A walk on the borders!
Recently a colleague wrote an article for Out Inn Cheshire describing a walk along part of the Runcorn boundaries of Halton. This prompted me to undetake a short walk along the Western boundary of Halton, on the outskirts of Widnes with of course some stops for real ale!
We met at the Unicorn in Cronton where a fine pint of Timothy Taylor landlord was enjoyed. Two real ales were on offer in this popular multi roomed pub. A scouting party visited the nearby Black Horse where this previously keg only pub now keeps Jennings Cumberland as a regular real ale. Both pubs have a reputation for quality food, but it was too early in the day for this!
We drove to Hale Village, passing the Four Topped Oak along the way and wishing we had time to go in and enjoy their selection of real ales. However today was about walking and we parked at the Wellington to start our walk.
We left the pub and turned right towards the War Memorial and artillery gun that dominate this stretch of road. We then turned left down Church End and stopped at the Childe of Hale pub. This is named after the 9 ft 5 inch tall giant (John Middleton 1578 to 1623) whose story plays a major part in the local history. This tells how his wrestling prowess led to him beating the kings champion but falling into misfortune on the way home.
A pint of Adnams Bitter was much appreciated and Wells Bombadier was also available. A full size statue of John Middleton appears further on the left hand side of the road. We took the second left turn (Within Way) and followed this from road to track at the edge of the river Mersey.
The scene becomes very rustic as open fields and views across the Mersey dominate. At the Mersey, we then turned to the right noticing large flocks of birds and fast moving Rabbits. We followed the path to Hale Lighthouse, and walked onto the foreshore for a mooch about. At the lighthouse we then headed in a straight line back towards Hale Village along a well worn path that became a good road after a stile.
We walked past St Marys Church (where you can see John Middletons grave in the churchyard), to pass the Childe Of Hale and return to the Wellington. Here a fine selection of 4 real ales were presented. There is a popular bar at the front of the pub, but we sat in a smaller drinking area adjacent to the busy restaurant. Two Marstons beers were presented and two guests. I enjoyed a pint of Brakespeare Bitter and an excellent pint of Okells Olaf.
It had been a very enjoyable day with some fantastic walking and scenery complemented by some excellent real ales. I can only recommend to others not to stick to the town/ city centres but have a look at the more outlying areas as well – you may be pleasantly surprised!