Helsby Quarry Woodland Park

1.8 miles / 2.8 km
1h 30m
Helsby Quarry car park, Alvanley Road, Helsby
OS Explorer 267 Northwich & Delamere Forest
Steep gradients and unsurfaced paths
One stile and several squeeze gaps
Category 5 Explain

Cheshire West and Chester Council: 0300 123 8123

As its name suggests, this site was once a working quarry called Mountskill Quarry. Sandstone was extracted on the site from the early 1800s until the 1920s.

The site had its own tramway which brought the stone to Ince Pier and on to barges to Liverpool. Once quarrying ceased on the site it was used as a tip until it was reclaimed and transformed in the late 1980s. The site was acquired by the Borough Council in 1988 and was formally opened in 1990.

The geology of the site is one of its main features and it is designated a Regionally Important Geological site. The site is part of the Helsby Sandstone formation which is a result of activity 280-250 million years ago. The rock wall and tunnel within the site were formed during the Triassic period from river deposits and sand dunes.

From the white painted triangulation point on the summit, you can look across to Liverpool with its Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals, the Cammel Laird shipyard at Birkenhead, Moel Famau (the highest point of the Clwydian Hills) and to the south Peckforton and Beeston castles. Long Mynd in Shropshire is visible on a clear day. Looking over towards Frodsham you can see the Foxhill Arboretum with its folly hidden in the trees.

  1. Turn left out of the car park.

  2. The road bends to the right.

  3. Take the track on the right, which shortly becomes a path around the side of the hill.

  4. Cross the stile at the end of this path and bear right.

  5. At the end of the track (which is metalled for the last 50m or so) turn right along Hill Road North.

  6. At the end of the road take the left fork, which soon becomes a path, which bends round to the left then joins Hill Road South. For even better views from the summit, turn right at the sign which reads 'Helsby Hill Top' after the sandstone mini-canyon.

  7. Turn left at the T junction to return to the car park.