate in enjoying such a varied walk in glorious sunshine.
Hilary (photos by Ida and Stuart)