I drove past Delamere Forest in Cheshire recently, and have been itching for an opportunity to come here and visit properly. Some late summer sun gave us a great reason to head here for a day out last weekend.
Not far from Manchester, but feeling like a world away, Delamere Forest is in Cheshire, a short drive from the M56.
Delamere Forest is great for keen mountain bikers and walkers, as well as being ideal for a family day out. There are 3 marked walking trails through the forest and several marked mountain bike trails. You can even hire bikes and trailers near the visitors centre and cafe.
We’d brought “big bike” – CJ’s balance bike with us though, so Mr Parklover and I chose to walk round the 1.75 mile long green trail
This part of Delamere Forest was full of families – the green trail is even suitable for pushing a buggy round, as many families were doing. It also has the added bonus (to some people) of crossing the path of the Go Ape high wire course. It’s not everyone’s idea of a day out in the forest, but if you’ve got small children, they might find it quite amusing to sit and watch people on hen and stag do’s flying through the air and screaming.
Despite the full carparks, and the thrill seekers on zipwires, it’s easy to find quiet and tranquil spots in Delamere Forest and these were my favourite moments. Inhaling the fresh scent of pine trees and sharing in CJ’s delight at finding both a huge and a tiny pine cone. Gazing up at the sheer height of the trees and looking down to spot wildflowers and mushrooms growing at the side of the path.
We took a slight detour from the trail to take a look at Blakemere Moss. This is a large wetland with an eerie quality, the stumps of felled trees forming perfectly straight lines through the surface of the water.
If you like watery pusuits, Hatchmere is nearby. Kate Feld recently wrote about wild swimming on Creative Tourist and included Hatchmere in her round up of wild swimming locations within easy reach of Manchester.
If walking or cycling at Delamere Forest gives you an appetite, there is a cafe and a covered picnic area. Alternatively, there is a cafe near the main road at Delamere Station. We had a sandwich here and bagged a table by a window so that CJ could watch the trains going past. Parking’s free here if you are using the cafe or station.
We’re looking forward to exploring more areas of Delamere Forest as CJ gets older. It’s a lovely place to cycle or walk and can be as peaceful or as thrilling as you want it to be. With its own railway station and direct trains from Manchester Piccadilly its a great option for a day out.