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Walks around Warrington enable you to explore the vibrant greenbelt between the global cities of Liverpool and Manchester. Using the town as a base, you explore a region characterised by regeneration, where nature has vied with industry for hundreds of years.
Straddling the meandering Mersey, Warrington is beautifully located for riverside strolls that are sure to enrapture wildlife lovers. Meanwhile, the region’s industrial past has left a legacy of waterways and railways, some of which are disused and have been beautifully reclaimed by nature. Using this network of historic linear features, you can easily access some of the wonderful countryside and pretty villages that surround the town.
From the colourful woodlands in spring and long canalside ambles in summer, to sumptuous strolls amidst autumn’s earthy hues and winter walks where mist hangs above the Mersey, there’s something to enjoy all year round on your hikes around Warrington.
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A historic hub of trade, industry and transport
Founded by the Romans, Warrington became a market town in medieval times, helped by its location as the lowest bridging point of the River Mersey. The town developed rapidly during the Industrial Revolution, with its principal waterways, the Mersey, the Manchester Ship Canal, the Bridgewater Canal and the Sankey Canal enabling prosperous trade.
Today, the town is a modern transport hub, with some of England’s most important waterways, railways and motorways travelling through the region. This is great for rail, road and canal enthusiasts, while many of the best hiking routes around Warrington make use of its waterways and disused railway lines to discover scenic beauty and peaceful wildlife havens.
Along the Mersey and the Ship Canal are some beautiful meadows and gorgeous nature reserves. To the east, Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve comprises myriad habitats, from rough grassland and willow scrub to reeds and lakes. Birders will be in their element with kingfishers, herons, sparrowhawks, kestrels and peregrines among the bird species often spotted here.
Picturesque Cheshire countryside
Many hikes around Warrington can be accessed using the Trans Pennine Trail, a 215-mile (346 km) coast-to-coast route that’s enjoyed by walkers, cyclists and horse riders alike. The Trail passes through Warrington to the south, along the Ship Canal, before branching through the pretty Cheshire village of Lymm.
The village is home to Lymm Dam, an ideal spot for dog walking and nature spotting and easily linked with a stroll on the historic Bridgewater Canal, often described as the first great achievement of the canal age. There are a number of lovely pubs, cafes and restaurants for post-walk refreshment, from where you can watch narrowboats chug along the canal.
Walking Warrington’s greenways and waterways
The town is full of parks and greenways, allowing for long ambles. A greenway along Spittal Brook can take you to the award-winning, 54-acre (22 ha) Woolston Park. Nature and industrial history combine again at Sankey Valley Park, which the disused Sankey Canal passes through. This watercourse predates even the Bridgewater and was the first of the Industrial Revolution when it became operational in 1757.
Follow the Bridgewater Canal to the west, and you come to Walton Hall and Gardens. Hosting some of the most idyllic walks around Warrington, the parkland, gardens and woodland here are perfect for an afternoon amble or a picnic. The grounds can easily be linked with an exploration of the tranquil Appleton Reservoir too and various other footpaths through a wider patchwork of pastures, woodland and villages.
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