So Far: 605.18 miles, 198:04 hours
A gentle amble today. The day started with a super view to the north from the Frodsham escarpment over the Mersey estuary. The sandstone of the north-south ridge across Cheshire that gives the trail its name is most visible in the cliffs here.
The Sandstone Trail took me southwards away from the towns and industry of the Mersey. In no time I was in tranquil grazing and woodland, the occasional aircraft overhead flying into or out of Liverpool or Manchester being a reminder that the northwest conurbations were still nearby.
The route and walking was easy and well signposted. Names like Urchin’s Kitchen, Gresty’s Waste and Whistlebitch Well promised points of interest but in fact the walk, whilst perfectly pleasant, was a bit nondescript – I guess you need to be excited about glacial geology and know what to look for. Lots of walkers and families on the trail and in Delamere Forest, with only a couple of short stretches on minor roads.
My pack’s largely unchanged following my ‘mini-break’ in Salisbury. I left behind my lightweight long johns, my ice pack (shin splints fully recovered!), and two disposable razors (from a packet of three). I added guide books for the Sandstone Trail, Maelor Way and Offa’s Dyke and -temporarily – the remnants of the Sunday papers and a packet of biltong.
I came off the trail to find where I’m staying in Tarporley, a lovely village or maybe small town. I’ve previously only ever rushed past it on the by-pass but it’s worth a visit. Jon recommended somewhere to eat but I was lazy, and went next door where the ‘street food’ was issued on the sounding of an alarm from the rear of a VW camper, served in a seed tray, and with as much wooden cutlery as you can get through. I suspect I’m not the target clientele but it was very nice and good value, whether you get to keep the seed tray or not.