FREE Cheshire Dog Walk: Barrow & Broomhill (3.8 miles)
Great news, dog walkers of Cheshire! Below is a free chapter from our new book, Cheshire Dog Friendly Pub Walks, packed with 20 brilliant walks around the county.
BARROW & BROOMHILL
Great Barrow stands on a hill between Milton Brook, Barrow Brook and the River Gowy, so despite its modest height above sea level the views are surprisingly good. A notable feature of the local landscape is a pair of community woodlands, both visited on this route, which are testament to the public spiritedness of the locals.
If time permits and your dog can be trusted around cattle and sheep, you could consider extending your walk to Plemstall (see map), a tiny hamlet with a fine church set among the remote Gowy water meadows.
- Start & Finish: The White Horse Inn, Main Street, Great Barrow.
- Sat Nav: CH3 7HX.
- How to get there: Turn off the A51 between Tarvin and Chester at the Stamford Bridge Inn, onto the B5132 signposted to Bridge Trafford and Barrow. After ¾ mile, you enter the village of Great Barrow, passing the right-turn to St Bartholomew’s Church. Either park on the left, or turn right into Main Street, signposted ‘Barrow’, to reach the White Horse on the right after 100 metres.
- Parking: The White Horse has a large car park for patrons, but there is ample free, street parking nearby: try the B5132 towards the church from the junction with Ferma Lane and Main Street.
The White Horse Inn is a traditional coaching inn which also offers accommodation. Dogs are welcome throughout and water bowls are available.
1. Turn right outside the White Horse along Main Street (heading away from the B5132). Between the village hall and the old pump, carry straight on into Mill Lane, a no-through road. The brick cottages by Barrow Village Hall are a Grade-II-listed building, dated 1718. The White House, on the left a little way down Mill Lane, is also listed at Grade II, but is a century older.
2. After 250 metres, turn left through a metal kissing gate at a footpath sign. The path, fenced at first, follows the stream into open fields, which may contain livestock. Follow the field edge to a further kissing gate, beyond which a fenced path leads out to the road.
3. Turn right, shortly passing a water treatment plant. At a road junction, turn left into Hollowmoor Heath and follow the road for 300 metres to a further junction, where you again turn left, passing Barrow Social Club on the left.
4. At a ‘Disabled people’ sign, turn right into NABS Wood, an area of community woodland. Access to NABS Wood (named after the initials of the owner’s grandchildren!) is provided on a permissive basis. Should this ever be withdrawn, a formal right of way offers an alternative along the bottom of the wood (see map).
Ferma Wood, passed during the latter stages of the walk, also offers access on a similar basis, and is run by a local trust. Keep left at a fork and follow a grassy path ahead to a bench, where you bear left to meet a public footpath running along the bottom of the wood. Turn left to a kissing gate into open fields, which again may contain livestock. Ignore a path to the left along the side of the wood, instead continuing along the bottom of the field to a kissing gate in the bottom corner. Continue along the bottom of the field to a stile. Cross the field ahead to a second stile. Follow the field edge towards a brick barn conversion, then go through a gate and follow a fenced path down to the stream. Turn left and follow the stream to a gap in the hedge. Continue along the stream ignoring a footbridge on the right.
5. On reaching the road by the bridge, turn left for 150 metres to a road junction. Turn right and follow Broomhill Lane for ½ mile.
6. Cross over and follow the farm drive of Meadow Lea Farm, descending between rocky banks past a house (ignore a footpath up steps on the left) to the farm. You may encounter cows here at milking time, so put your dog on a lead if in doubt.
7. Pass the farmhouse and turn left through a gate at the end of a barn, into a hedged track. Continue past a second gate and pass a stile on the left where a footpath joins. The path bends right to a gate, then left; unless you’re diverting to Plemstall across the watermeadows, ignore a path on your right, and then another on the left.
8. The path bends left to Ferma Wood, and then right along the bottom of the woodland to a gate that gives permitted access to the community woodland. Continue along the main path, Ferma Lane, which develops into a track and climbs the hillside.
9. At the footpath junction, turn left and walk out to the B-road, ignoring a turning on the left. You can head straight on to return to the White Horse, but for a short diversion past the church, cross and turn right, taking the first left signposted to St. Bartholomew’s Church. The church is Grade II listed. A little medieval stonework remains in one aisle, but the church was largely rebuilt in 1671, with the tower added in 1744. The celebrated Chester architect John Douglas carried out two further restorations in the 19th century. A former ‘standing cross’ in the churchyard has been converted into a sundial.
Follow the track to the right of the church gates, bearing left past the lychgate and war memorial. At the end of the wall, turn left into a walled path, which emerges by the village hall. Turn left to return to the White Horse.
- Rory Batho