When it comes to walking territory, Crewe straddles the border between refined rural walks with finesse, complete with all the grandeur of dipping hilltops and soaring landscape, and the more urban retreat, studded with venues which proffer informative and unique perspectives on local history and development. Be it architecturally, via landmark, or naturally, via bare, open space, a walk in any of the neighbourhood grounds will see you coming across archives, documentation and revival in spaces and authoritative natural resorts which make these typical features really come into their own.
Nowhere does the classical image of green pasture and meadows far and wide come into its own, in this way, more so than at Crewe Hall. Prominently set-back into expertly landscaped gardens and stately ornamental surroundings, the manor showcases the way concrete and nature unify, brushing up against each other to create displays of regional patrimony and pride. A walk among the grounds here is a walk which explores the essence of the community, and the way it has changed over time, governed by differing needs and social restraints.
For the more urban dweller, Nantwich Museum, St. Mary’s Church, Market Hall, Crewe Heritage Centre and Reaseheath Mini Zoo, equally as central and unique, offer an easy-to-follow and direct walking route when combined, proving a tempting and rewarding amble through some of the finest localised premises. Contained and specific, these sites prove that you don’t need to stray far to find yourself brushing up against nature, serving as a reminder of how picturesque and well-maintained the area is.
Other areas, further out, do also retain their own sense of preservation and strong cultivation. Quaker’s Coppice is lined with deciduous woodland, made up of oak, silver birch, holly and twisted hornbeam. It’s a must-do for any tree-spotter, with so many species set side-by-side in a luxurious array of height, colour and growth. Lovers of such laid-out pastoral space can find similar appeal at Joey the Swan; an attractive area of countryside visited frequently by walkers for the distinct and varied routes on offer, again featuring notable ancient trees. Trees, and the photogenic picture they create, are a significant part of the countryside in these parts, having a pronounced effect on the visuals and headline scenes.
Scenery is, all in all, what walks here come down to. Whether provided with a new vantage point from which to see the quaint or alluring, or an excuse to visit a never-before-seen local monument or edifice, cultivating a walk using the landmarks of Crewe is a creative and flexible process, with emphasis being on experience and the reward rather than any essential extensive pre-planning or vigour.
Here are our picks
Queens Park, Victoria Avenue, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 7SJ - Visit now
Queens Park is a listed public park which has retained the features from its original design plan in1887. A major renovation in 2014 extended this, adding to the site a new playground, cafe, bowls pavilion and construction work on footpaths and bridges. Nowadays, the park is a resplendent, popular spot, ideal for long, leisurely walks, picnicking or scanning for local wildlife activity. The lake is studded with monuments and dedicated plaques which provide tit-bits of local knowledge to soak up while you meander round. Other than the weekly park run, the area is typically quiet and relaxing, providing ample space for devised walking routes and circulars. Designed initially by garden landscaper Edward Kemp, the foliage is a major pull-point, and one to take full advantage of as you cast your eye over the surrounding views as you walk.
St. Mary’s Church, St. Mary’s Parish Office, Church Walk,, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5RG - Visit now
St. Mary’s Church is an active parish located in the centre of town. Constructed in red-brick, with sandstone dressings, slate roof and a decorated architectural style, the property is eye-catching and then some. Lodging on the corner of St. Mary’s Street, the church is easily found, and ideal for mapping into a walking route which loops the town and its central locations, before, perhaps, bordering off into more developed open space and greenery. The lancet windows, geometrical tracery, chancel, apse and five-bay nave make it a gratifying and distinct venue to stop by and tick-off, taking in the inside serenity and beauty before you go. Add this location to an urban trail for a diverse and attentive option which lends itself well to the ethos and atmosphere of local establishments.
Nantwich Museum, Pillory Street, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5BQ - Visit now
Nantwich Museum is renowned for showcasing the best of local collections and history. From the English Civil War, salt-production and cheese-making, the variable and eclectic exhibitions tell the forging and background of the area in a way that gets up-close with the objects of the time. As is typical of many buildings here, the design and innovation are well-known and established, with the classic red-brick facade rearing symbolically. Its central location is ideal for linking it up with other societal venues for a self-led culture tour, or, alternatively, the museum houses enough in and of its own to stroll around inside. Walkers may be interested to know that maps feature prominently in the collections, with many dated, significant and early maps available to view.
