Just very occasionally a walk is perfect. The walk we took on 2nd September 2017 using the Mid-Cheshire Rail Users’ Association Mobberley Rail Trail Route was one of these.
Admittedly the weather was perfect: blue skies, a few clouds and a warm ambient temperature. In addition, the company was excellent: nine members of Chester Civic Trust and one delightful dog. The timing of the trains was also excellent: they arrived as stated in the timetable.
However thanks to the route description, available in a free booklet form and from the INTERNET, we were able to find the paths with reasonable ease. The walk went through fields, old green lanes and small rural roads. At times it seemed that we were the first to have used bits of it for quite a while. We had to be alert to find some of the turn offs.
We were able to make a lazy day of it. We left Chester mid-morning and arrived back late afternoon. We had a long lunch-break in Mobberley itself. We were blessed by St Wilfred’s Church being open and we were warmly welcomed. Medieval wall paintings are just visible. The carved Rood Screen from the 1500s is exquisite. The Victorian angels towered above us in the roof. One of our members was already interested in the connection of Sir George Mallory to the village. There were many memorials to different members of this family. A stained glass window commemorated this explorer of Everest, who died on the mountain in 1924.
As should be in an old village, a pub was opposite the parish church. The Church Inn has a sophisticated menu and an inviting interior. It not only was welcoming to us, but the dog too. Most of us had brought our own picnics, but we made a coffee stop here.
We arrived back at the railway station with about forty-five minutes to wait before the next train to Chester. We were able to visit yet another lively and welcoming pub, The Railway Inn, for a final drink. The Railway Inn is a family pub, also serving food, and our dog was welcome here.
A few caveats about the walk should be made. The nature of the land covered makes it a walk, which is probably better in summer. Follow the instructions given carefully, because there is a little room for error. Some of the landscape has changed slightly since the 2014 edition. Sometimes the words ‘left’ and ‘right’ can confuse. Instruction 19 means do not use the first footpath turning.
This is a Marmite walk. If you really don’t want continuous planes and their noise looming above you, then don’t go on this walk. If you find this interesting, adding a different element to a walk, then do go on it. Talking to a local he said that he didn’t notice the planes any more. As an incomer, you will.
For the nine of us and the dog it was a perfect walk.
1. View of Mobberley from the walk.
2. Victorian detail on Mobberley church roof.
3. Detail from stained glass window dedicated to Sir George Mallory in
4. The group eventually vanish down a well hidden part of the footpath.
Account of visit written by Karen McKay