<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Wirral walk - Thornton Hough

PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 March 2017

A bird of prey above fields at Thornton Hough All Saints Church

A bird of prey above fields at Thornton Hough All Saints Church

not Archant

Take in the delights of Thornton Hough on this month’s easy rural ramble, writes Howard Bradbury.

A quaint building close to Thornton Hough village A quaint building close to Thornton Hough village

I am embarrassed to admit that the one fact I always remember about the great Viscount Leverhulme is possibly the most trivial: he liked to sleep outdoors.

The great industrialist would happily bed down on the patio of his house in Bolton. He knocked the windows out of his Scottish castle to better enjoy the bracing breeze. And when he was adapting Thornton Manor on the Wirral to his needs, Lever added an outdoor bedroom, where he slept with only a glass canopy to keep the rain off.. Brrr!

We see Thornton Manor in the distance on this walk. It’s an easy ramble across flat fields, leaving you plenty of energy at either end to wander round Thornton Hough. And wander it, you should. Thornton Hough is the rural counterpart to the industrial model village of Port Sunlight. Much of it was built to the vision of Lever, remaining - with its village green, smithy, women’s institute and black-and-white buildings - the ideal of what an English village should be.

Lever was not the first to mould Thornton Hough into an idealistic vision, though. It was the Yorkshire industrialist Joseph Hirst who bought land here in the mid-19th century and built All Saints Church, a school, rectory and cottages in Wilshaw Terrace, recalling the name of his first model village in Holmfirth.

A treelined path along the route A treelined path along the route

A few years after Hirst’s death, Lever came along in 1888 to create Thornton Hough’s other church, St George’s, and many more homes. More than 90 years after Lever’s death his vision endures in this pretty and unspoilt place.

The Walk

1. Our walk begins from the car park off the B5136 Neston Road at the southern end of the green in Thornton Hough, postcode CH63 1JE. Head back up the road, in the vague direction of the spire of All Saints Church. You will pass, on your left, the black-and-white Village Smithy, the Post Office on your right, St George’s United Reformed Church on your left and the Seven Stars pub on your right. Just beyond the magnificent turreted building marked with the legend ‘The Store’, bear left, beside a white metal gate, along the footpath to Brimstage.

Looking towards All Saints Church, Thornton Hough Looking towards All Saints Church, Thornton Hough

2. After a couple of minutes on this path, you reach a T-junction. Go right for a few yards and, just before a gate, take the footpath signed for Brimstage on the left, through a wooden gate and along the right hand edge of a field. Through the next gate, take the left hand field edge and follow the path across the middle of the next field to an old metal kissing gate. Cross over the avenue of trees to another metal kissing gate and cross the field (look to the left here and you see Thornton Manor, once the home of Viscount Leverhulme, now a conference, events and wedding venue. Through a wooden gate, you go along the right hand field edge to the next gate and continue straight on into a tree-lined path, ignoring a path going off to the right.

3. This bridleway emerges at a road. Go right along the pavement, continuing a few yards until a sharp left-hand bend where you take the footpath to the right, just between the two chevrons on the bend. The path, beside a field of maize, soon brings you to Brimstage Hall, which was built possibly as early as the 12th century - no-one knows for whom, or for what purpose - and is now home to a collection of independent shops. When the path reaches the car park, continue ahead, across the car park and down the road, passing the main entrance to Brimstage Hall and Courtyard (it’s worth taking a few minutes to look around here) until you reach the main road. Turn right along the pavement, following it until it turns to grass, then go right along the footpath marked for Thornton Hough.

The Seven Stars public house, Thornton Hough The Seven Stars public house, Thornton Hough

4. The path comes to a farm track. Cross over and head slightly left towards a kissing gate. Through the gate, go along the left field edge, then cross over a rutted track, bearing slightly left to continue in much the same direction with the hedge now on your right. At the furthest corner of this field, bear right following a footpath sign, cross a tree-lined avenue and continue ahead along a footpath through the middle of a large field. Reaching an enclosed path, go left and, as the path widens and another track joins from the right continue straight ahead until you reach a crossroads of paths. Go straight across here towards a metal gate, passing beside it and taking a track which veers sharply right and on into a tree-lined path.

5. When you reach another metal gate, go straight ahead, ignoring the gate and path to the left, and a few yards later go right through a kissing gate and along a footpath on the left edge of a field. Keep going in the same direction as the power lines, and when they run out, go straight across the next field, passing the walls to the gardens of homes, until you reach a wooden gate. Go left up a track which brings you to the road. Cross and bear right up the pavement and you are soon back in Thornton Hough village.

The Seven Stars public house, Thornton Hough The Seven Stars public house, Thornton Hough

Compass points

Area of Walk: Thornton Hough, Wirral

Distance: 4 miles

Time to allow: 2 hours

Hazards: Cattle in some fields, possibly very muddy stretches

Map: OS Explorer 266

Refreshments: The Seven Stars, Church Road, Thornton Hough CH63 1JW; The Country Mouse, Brimstage Hall and Courtyard, Brimstage Road, Brimstage CH63 6JA.

Related articles

More from Out & About

Mon, 16:56

Bijou charm and stately British heritage is vividly portrayed in the stylish surroundings of The Kensington, London

Read more
Saturday, February 17, 2018

It’s a tough job to select just twelve great villages to visit, but we’ve given it a go.

Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

We head for Broadbottom this month to enjoy lots of natural beauty in among the remnants of dark satanic mills, writes HOWARD BRADBURY

Read more
Monday, February 12, 2018

How many of these local landmarks can you recognise?

Read more
Quiz Spring
Monday, February 12, 2018

Community spirit is alive and well, as Paul Mackenzie reports.

Read more
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Martin Varley looks at the rise and demise of Cheshire’s most iconic habitat and explains why hedgerows are so important to farmland wildlife.

Read more
Cheshire Wildlife
Friday, February 2, 2018

Many people head to Knutsford for the shops, restaurants and hotels, but the surounding area has a diverse array of countryside walks that are often overlooked. All these walks commence within a ten mile radius of the town, which make them perfect for a day trip.

Read more
Knutsford Tatton
Thursday, February 1, 2018

If you are planning to get married in 2018 then Carbis Bay Hotel, Spa & Estate are offering you the chance to do it in style

Read more
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Within London’s ever-changing zeitgeist, different neighbourhoods take turns to define the city’s cultural landscape. And there is no doubt that, right now, the reinvigorated area of Bloomsbury is the place to be – and be seen

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search