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Lockdown 36

 

Route description & photos

Start from the old North Staffordshire Railway (disused) line at Oak Road, Westwood, just to the west of Leek.  Commence walking North West towards Rudyard.

 

Old Hall, Westwood College        North Staffordshire Railway line at Westwood

 

The first section of walking is serene and easy, following the flat and straight route of the old Leek to Rudyard railway line.

 

NSR (disused) towards Rudyard        Very easy walking

 

A couple of bridges are crossed, and views open up to either side.

 

First of several bridges the line goes over        Crossing an old railway viaduct

 

A short section continues between tall embankments, but when a third bridge is encountered, this is where we leave the old railway line.

 

Railway embankments        Exit at this bridge

 

Turn left down the steps and walk away from the bridge towards a stream.

 

Down the steps        Looking back at the viaduct

 

On the other side of the stream - which is the canal feeder from Rudyard Lake - turn left over a stile.

 

Canal feeder in the Churnet Valley        Stile on the canal feeder path

 

This is the Staffordshire Way and the path remains with the canal feeder almost all the way back to Leek.

 

Staffordshire Way footpath        Staffordshire Way footpath alongside the canal feeder

 

There is the occasional muddy section, and some grassy parts, but in the main it is a good path to walk on.

 

A rather muddy section        Continuing along the Staffordshire Way

 

Views open up over Westwood Golf Course to your left as the path continues to follow the canal feeder.

 

View over Westwood Golf Club on the left        More of the canal feeder path

 

Some paths go off to the right into Ladderedge Country Park, but we remain with the path beside the canal feeder.

 

A route into Ladderedge Country Park on the right        Ladderedge Country Park

 

Look out for a large tree, the trunk of which has been decorated to look like something out of an old Enid Blyton book!

 

Tree decorations! Meandering path and canal feeder Tom enjoying the early morning walk

 

At the A53 main road, a footpath continues on the opposite side of the road, and this is a possibility for our route, but for a better path, turn left onto the road, walk a short distance, then turn right onto the next public footpath.

 

Public footpath sign at the road One mile outside Leek Crossing the A53

 

This walks through another section of Ladderedge Country Park and is very pleasant. 

 

Ladderedge Country Park         Ladderedge Country Park

 

It is a good path through the country park, alongside the River Churnet.

 

Path through Ladderedge Country Park        Welcome to Leek!

 

Exit the path onto the bridge.

 

Last section of path before the bridge         Exit the country park onto the bridge        

 

After the bridge, head through a series of passageways between tall fences.

 

First of a series of several ginnels  The "Do Not Enter" refers to the scrapyard, not the passageway!  Not as aesthetically pleasing, but still following an old railway line

 

You will reach a T-junction of these paths, and you turn left.  you are now back on the old disused North Staffordshire Railway line again, but south of Leek this time.  Unfortunately, the line does not link completely up with the part we started on; an old tunnel has been filled in under the centre of Leek.

 

The old NSR line south of Leek  The long straight footpath coming into more industrial areas  Approaching Morrisons!

 

Continue along the path, pass under a viaduct and across the car park for the large Morissons store. 

 

Morissons, Leek        Morissons car park

 

Head over towards the petrol station and through the underpass.

 

Route continues via the petrol station forecourt!        Underpass to the petrol station forecourt

 

Bear right out of the underpass, then left onto Burton Street.  Take the fourth right onto The Walks, a cobbled residential cul-de-sac, and follow up to its end.

 

The Walks        Ginnel from The Walks through to Cruso Street

 

From the end of The Walks, a long passageway continues through to Cruso Street.

 

Ginnel from Thw Walks to Cruso Street Ginnel from The Walks to Cruso Street Approaching Cruso Street

 

Turn left onto Cruso Street, then right onto James Street, and bend round left into Picton Street.

 

Cruso Street, approaching James Street, Leek        Take-A-Break, Leek

 

Continue to the end of Picton Street, and opposite you will see the Take-A-Break sandwich and oatcake shop.  If it is breakfast or lunch time, you will not be disappointed!

 

Turn right into this alleyway Back alleyway in Leek Continue behind the backyards and garages Approaching North Street

 

Head along Westwood Road towards the recreation gardens.  Look for a narrow alleyway on your right.  Turn into this to follow around to the left between the backs of houses.  At the end, turn right into North Street.  Follow footpath and cyclepath signs for Rudyard.

 

Footpaths between streets        Footpath / cycle path to Rudyard

 

Towards the end of North Street, veer right onto a footpath that passes between some houses and avoids roadside walking.  Continue straight ahead over the next road.

 

Path to the disused railway line path        Nearly back on the railway

 

Continue ahead onto another footpath at a bollard, and soon you will see another sign for Rudyard, pointing left down some steps.

 

Steps down to the railway line path        Nearly back at the start point

 

Head down the steps to rejoin the old railway line.  Pass under the bridge to return to the start point.  Enjoy your oatcakes!

 

A traditional Staffordshire breakfast!        Bacon,cheese, sausage & mushroom double oatcake!