Trans Pennine Trail

National Cycle Network
46.5 miles / 74.9 km
9h 00m
Marine Drive, Southport
OS Explorer 285 Southport & Chorley, 275 Liverpool, & 276 Bolton, Wigan & Warrington
Mainly towpaths and level, well surfaced paths

Trans Pennine Trail Office: 01226 772574

The Trans Pennine Trail is a coast-to-coast route across the entire breadth of England from Southport to Hornsea. It is well signposted and a walk or cycle could use all or part of the Trail in either direction. Some sections are also suitable for horse riding. The Mersey section follows the routes of many of the areas historic transport links: the disused Timperley-Garston and Cheshire Lines railways, the Manchester Ship Canal, the Runcorn-Latchford (Black Bear) Canal, the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and the St Helens Canal.

Although it is now disused, the St Helens Canal used to be known as the Sankey Canal and was the first canal of the industrial revolution. It was built to transport coal to the chemical industries in Liverpool. These industries subsequently expanded and spread back along the canal to St Helens itself.

The Trail crosses the River Mersey and then runs parallel to the Manchester Ship Canal to the south of Warrington town centre. Originally opened in 1894, it allowed ocean-going vessels to travel inland all the way to Manchester. The canal is still used today: 1,500 ships carrying 6.5 million tonnes of cargo travel on it every year.

To the southeast of Warrington, near Thelwall, the Trail joins the route of the now dismantled London and North Western Railway.

The Trail passes Lymm, a picturesque Cheshire village with pretty little cottages, cosy pubs and colourful narrow boats cruising along the Bridgewater Canal at the villages centre.

The Trans Pennine Trail in The Mersey Forest region is coincident with the National Cycle Network route 62.

  1. Start at the roundabout by Pleasureland and head south along Marine Drive. Go straight on at the next roundabout on to Coastal Road.

  2. Turn left on to the path between the road and the golf course.

  3. Rejoin the road just before the boating lake.

  4. Go straight on at the roundabout.

  5. Cross the railway and go straight on at the junction with Pinfold Lane.

  6. Cross Liverpool Road and continue along Moor Lane.

  7. Follow the lane as it becomes Plex Moss Lane and borders three sides of a square.

  8. Turn right on to a track beyond Burrough's Wood.

  9. Bear right at the junction of tracks.

  10. Turn left at the end of the metalled road on to the route of the dismantled Cheshire Lines railway.

  11. Cross Moss Lane.

  12. Where the path diverges, take the right-hand fork.

  13. Cross Wood Lane.

  14. Cross Carr Lane.

  15. Cross a track.

  16. Cross another track.

  17. Turn left on Sefton Lane.

  18. Take the first right: Old Racecourse Road.

  19. Turn right on to Meadway.

  20. Briefly rejoin the Cheshire Lines path from the end of the road (right-hand fork).

  21. Head diagonally right across the field.

  22. Join the track beside the refuse tip. After crossing the River Alt, the track becomes a metalled lane.

  23. Cross the Northern Perimeter Road and continue along Chapel Lane.

  24. At the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, turn left along the nearside towpath.

  25. After passing under the railway, turn right along Ormskirk Road.

  26. Turn right on to the dismantled railway.

  27. Turn left on to a separate dismantled railway.

  28. Cross Warbreck Moor and Longmoor Lane and rejoin the dismantled railway behind the Methodist Hall.

  29. Cross the in-use railway.

  30. Go straight on at the crossroads of cycle paths. Follow the path for about 4 1/4km (2 1/2 miles).

  31. Cross Barnfield Drive.

  32. Follow the path for a further 8km (5 miles).

  33. Where the path splits in two, take the right fork.

  34. Cross the railway on the footbridge.

  35. Cross Higher Road and take Blackburne Drive opposite.

  36. Take the middle path from the end of the road, heading diagonally right.

  37. Take the path alongside the industrial unit towards the railway.

  38. Turn right at the railway.

  39. Cross the railway and follow the path to Renaissance Way.

  40. Turn left at the road.

  41. Turn right at the T junction.

  42. Turn left on to South Road.

  43. Turn right through the subway under Speke Boulevard.

  44. Follow the path up to Alderfield Drive.

  45. Turn left and follow Alderfield Drive around the housing estate.

  46. Take the path on the left.

  47. Turn left at Hale Road.

  48. Bear left where the road forks.

  49. Turn right on to Hale High Street.

  50. Turn left on to Town Lane.

  51. Bear right where the road forks.

  52. Turn right on to the road to the sewage works.

  53. Turn left on to the path around the works.

  54. Turn left on to the road beside the River Mersey.

  55. Cross Ditton Brook.

  56. Join the end of Desoto Road.

  57. Bear right on to the path to Vickers Road, which shortly diverges from the road again.

  58. Pass under the railway and cross Queensway to join Parsonage Road.

  59. At the end turn right.

  60. Bear right on to Victoria Promenade.

  61. Turn right when you reach Terrace Road.

  62. Take the third path on the right between the houses.

  63. Bear right towards the Mersey.

  64. Cross the St Helens Canal at the lock and follow the track straight on.

  65. When you reach the canal again, turn right on to the nearside towpath.

  66. Follow the towpath for about 7km (4 1/4 miles), passing eight bridges.

  67. Opposite Penketh Business Park, join the road that runs parallel to the towpath.

  68. Bear right at the junction with Gatewarth Street.

  69. Take the next right, Forrest Way.

  70. At the roundabout, turn right.

  71. Take the path on the left.

  72. Turn right on to the road by the River Mersey.

  73. Pass underneath the railway bridges.

  74. Turn left on to Taylor Street.

  75. Turn left on Chester Road.

  76. Turn right on to the path on the far side of the Mersey.

  77. After the lock, turn right down to Greenall's Avenue.

  78. Cross the road on to the path beyond the end of the houses, which runs beside Manchester Ship Canal.

  79. Join Greenbank Street at the end, turn right on London Road, then take the path on the left.

  80. Bear right to remain beside the canal.

  81. Pass the end of Archer Avenue.

  82. Pass under Latchford High Level Bridge.

  83. Cross Knutsford Road Swing Bridge.

  84. Turn left on Thelwall New Road at the far side of the bridge.

  85. Pass under Latchford Viaduct.

  86. Turn right on Bradshaw Lane.

  87. Turn left on to the path following the course of the dismantled railway.

  88. Cross Stockport Road.

  89. Cross Allsaints Drive.

  90. Cross Halfacre Lane.

  91. Cross Deans Lane.

  92. Cross Massey Brook.

  93. Follow the path under the motorway and Camsley Lane.

  94. Cross Star Lane.

  95. Cross Whitbarrow Road.

  96. Cross Lymmhay Lane.

  97. Cross Reddish Lane.

  98. Cross Rushgreen Road and Chaise Meadow.

  99. Cross Mill Lane.

  100. The Trail passes out of the Mersey Forest region at the River Bollin.