Follow the Biddulph Valley Way out from Congleton town, through the pretty Dane-in-Shaw valley, to the rolling countryside beyond. The former railway line is a traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists and horseriders.
For over 100 years trains travelled along the Biddulph Valley Way carrying coal from the Potteries to Congleton. Today walkers, cyclists and horse riders enjoy this tranquil route away from roads.
The railway line linked Stoke on Trent to Brunswick Wharf in Congleton, with a branch joining the Macclesfield to Stafford main line at the viaduct. It was built to transport freight, mainly coal, which came from the vast North Staffordshire coal field. To avoid travelling back to Staffordshire with empty wagons, sand was often transported into the Potteries for industrial use, as this mineral was abundant around Congleton.
In addition to freight, a passenger service also started running on 1st June 1864, though this was never a financial success and closed on the 11th July 1927. The movement of freight continued for a further 41 years, with the last train leaving Brunswick Wharf in Congleton on the 1st April 1968.
Today trees cast a dappled shade over a variety of wildflowers and if you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of a fox trotting along the track. Listen out for the cry of a buzzard, circling and reeling overhead, searching for a rabbit to swoop down on.
Full Address: Congleton , Cheshire , CW12 1RG