A circular route to the north of Audlem with lots of options to mix back roads and lanes with towpath. The route can be travelled in several configurations — just pick the one you fancy. Here are some notes to help you decide:
Route A6 (11.4 miles-easy) Avoiding the Audlem Wharf to Coole Lane towpath section, involves a 1 mile section of the A525 Whitchurch Road to Coole Lane. (easy)
- This is a busy main road requiring caution, especially around the narrow bridge crossing the River Weaver.
- There are short sections of moderate gradient either side of the bridge over the Weaver, but otherwise the route is largely flat.
Route A6* ( 9.3 miles-moderate). This route takes the towpath to Bridge 74 either on the outward journey or on return. -The canal towpath from Audlem Wharf to Coole Lane (moderate).
- Approximately half of the towpath section is on hard surface, with the remainder on compacted earth which can be muddy and slippery after rain. Not recommended in wet or icy winter conditions.
- Access at the Audlem end is flat, but at Coole Lane there are two options:
- A short but very steep flight of steps to link directly at the road bridge 82. Cyclists must be confident that they can carry their cycle up or down these steps before attempting this option. Dismounting essential.
- A ramp at Bridge 83, from where a short footpath links with Coole Lane. Cyclists must dismount and walk the short ramp and footpath section as cycling is not permitted. The towpath section between bridges 82 and 83 can, however, be muddy and slippery after rain.
- The towpath can be busy with walkers and anglers at weekends. Please be courteous and follow the towpath code. Watch out for Anglers, use your bell well ahead and be prepared to dismount.
- The towpath route option is generally flat with no steep gradients, other than one very short steep lock approach at Bridge 79, where dismounting between the lock and the bridge is recommended.
The canal towpath from Coole Lane to Hack Green (moderate).
- The Coole Pilate picnic area is accessed from this section. This is a pretty spot popular with narrowboats for much of the year. Here the towpath can be busy with boaters, so please be courteous and follow the towpath code.
- This section of towpath is on earth and grass which can be very muddy and slippery after rain. Not recommended in wet or icy winter conditions. The surface is also quite bumpy in places.
- A flight of steps has to be negotiated at Hack Green (Bridge 74) between the towpath and the road (dismount required).
- Places of interest:
The Secret Bunker, Hack Green (Admission charges apply)
Coole Pilate Picnic Area
The Cafe at Bridge 80, is a short detour from both route options. Refer to route A2 notes for details.