Distance: 35 km/22 mile
Time: 4 – 5 hours
Start: Farndon Picnic Area
Map: OS Explorer Map 267
Terrain: Quiet country lanes
The ride starts in Farndon by the River Dee, a natural border between England and Wales. The impressive sandstone bridge was built by the monks of St Werbugh’s Abbey in Chester in the 14th century.
Soon you reach the pretty village of Churton, once the boundary between the manors of Aldford and Farndon and a possible smuggling route. Look out for the ancient pollarded oaks in the field just beyond Coddington, thought to be 600 years old. Tattenhall is an ideal stop for some refreshment.
From here you are drawn to the Peckforton Hills, the dramatic ridge of sandstone that dominates this part of Cheshire. The ruins of Beeston Castle, built in Medieval times, stands proudly on an outcrop while close by is Peckforton Castle, built much later as a country house for the first Lord Tollemache.
It’s well worth the steady climb up to Higher Burwardsley for the excellent views across the plain. Enjoy the exhilarating descent before another short climb to the top of Harthill with its distinctive buildings.
The ride circles Larkton Hill, an impressive area of heathland owned and managed by the National Trust. You can still see the earthworks of Maiden Castle, an iron age hillfort built on top of the hill.
Look out for the stocks Tilston, once a feature of every village.
Stop and enjoy the tranquility at Stretton Mill, an 18th century corn mill built to harness the power of Carden Brook. From here a gentle ride along quiet, tree-lined lanes takes you back to Farndon.
Full Address: Farndon Picnic Area , Nr Chester , Cheshire , CH3 6PE