The Salter’s Way 2-day backpack

Pitch below Tegg's Nose summitA solo 2-day varied linear route based on the historic pack-horse trail of a medieval salt way from its mining source at Northwich on the Cheshire plain to Saltersford Hall in the hills of the western Peak District.

Needing a quick backpack route for a couple of days near to home, I thought of this little known trail that has gathered dust for many years on our books and, to our knowledge, has never been reported. Most of the Cheshire plain section is new territory of low level country walking, while the Peak District section presents some new paths and some familiar hillwalking landscapes from a different vantage.

On public transport, Lostock Gralam station seemed a better choice than Northwich for walking to the start of the SW: though a little longer, there is a towpath to follow along the Trent & Mersey canal. To complete this backpack, from Saltersford Hall I ascended to the ridge of Windgather Rocks and descended into the Dale of Goyt to join the Midshires Way northwards to Whaley Bridge station.

Northwich, along with Middlewich and Nantwich, are the main towns historically based on the salt trade and the westernmost section of the SW passes a number of working brine pump installations. Other industrial themes both old and new feature periodically on this route.

Full report & photos

4 thoughts on “The Salter’s Way 2-day backpack

  1. My great grandfather and grandfather were salt manufacturers, based in Winsford. In those days they just pumped brine from the ground without pumping water back in. Many of the pools and lakes you can see in that area were caused by subsidence caused by pumping brine. Originally there were lots of small companies. However, sometime in the late 1800’s they formed cartels, which helped push the price of salt up. Eventually, most of them became part of what is now ICI.

  2. Hi Ian.
    That’s an interesting family connection. Despite living in Cheshire fairly near the salt areas, I read briefly about the industry only when I did this backpack. I learnt about the uncontrolled brine pumping that caused subsidence kilometres away from the sites, making proof of cause and effect difficult.

  3. A very unusual and contrasting route from industry through Cheshire Plain fields and into the hills of the Western Peak District

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