Crewe Market Hall, 27 Earle Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2BL - Visit now
Crewe’s Market Hall is as historic as they get. Open regularly for browsing, the indoor venue is well-suited to a slow, untimed amble, offering a subversive and collective environment to surround yourself with. The 2021 redecoration was initiated with the purpose of boosting the inside furnishing, creating a rapport between the monument of history and the building that stands today. Stalls, including independent retailers and pop-ups, sell anything from high-quality, fresh food to take home, bites to nibble on-the-spot, fashion and textiles. Somewhat of a hub, the venue is worth adding to a list of spaces to potter about, if only for the ease with which you can dip in and out of its spirited community.
Crewe Heritage Centre, Crewe Heritage Centre, Vernon Way, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2DB - Visit now
Crewe Heritage Centre is a railway museum, conveniently and not ironically located between Crewe railway station and Crewe town centre. Pulling these two strands together is what the museum itself is about; the town, and its history, are explored via the central mode of travel, surveying the ways journeying onboard the railway allowed local inhabitants to extend their geography and peruse other cities and further-off areas. The exhibition in this stead might interest walkers keen to gain new knowledge on how local travel has evolved, bringing new prospects and promise about. Otherwise, the centre itself is conveniently situated, making it a good starting point for walking routes and local traversing to bounce off.
Reaseheath Mini Zoo, Reaseheath College, Reaseheath Roundabout, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 6DF - Visit now
Reaseheath Mini Zoo is set in Reaseheath College; a local and central school for the area. Used by students in the term-time, the site opens up to the public on all other dates, including weekends, which is useful for those pre-planned walks which require a time-frame and routine. The animals kept here are variable. Otters, lemur, porcupine, owls, love birds, golden pheasant, pony, sheep, turtles and lion fish make up some of the list, with the focus being on categorisation and classification. There are educational strands at play here but, mostly, this is a lively and lighthearted venue to venture into, packed with plenty of scope to take a walking tour of the displays, as it is.
Crewe Hall, Weston Road, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 6UZ - Visit now
Crewe Hall is luxurious in appearance and aesthetic. Large and stately, the site is a statement, surrounded by expertly landscaped gardens which open-up into the countryside beyond. It’s a picturesque set-up. A walk from any of the nearby tick-list spots, such as Trentham Gardens, could lead you toward the sitting-point of this stately manor, with an endless expanse of fields to navigate. Another way of doing it would be to map the mansion as your starting point, and take-off into any of the many respected walking routes spiralling out in all directions. Each is well-worth the effort put in for the views given back in return, with fine landscape and pasture coating the surroundings.
Quaker’s Coppice, Mallard Way, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 6HA - Visit now
Quaker’s Coppice is right on the edge of Crewe, with views that reward the effort made to pinpoint it as a specific walking site. Short and generally level, a round circuit here typically appeals for its ease and accessibility, winding through deciduous woodland made up of oak, silver birch, holly and twisted hornbeam. It’s a must-do for any tree-spotter, with so many species set side-by-side in a luxurious array of height, colour and growth. The natural woodland floor is ideal for walkers, set as it is with flat, marked pathways and routes. With glimpses of ponds cropping up now and then, the full effect is forty-five minutes of serene, tranquil nature bound-up in a cycle of walking that is as habit-forming as it is rewarding.
Joey the Swan, Wistaston Green Road,, Wistaston, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 8SS - Visit now
Joey the Swan is an attractive area of countryside visited frequently by walkers for the distinct and varied routes on offer. Key features include notable ancient trees and a wildflower garden, the latter of which was planted by local volunteers. There is a real community feel to the area here, with the site providing an open and welcome invitation to all who want to walk it. Regular goers typically follow the main round, which leads a scenic trail out before looping back to the central starting point. The path generally follows the line of Wistaston Brook, providing a ready-made, accessible route which is easy to follow and adhere to. Showcasing a copious amount of wildlife, the environment highlights the key draw to this distinctly open space; that of its inherent richness in thriving natural life.