Spud Wood & Lymm

3.5 miles / 5.6 km
2h 00m
Spud Wood car park, Stage Lane, Oughtrington
OS Explorer 276 Bolton, Wigan & Warrington
Mainly towpaths, well surfaced paths and quiet lanes

Rangers: 0151 357 1991

The route starts out at Spud Wood, which was planted in the late 1990s with the help of the local community as part of the Woodland Trust's millennium project 'Woods On Your Doorstep'. The name was chosen by the community, inspired by the fact that the land was previously used, very successfully, to grow potatoes.

The ride continues from Spud Wood on a towpath next to the Bridgewater Canal. The first part of the canal was built in the 18th century so that the Duke of Bridgewater could carry coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester for sale. It was then extended to the River Mersey at Runcorn, creating an important link between Liverpool and Manchester. In 1795 an Act was passed to allow the final section of the canal to be built - an extension from Worsley up to Leigh.

The industrial revolution had a big impact on Lymm. The building of the Bridgewater Canal dividing it into two and then later, the London and North Western Railway and the Manchester Ship Canal were built close by. The village is centred around its main landmark – the Cross. The cross is based on old steps carved out of the natural red stone and dates back to at least the 17th century.

The route then joins the Trans Pennine Trail for a short distance. The Trans Pennine Trail is a much longer route that spans England, from Southport right across to Hornsea on the east coast. By Lymm, it uses the course of the London and North Western Railway which was once the only rail link between the North and the capital.

  1. From the Spud Wood car park, descend to the canal and turn right onto the towpath. Continue forward, passing under a small road bridge.

  2. Just before a second small road bridge, bear right to reach New Road in Lymm. Turn left and cross the bridge to see the Cross or otherwise head right down New Road to continue the route.

  3. Turn left onto Danebank Road East.

  4. Turn right onto Lymmhay Lane.

  5. Turn right on to the Trans Pennine Trail. Continue forward, passing under two small road bridges.

  6. After a lake on the right, turn right at Heatley on to Mill Lane and continue forward to a crossroads.

  7. Go straight ahead at the cross roads, join the canal towpath, turning right.

  8. After a short distance, arrive back at Spud Wood car park.