Distance: 14 miles
Weather: overcast but warm
Blackthorn, elderberry, bramble, dogberry, hawthorn, rowan
Fieldfares, swallows, buzzards calling
Dirty bogs: 0
Close encounters: big dog, small cat, big hedge cutter, flies
The rain had stopped overnight and it was overcast as we set off from Kelsall and actually a bit warmer than expected, especially as the start of the walk was uphill. We were accompanied part of the way by the vicar's cat who, while friendly, wasn't much help with finding the footpath.
Along the path through Nettleford Woods we spotted lots of trees coming into fruit, including blackthorn (sloe) and took a detour into Delamere Forest and the visitor centre - this started off as the Sandstone Trail Alternative Route but soon we took alternative alternative routes and made our own way back to the Trail along the side of Blakemere Moss. The lake had less water and more tree stumps in it than we'd expected but was definitely not a dirty bog. The signs were very clear on that.
Out of the forest, we stopped for tea and scones at a b&b on the edge of Manley Common then continued around the side of Simmonds Hill and Alvanley Cliffs. The wooded cliff edge was steep sided and rocky, with lots of steps up and down. We stayed high and emerged at the memorial and viewpoint, looking out over the Ellesmere Port and the Mersey estuary. The path zigzags down into Frodsham, we crossed a busy road to visit the marker at the end of the Trail then headed to the railway station.