Blakemere Moss in the Delamere Forest, Cheshire is a beautiful area to walk any time of the year. I was passing by on a hot summer day and the walk around the lake itself was perfect for a dog walk. The trees gave plenty of shade from the sun and the colours of the nature was a treat for the senses.
It is an area where you can take short walks or a longer one with really well maintained footpaths and signage. This time I took the direct path around the perimeter of the lake itself, but there are paths that divert deeper into the trees themselves to create a day-long walk with rich variety.
There is a big car park on the B5152 that is directly opposite the lake called Whitefield Car Park. Postcode WA6 6NS.
It is a pay and display car park, and at the time of writing if you wanted more than a couple of hours walking, the cost is £6.
To get to the start of the walk just head out of the car park where you entered by car and cross the road. This takes you directly onto the circular path.
Blakemere Moss Formation
Today, Blakemere Moss looks like a beautiful and natural lake or mere. It is actually a reclaimed wetland area and, once upon a time, the whole of this part of Cheshire and over into part of Shropshire would have been covered in these meres and mosses.
After the last ice age, over 10,000 years ago, there would have been loads of meres and mosses covering the entire landscape. Delamere Forest has over a 100 of them alone.
As the glaciers retreated, the ice broke up and the big chunks of ice that broke away began to melt where they were. This formed huge boggy indentations in the ground. These indentations are known as Kettle Holes. A lot of them would have naturally filled with water or the holes or would have become mossy bogs.
Blakemere Moss covers an area that would have originally have been two of these kettle holes.
In the 1800s the water here was drained, apparently by prisoners from the Napoleonic Wars, and oak and pine trees were planted. Then, in the 1940s, the Forestry Commission planted more pine and western hemlock. This is why you see remnants of old trees sticking out of the water as you walk around.
The tree planting was not a commercial success and in the 1990s the area was allowed to naturally reflood again.
Now it is a mix of natural waters, mosses and old trees combined with man made forests. It is a feast of nature, colour and tranquility. Not just for walkers but also for for swathes of wildlife and birds.
As I said previously, there is the short walk, which is the one I did, that goes around the perimeter of the water. The walk is a flat 2.7 miles around, and the paths are wide and really well maintained.
It is a lovely mix of waterside, woodland and forest. A walk that is great for dogs as well as for those with prams and more.
I was there on a June summer’s day during the midweek and I met around 10 other people the whole way, so it was extremely peaceful.
Speaking of meeting people, there is one section where you may be confused by a noise coming from up in the tree canopy. This is where a section of the local Go Ape treetop adventure route passes overhead. Depending on the people, the noise may be that of people shrieking in fear or enjoying themselves.
Every now and then you will find a good bench to relax on with a view of the water or a view into the forest. Wild flowers adorn the areas on either side of the pathway, and include the pinks and reds of campion to the bright yellow of buttercups.
Birds in the trees all around sing away in the sunshine. Butterflies and dragonflies dart through the air.
There are signs around that show the many routes you could take for extending the walk into the moss itself and into Delamere Forest to create variety on your visit. I am sure this is an area that could be explored endlessly on multiple visits and would be great throughout the different seasons.
A lot of these routes are great for cyclists too, and with them being so wide there is room for both cyclists and walkers to share the paths comfortably.
The water is a haven for wild birds and they are the cause of most of the sounds you hear as you walk around the water.
You will see whole groups of water birds on the mere including black headed gulls, greylags, teals, mallards, coots, and lapwings.
The stumps of the old trees out in the water that used to adorn this land have become standing spots for hundreds and hundreds of birds.
Thank you, Cheshire, for this beautiful and serene walk. It was an impromptu adventure in passing and became a walk that inspired me to come back to this area to do a whole lot more.
I loved it, the dogs loved, and I am sure you will too.