Vale Royal Abbey, River Weaver and Vale Royal locks

This pleasant country and river walk takes in Vale Royal Abbey, the River Weaver and Vale Royal locks


7 April 2024

2 dogs allowed

This pleasant country and river walk starts in Winsford from the Whitegate Way Car Park, which lies in the heart of Winsford’s salt-making industry. The Whitegate Way reuses the old Railway line which we follow for a short distance before taking level country paths and quiet lanes into the pretty village of Whitegate passing St Mary’s Church.

Next, we walk down to the Vale Royal Abbey house built close to the site of an abbey commissioned by Edward I in about 1270. The present house is the successor to the mansion built by Thomas Holcroft in the 1540s which later became the headquarters of ICI’s Salt Division.

Beyond the abbey the route crosses the River Weaver at Vale Royal Locks which we follow until we return to the short section of the Whitegate way back to the car park. This section of the Weaver is a haven for birdlife with herons, geese, and swans nesting along the banks. The water lilies are spectacular in sections.

Depending on time, we will either cross the Weaver at the footbridge (which is open again) and retrace our route on the Whitegate Way or continue by the river to the Red Lion and complete the circular walk back to the car park.

The paths are generally dry at this time of year but please wear appropriate footwear for muddy sections particularly on the towpaths.

Disused railway path, quiet country lanes and river paths
Starting Point:
Whitegate Way Car Park, Winsford CW7 2PD Off the A54 into Winsford and turn left into New Road which becomes Bradford Road.
Walk Starts:
Walk Finishes:
Highest Point:
Whitegate village


Let the walk leader know of any relevant medical conditions

Refer to the Handbook for walk related information and specifically for recommended walking equipment and safety information

Remember you are responsible for being properly equipped

Ensure you have the walk leader’s phone number in case of an emergency

If you become detached from the group STOP, call out; try contacting group by phone or text. If no contact return to the last place you were with the group. Wait 30 mins repeatedly trying to make contact. After 30 mins seek help and/or make your own way safely.

The Google map below is the location of the walk start point.