Graded forest roads offer easy ways to explore the beautiful the mixed woodlands of Delamere Forest. Here and there your paths cross primeval meres – atmospheric relics of the Ice Age.


This easy walk starts from the Forestry Commission Linmere Visitor Centre Car Park, near Delamere Station off the B5152.

Delamere Forest walk

6.2 miles/9.9km | 4 hours | moderate

1. Start

Return along the access road; 130m along, turn left over the railway bridge. Turn right and immediately right again on to a track that follows first the railway line, then turns north east, beside a camping ground, to reach the main road. Cross into the car park road opposite; on your right is the eerie Dead Lake, with its drowned trees.

Forest in evening light with a dusting of frost on the ground

2. Dead Lake

Enter the car park and turn right past the picnic area to a barrier. Join the gravel road beyond; in 70m go left on a wide path beneath soaring pines. Ease right with this, curling round to a fork (marked 21 on a post). Turn left and go ahead at the cross-track, continuing to a footbridge.

Dead Lake, Cheshire/Credit: Colin Park, Gegraph

3. Brookside

Don’t cross this, but turn left alongside the brook. The path accompanies this woodland watercourse all the way to the main road.

For those who fancy a half-way lunch stop, turn right along the road for 1km to The Carriers Inn.

4. Blakemere Moss

Cross left to a barrier; turn sharp-right from this on the compacted roadway and walk to a major junction in 180m.

Turn left and trace this track beside Blakemere Moss. This area, reflooded in the 1990s, is more like the remote Canadian Shield than leafy Cheshire; the cacophony of terns is deafening. Viewing points allow memorable views, but keep well back from the miry foreshore.

Blakemere Moss/Credit: Getty

Continue to and around a sharp-left bend marked with many waymarked posts. In a further 180m fork right on a short dirt path, then head right on a compacted path which meanders through lovely woodland to the main road at the entrance to Barns Bridge Gates car park.

5. Sandstone Tail

Opposite this (right) is a forest road. Join this and in 45m fork left on the Sandstone Trail. This then comes to skirt the forest edge.

Roadway bisecting Delamere Forest/Credit: Getty

6. Forestry Roads

At a cross-track keep ahead. Shortly, turn left on the wider track; in 350m fork left at the junction and then left again on a graded forestry road.

7. Southbound

At the main road go straight over and ahead-left on the principal track. Follow a bend round to the right; bear left at the next junction and walk 180m to a left bend. Fork right on to a path to reach a junction and railway bridge.

More like this
Autumn leaves in Delamere Forest/Credit: Getty

8. Over the bridge

Cross the bridge; go ahead 35m then left on a narrow path to find the Black Lake, a sombre pool overshadowed by immense pines.

Return to the main track and go left. Keep ahead-left at the fork and, at a sharp-left bend, go ahead on the lesser path through to a T-junction.

Misty autumn day in Delamere Forest/Credit: Getty

9. Complete the loop

Turn left on the path within the Forest’s edge; this dips and weaves through a dingle, rising past felled and regenerating tracts of wood, then past an orchard to gain a T-junction with a wide rough lane. Turn left and follow this back to Linmere.


Delamere Forest map

Delamere Forest walking route and map


Neil Coates is a Manchester-based writer with nearly 40 walking/guidebooks published.