Mid Cheshire Bridleways: 01829 760348
This short circuit is one of the few in Cheshire consisting almost entirely of off-road riding. It is also an area rich in interest. The route passes through the historic estates of Aston and Dutton, the latter of which is one of the oldest in the county, having been granted to a knight called Odard immediately following the Norman conquest. Dutton Hall is a Tudor gem, but sadly it can no longer be seen at Dutton. In 1997 the 400-year-old mansion was dismantled, transported to East Grinstead in Sussex, and painstakingly reconstructed by its new owner.
This route encircles the site of a controversial proposed wind farm, which would have been the first in Cheshire had it been granted planning permission by the local council. However, there has been fierce local opposition to the idea, which would certainly have made a big impact on the landscape.
At present, the landscape is dominated by Dutton Viaduct, which carries the railway line over the canalised River Weaver, and by the river itself. The route briefly follows the long distance Delamere Way, then joins the bank of the river, passing underneath the viaduct. On the far side of the river is a petrifying spring called Silver Well, where objects can be 'fossilized' over time thanks to the high levels of dissolved minerals in the water.
From the point where the lane bends sharply to the right, about 70m beyond Grange House, take the track on the left, which is part of National Cycle Network route 5.
Pass under the railway then through the yard of Dutton Lodge Farm. Turn right on to another track just as the first track joins a road. Bear right then take the middle fork as you join the Delamere Way.
Bear left at the river then right at the footbridge, passing under the viaduct.
Just beyond the strip of woodland on the far bank, bear right away from the river, crossing a field diagonally then joining a track to ascend the bank through the wood.
Turn left then right just before the buildings, rejoin the lane and return to your start point.