The Frodsham Woods walk follows the Sandstone trails and paths on the side of Frodsham Hill, Woodhouse Hill and Snidley Moor in a loop. It follows hillside paths with lots of climbs and descents through quiet woodland throughout except for the occasional sweeping view of the Mersey Valley.
DISTANCE: 6.5km (4 miles approx).
TIME: 1.5-2.5 hours depending on fitness.
START: Sandstone Trail Car Park at Beacon Hill, grid ref: SJ 5187660
PARKING: Sandstone Trail Car Park at Beacon Hill or Frodsham War Memorial Layby.
TOILETS: Lots of facilities at Frodsham. Nearby hotel and leisure complex near the war memorial.
TRAIN: There are regular services to Frodsham Station.
CYCLE: National Cycle route 5 runs through Frodsham nearby.
ACCESSIBILITY: A demanding short walk with hillside paths and steps.
- From the Sandstone Trail Car Park walk to the road and follow it to the right. After 50m turn left at the signpost for the Sandstone Trail. Head down the path until you reach the golf course. Go straight ahead taking care as you cross the course and enter the woods.
- At the footpath junction in the woods bear left down the steps taking care. Stay on the path as there are unfenced cliffs. Descend the various steep steps into Dunsdale Hollow. At the next junction turn left and continue to follow the Sandstone Trail to Delamere ignoring the minor path that follows the base of the cliffs back to Carriage Drive.
- The Sandstone Trail follows the high ground and keeps the golf course on your left. Do not be tempted to continue along the track which is barred and runs onto the course. On your right you’ll see some steps cut into the sandstone rock. Climb these and follow the path round through the woods until you reach a bench with a magnificent view of Helsby and the Mersey Estuary. On a good day you can see Welsh mountains and Liverpool.
- Once rested turn away from the bench and continue on the Sandstone Trail by finding the signpost and steps leading away from the cliffs up the hill. A short detour on the right, just after the steps, takes you to the top of Woodhouse Hill – an ancient hillfort which is now a thriving birchwood.
- Continue straight on along the Sandstone Trail keeping the field on your left ignoring any minor paths leading up to the top of the hill. You’ll pass a large sandstone block on your right with information about Woodhouse Hill. At the junction with the bench turn right and continue along the Sandstone Trail which follows the sandy channel which forms a trough between Snidley Moor and Foxhill.
- Walk down the path as it becomes a more steep sided gully. Carry on for 500 meters past the first kissing gate and five bar gate until you reach the interpretation board and turn right through the kissing gate leaving the Sandstone Trail and heading up Foxhill. Ignore the minor paths to the left and right but continue up the hill to be rewarded with fine views of Snidley Moor Woods behind you. At the top you’ll see some mock earthworks inspired by Neolithic earthwork foundations – turn right.
- Continue through this woodland until you reach an open area leading up towards the mature woodland. As you reach the edge of these woods turn left down along series of steps that can be slippery when it’s wet.
- At the bottom of the steps turn right back towards Frodsham and continue along the path with the fields on your left and the steep wooded slope on your right.
- After approximately 1km climb the path adjacent to a wall with occasional steps keeping the wall on your left. At the top of the steps turn left heading towards Carriage Drive. Pass through the gate onto the road and take the immediate right down the bridleway.
- After about 300m bear right into Frodsham Hill Wood. Carry on and ignore the path heading straight up the hill on the right but continue along this track for about half a kilometre until you reach the edge of the wood and the Sandstone Trail.
- Switch back on yourself following the Sandstone Trail ignoring any side paths. The trail switches back on itself as it climbs to the war memorial on sandstone bluffs overlooking Frodsham. This is a great place to sit on a bench and admire the fantastic view of the Mersey Estuary.
- From the cliff top follow the path behind the memorial that leads away from the edge until it reaches the road and turn right.
- Follow the road until it reaches the Sandstone Trail car park and the start of our journey.
This walk is reproduced by kind permission of the Woodland Trust.