Grade: Traffic free
Distance: 3.3km /2.1miles (Cheshire section)
Time: 30 mins (from end to end)
Start: Brunswick Street Car Park, Congleton | what3words: ///loaded.fork.flat
Map: OS Explorer 268
Terrain: Flat with a firm surface of crushed stone.
Barriers: Some gates
The route is part of NCN 55 Telford to Preston and has a firm, level surface of crushed stone.
For over 100 years trains travelled along the Biddulph Valley Way carrying coal from the Potteries to Congleton. Today walkers, cyclsits and horse riders enjoy this tranquil route away from roads. Bankside trees cast a dappled shade over a variety of wildflowers. Occasionally a fox may be glimpsed trotting along the track, or look skyward and you might notice a buzzard circling and reeling overhead, searching for a rabbit to swoop down on.
The railway line linked Stoke on Trent to Brunswick Wharf in Congleton, with a branch joining the Macclesfield to Stafford main line at the viaduct.
It was built to transport freight, mainly coal, which came from the vast North Staffordshire coal field. To avoid travelling back to Staffordshire with empty wagons, sand was often transported into the Potteries for industrial use, as this mineral was abundant around Congleton.
A date for completion of the line was imposed on the North Staffordshire Railway Company by the government and failure to meet the deadline meant the payment of a heavy fine. To avoid this the company performed a grand opening ceremony on the 3rd August 1859, although the line was only partially complete. It was a further twelve months before the line was fully open to mineral traffic.
In addition to freight, a passenger service also started running on 1st June 1864, though this was never a financial success and closed on the 11th July 1927. The movement of freight continued for a further 41 years, with the last train leaving Brunswick Wharf in Congleton on the 1st April 1968.
Follow the Biddulph Valley Way out from Congleton town, through the pretty Dane-in-Shaw…
Beartown Brewery - brewery tours.
This magnificent Victorian park is now fully restored and open to the public.
Congleton’s Paddling Pool has been a firm favourite with young children since the 1930s!
Independent community theatre
Touch screens and talking heads help to tell the story of Congleton from prehistoric…
Established in June 1985, Middlewich Market operates every Tuesday.
Congleton Indoor Market - Bridestones Centre - Tuesday 9am - 4pm & Saturday 9am - 4pm.
Sandbach golf club is home to a challenging course.
Enjoy a stroll through the wildflower meadows at Astbury Mere Country Park, or simply sit…
Specialists in Windsurfing, Dinghy Sailing and Canoeing, Tuition, Hire and Shop.
Congleton Golf Club was founded in 1898 when a group of some 20 gentlemen enthusiasts met…
Facilities include bar, trolley hire, catering, clubhouse, changing rooms and pro shop.
Today Timbersbrook picnic area is a beautiful spot where families can picnic
This amazing Victorian garden was created by James Bateman for his collection of plants…
One of the finest examples of the Medieval wooden church remaining in England today, this…