Once the obligatory coffee/tea and scones were consumed we were on our way up to Ness to then take the usual lane bypassing Willaston on the way to Raby. Determined to stick to the lanes as far as possible we continued on to Thornton Hough, Brimstage and Storeton enjoying the perfect autumn weather. With the sun shining and clear skies after the overnight rain the views were stunning. Entering Storeton we debated the pros and cons of the Landican vs Barnston/Pensby route. I had heard that the Landican route had been improved, so what the hell, we’d give it a go and with time in hand we had little to lose. Well, it had been improved: not perfect but no worse than the Wirral Way was our conclusion. From here it was only a short ride to Irby Mill skirting the edges of Heswall and Irby.
Irby Mill was closed when we arrived at 11:45 but we chatted and relaxed at one of the outdoor tables soaking up the sun until 12 noon. No wonder the pub is Camra recommended with something like eight cask ales to choose from. I tried the Trojan Horse, a delightful black beer, while Ray went for a lighter summer ale: both superb. To eat it had to be the lunchtime ‘small’ fish and chips that left us wondering just how big the full size version would be. A great pub but after chatting for well over an hour it was time leave.
Determined to avoid the traffic we decided on a return route along the Wirral way. From the pub we skirted Royden Park before dropping down to Caldy where we joined the Wirral Way for an easy ride back to Neston. Here we decided to use the Burton Marshes route and the Millennium cycleway to return to Chester.
Halfway across the boardwalk section of the Burton Marshes route we were flagged down by a cyclist heading towards Neston but asking for directions to Garden City! We invited him to join us rather than try to provide directions through the industrial estate and it emerged that he had arrived from Hungary two days earlier and had accommodation in Garden City. As a matter of priority he had just bought a second hand bike and was out exploring while looking for a job. At the Millennium Cycle Bridge he knew where he was and we directed him back to Garden City before we continued on to Chester.
Back in Chester by 15:30 we missed the rain, which started half an hour later. A perfect day’s cycling in true CER tradition. Only 25 miles from Ness Gardens back to Ness Gardens but 47 miles overall Chester to Chester.
See route map and/or gpx file download.