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Ride the Salt Line

The Salt Line Countryside Office, Sandbach, Cheshire, CW11 4ST

Tel: 01477 534115

Add Ride the Salt Line to your Itinerary

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About Us

Grade: Easy
Distance: 3km/1.8miles end to end
Time: 30mins-1 hour
Map: OS Explorer 268
Terrain: Flat and well-surfaced
Barriers: All gates accessible to horse riders.
Toilets: Salt Line Ranger Office, Hassall Green end of route

150 years ago this area was a hive of bustling industry, based on salt. There were numerous brine shafts and salt works in the area, the largest salt works was located at Malkins Bank. Brine was heated in large open pans to leave white crystals of salt that were an important raw material in the production of washing soda, glass, soap and detergents.

The Sandbach to Wheelock branch of the North Staffordshire Railway line, now known as the Salt Line, opened in 1852 to carry coal and limestone to the salt works. A passenger service also ran daily with extra trains on Thursdays and Saturdays to take people to the market at Sandbach. In later years weekend excursions to Trentham Gardens near Stoke were popular.

The Trent and Mersey Canal was also a vital transport link, particularly for the salt works at Rode Heath which had their own wharf.

Much of the industry has now gone from the area, but clues to its fascinating industrial past can still be discovered. The Salt Line, the Wheelock Rail Trail and the canal, together with the footpaths, bridleways and quiet country lanes makes this a perfect area to explore whether on foot, bicycle or horse.

The Salt Line runs through farmland and woodlands, with streams, pools and rough grassland. Wild primroses brighten up the steep cutting at Roughwood Hollow while later in the year the delicate flowers of scabious and harebell can be seen on the banks.

Areas of willow and hazel are coppiced regularly. This is an ancient woodland practice in which trees are cut every few years to produce timber that would have been traditionally used for thatching spars, barrel hoops, hurdles and baskets.

Sheltered glades are created where flower and insects thrive, until the trees re-grow and the process begins again. Some areas are managed as wild flower meadows while others are left fairly wild and just cut back enough to keep the path clear. Look out for Bullfinches and Yellowhammers that feed on buds, berries and seeds along the Salt Line.

Directions

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Opening Times

2018 (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)

What's Nearby

  1. Fields Farm Fisheries

    If you're passionate about fishing and angling, you'll want to come to Fields Farm...

    0.95 miles away
  2. Sandbach Market

    Market days - Thursdays and Saturdays. 9am til 4pm.

    1.03 miles away
  3. Sandbach Crosses (EH)

    Two lavishly decorated Anglo-Saxon crosses dated to the first half of the ninth century.

    1.24 miles away
  1. Malkins Bank Golf Course

    Malkins Bank Golf Course was opened in 1976 and designed by world famous Hawtree Golf...

    1.7 miles away
  2. Wheelock Rail Trail

    After the railway closed in 1966 the track lay derelict for many years, gradually...

    2.03 miles away
  3. The Salt Line

    One hundred and fifty years ago this area was a hive of bustling industry, based on salt....

    2.12 miles away
  4. The Potters Barn

    A hand thrown pottery workshop with showroom.

    2.23 miles away
  5. Brereton Heath Local Nature Reserve

    Follow the Brimstone Trail an easy access trail through the woods and around the lake

    2.72 miles away
  6. Wheelock Hall Farm Shop

    Large farm shop selling high-quality local produce

    2.8 miles away
  7. Alsager Equestrian Centre

    Equestrian centre with indoor school, outdoor floodlit school. Regular competitions and...

    3.05 miles away
  8. Lakemore Farm Park

    Covering over 36 acres in total, with five lakes, nature trails, a Rare Breeds farm and...

    3.48 miles away
  9. Rode Hall & Gardens

    Rode Hall is a fine early 18th century country house set in a Repton landscape.

    3.63 miles away
  10. Little Moreton Hall & Gardens (NT)

    Step back in time, over 500 years and marvel at the delights of Britain’s most famous...

    3.79 miles away
  11. The Lovell Quinta Arboretum

    Nestled in the heart of the Cheshire countryside in the picturesque village of Swettenham...

    3.84 miles away
  12. Alsager Market

    Alsager Market every Wednesday at Fairview Car Park - 9am til 3pm.

    3.9 miles away
  13. Peak Pursuits

    Specialists in Windsurfing, Dinghy Sailing and Canoeing, Tuition, Hire and Shop.

    4.33 miles away
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