Cheshire Walk - Siddington and Capesthorne Hall
PUBLISHED: 00:18 10 July 2013
Keith Carter leads a walk from Siddington between Alderley Edge and Congleton
To the casual visitor Siddington seems to lack a centre. It consists of a scattering of houses and farms and that’s about it. No pub, church or village green, no stocks or five hundred year old oak tree, no war memorial, pond or village shop so drivers on the Congleton Road can pass the village by without a thought. It doesn’t even have a twin although I wouldn’t blame it for that omission. ‘Twinned with Clochmerle Les Deux Eglises’ never does anything for me.
What Siddington does have is a large lake called Redesmere on which the ducks and Canada Geese fight for space and squabble over the bread thrown by visitors from the small quayside to amuse the kids. Legend has it that Redesmere used to have a floating island – a preposterous legend without a shred of truth in it and visitors looking for it will be disappointed.
The lake was dug to provide a water supply to the ornamental lakes of Capesthorne Hall, the seat of the Bromley-Davenport family, built in the Tudor revival style with domes and turrets once thought architecturally desirable but today ostentatious and overblown. It’s now run as an event centre for weddings and conferences and is occasionally open to the public.
1 Our walk starts at Redesmere where there is plenty of free parking available beside the lake. We follow the lane beside the lake, the water on our left, and soon see a footpath sign in the hedge on the left with a stile to a well-worn field path leading to a further stile. We enter a wood and go along an enclosed path to the sailing club beyond which a clear unfenced track follows beside the narrowing neck of the lake.
2 At the top of the lake take a footpath on the left that leads through trees to emerge on the main A34 road. Cross over to the other side and enter a broad field keeping to the right hand edge. A line of electric fencing kept us inside it, dodging the many rabbit holes along here. At the top of the field our way forward skirts a fishing lake followed by a second lake across which there is a good view of Capesthorne Hall set in six acres of park land. The lakes were no doubt part of the landscaped view which the family could look out on and admire. A metal kissing gate brings us to the shores of the lake, the grass cropped short presumably by geese. At a double gate keeps ahead on a surfaced track and come to Mill Lane at a bungalow or gatehouse.
3 Turn right and walk on the lane without straying off it. You may notice how neatly the hedges have been trimmed and the ivy growth arrested by cutting it off below about head height. The fields and hedgerows here must be part of the estate which would explain why they have been so carefully maintained. The lane descends to cross Snape Brook by Hackneyplat Bridge.
4 At a T-junction turn left and look for a footpath that runs inside the line of the hedge skirting the road. Along here rabbits have been at work and excavated extensive burrows. The damage they cause outweighs their appeal as little furry bunnies. About half way along this stretch the footpath changes sides and continues on the right of the road until two metal kissing gates bring us back onto the road itself. Turn right then take the next left just past Brook House.
5 We take the track leading to a cheesemakers, Blake House Farm. As we approach a gateway turn right and follow a good path past a cottage then continuing through mixed woodland bordering a stream. Our path runs along the top of a bank then meets a junction where we turn left. At a thatched cottage, the roof overdue for repair, keep right and before long we emerge at the A34 again opposite the drive to a furniture maker’s where we turn right and walk on the narrow pavement for a few hundred yards passing the village hall on the left. On reaching Redesmere Lane turn left to find ourselves back at Redesmere again and the ducks happy to accept any leftovers from your packed lunch.
Area of walk: Siddington between Alderley Edge and Congleton.
Distance: 4 miles.
Time to allow: 2 hours.
Map: OS Explorer 268 Wilmslow and Macclesfield.
Wheelchair accessibility: Not suitable.
Keith will be back next month with another great walk through the Cheshire countryside. To reserve your copy now – and save £1 – go online now to www.buyamag.co.uk/cheshire and enter the discount code WAS6.