Distance 15 miles
Car Parking: Station Road, Neston
Nearest Railway Stations: Neston (Wrexham/ Bidston line), Chester
Nearest cycle repairs: Pedal Power, Burton 0151 336 8766 until 8 p.m.; Dave Miller Cycles 41 Frodsham Street, Chester 01244 326 506; The Edge 14 Upper Northgate Street, Chester 01244 399 888; Action Bikes 104 Northgate Street, Chester 01244 310 077.
1. Cycle along Station Road, Neston, and join the Wirral Way at Mellock Lane. The sandstone cutting can be wet at the bottom of the ramp by Mellock Lane.
2. After two miles, Hadlow Road station offers toilets, and there are pubs and a café in Willaston.
3. Just before Heath Lane bridge, turn left and sharp right onto Heath Lane.
4. As the road bends left, keep straight on along the bridleway through Oaks Farm.
5. At Badgersrake Lane, turn left, and after a right bend, turn right along Ledsham Hall Lane.
6. Cross the Welsh Road using the central refuge – TAKE CARE!
7. Follow Ledsham Lane, which becomes Rectory Lane. In Ledsham Lane CH66 0NB is Hosta Coffee Bar at Premier Plants , open from 9.30 every day 07850 395 932.
8. Turn left into Capenhurst Lane, through Capenhurst Village and past Capenhurst Technology Park.
9. Before the railway bridge, turn right along Dunkirk Lane.
10. Cross the A5117 using the central refuge – TAKE CARE!
11. Turn right for 50 yards, then left into a gated road.
12. After a right bend, turn left into a cycle track alongside the railway line.
13. Bear left onto Demage Lane, and turn left along Station Road, through Lea by Backford (steep down then up)
14. Turn right on the cycle track alongside Liverpool Road (A41) down to Backford Bridge, over the Shropshire Union Canal.
15. Down the ramp, turn right on the canal towpath towards Ellesmere Port.
16. Immediately after the first bridge over the canal (Caughall Bridge) turn right then left into Caughall Road, and immediately right up a narrow lane.
17. At Butter Hill, bear left along the bridleway that takes you through Chester Zoo.
18. After the zoo the bridleway joins Flag Lane North, where you turn left into Oakfield Drive and right into Caughall Road.
19. Cross Moston Road (A41) into Marina Drive, and turn left into Dukesway.
20. Turn left into Weston Grove, and right into St James Avenue.
21. At Plas Newton Lane, turn right and left into Coniston Road.
22. At Kingsway, turn right and left around a green to join a cycle track.
23. Before the bridge over the disused railway, turn right along a track alongside a field, to join the disused railway track, which is also Sustrans Route 5.
24. After crossing over the main railway track, turn left along a cycle track alongside Northgate Avenue, past Northgate Arena and along Victoria Road.
25. Cross St Oswalds Way (dual carriageway) using the Toucan crossing, and along Victoria Road and George Street to Northgate Street, where Route 56 officially ends at the Town Hall. There are shops, cafés, a cathedral, library, etc.
This ride is partly off roads, with a few hills. It is mostly rural until you reach Chester, and gives access to Chester Zoo and all the facilities of the city of Chester. It is well signed.
You no longer need a permit to cycle along canal towpaths.