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A lush adventure through rural Britain – ride the Cheshire Cycleway

Terry Kearney (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A lush adventure through rural Britain – ride the Cheshire Cycleway

Bike Touring Collection by Amy

7

Tours

20:56 h

208 mi

7,475 ft

Magnificent black and white timber-framed halls, sprawling parklands once used as hunting grounds during medieval times and peaceful churches on the banks of glistening Meres – the Cheshire Cycleway is a fascinating journey through one of England’s finest counties.

This Collection guides you along the Cheshire Cycleway in seven stages covering a total of 214 miles (346 km). Ranging in length from 19 to 38 miles (31 to 62 km), the rides are suitable for everyone, whether you are a mile cruncher or an easy-going cyclist. You can also easily combine the sections together or shorten them to suit you.

The route is varied, taking in flat canal towpaths, gravel routes along the Wirral, and a few climbs in the Peak District National Park. You climb a total of 2,470 meters (8,103 feet) over the seven stages. Any bike is suitable for this adventure, just bear in mind that the gravel sections will be extra bumpy on thin tyres. It's easy to rent a bike in Chester and return it afterwards as the route is circular.


The Cheshire Cycleway reveals the very best of Cheshire including fascinating historical sites and beautiful nature spots. With endless green fields and enchanting woodland, Cheshire is mostly rural. Its tranquil countryside is occasionally interrupted by sleepy villages and thriving market towns such as Crewe, Macclesfield and Ellesmere Port.

Along the way, you will ride through the stunning Peak District National Park with its dry-stone walls and moody rolling hills, and visit countless meres (lakes) which define the Cheshire landscape. You also discover the Wirral Peninsular where you can learn about the region’s industrial past.

You can join the loop at any point, making it easy to cycle end-to-end. Thanks to the many train stations along the way, it's also easy to plan your journey flexibly. I've chosen to start and end the route in Chester, the county capital, which has excellent rail connections with the rest of the UK. You can travel to the town directly from London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester by train.

A picturesque town on the edge of the River Dee, Chester is known for its cobbled streets and Roman history. It's worth wandering around its magnificent cathedral and pretty riverside before setting off. Chester has a huge range of places to spend the night.

The Cheshire cycleway is ideal for any cyclist looking to explore a green and varied corner of Northern England. With so much history, varied landscapes and plenty of cafe and pub stops along the way, it's an ideal location for adventures on two wheels.

For train tickets and timetables, visit: thetrainline.com/live/departures/chester
For more information on visiting Chester, visit: visitcheshire.com/chester

On The Map

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Cheshire Cycleway

176 mi

6,425 ft

6,425 ft

Last updated: December 20, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Chester to Ellesmere Port – Cheshire Cycleway

    Difficult
    02:53
    28.2 mi
    9.8 mph
    625 ft
    650 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    From medieval cobbled streets to vast wetland reserves, your first day cycling the Cheshire Cycleway takes you from the Roman city of Chester around the Wirral Peninsular to Ellesmere. With 754 feet (220 m) of elevation gain over 30 miles (50 km), today is a gentle introduction to Cheshire life.

    

    With

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    02:31
    25.5 mi
    10.1 mph
    825 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Picture this: you listen to the birds sing and twigs crack beneath your tyres as you cycle through thick woodland, you pass by a glistening lake and further into the rolling Cheshire countryside. Stage two takes you to 26 miles (43 km) through some of the prettiest corners of Cheshire from Ellesmere

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    03:10
    31.3 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,150 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Your third stage of adventure will take you 31 miles (52 km) from Comberback to Prestbury guaranteeing peaceful countryside, beautiful parkland and stunning views across Cheshire. With one longer climb towards the end of your ride, today is one of the hillier sections, climbing 1,115 feet (340 m) in

    by Amy

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  • Difficult
    02:15
    19.6 mi
    8.7 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,825 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From fascinating museums to beautiful reservoirs and grueling climbs to gushing waterfalls – stage 4 of the Cheshire Cycleway is a varied 19 mile (31 km) ride from Prestbury to Macclesfield.

    

    Today, you climb 1,935 feet (590 m) through stunning landscapes as you enter the Peak District National Park. With

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    03:52
    39.1 mi
    10.1 mph
    975 ft
    1,225 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On stage 5 of the Cheshire Cycleway, you cycle 39 miles (62.9 km) from Macclesfield to Crewe. Today, you discover more of Cheshire’s rich past as you visit medieval halls and Tudor houses.

    

    Shortly after leaving Macclesfield, you return to the countryside once more as you cycle past Sutton Reservoir and

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    03:34
    37.6 mi
    10.6 mph
    925 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Quaint villages, tranquil canals, and calm lakes await you on your sixth day cycling the Cheshire Cycleway. Today, you ride 37 miles (60.6 km) from Crewe to Tilston.

    

    Leave Crewe via minor roads and a cycleway. You find yourself surrounded by countryside within a few miles. Your first stop is Hough, a

    by Amy

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  • Intermediate
    02:42
    26.6 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Roman ruins, Iron Age forts and beautiful hills – the final stage of your adventure along the Cheshire Cycleway leads through centuries of history from Tilston to Chester. Today, you test your muscles as you take 1,476 feet (450 m) of climbing and 27 miles (45 km).

    

    The route starts with a small loop into

    by Amy

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    208 mi
  • Duration
    20:56 h
  • Elevation
    7,475 ft

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