Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Specific board for this popular undertaking.
spaman
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Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby spaman » 17 Mar 2019, 7:33pm

We are planning on doing Lejog and wondered which route is preferable when getting through the M56/M62 corridor.
We will be taking our tent but happy to hostel/B&b.
Advice would be appreciated.

rareposter
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby rareposter » 17 Mar 2019, 8:50pm

What are your stopping points before and after Manchester? That'll make a difference to what routes are feasible.
How quickly do you have to be through there? - if it's 100+ miles a day I'd be recommending a different route to if it's just 50 mile and you want to do some sightseeing...
What bikes are you using? There are some genuinely good canal towpaths, sustrans paths etc but it's pointless me telling you about those if you're on road bike with 25c tyres...

More info required...

Jamesh
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby Jamesh » 17 Mar 2019, 9:55pm

Can you post for both I'm going though at 100mpd and wouldn't mind a route also a more scenic route if the OP is touring at 50mpd.

Cheers James

spaman
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby spaman » 18 Mar 2019, 10:32am

Rareposter - stopping points not decided yet but as we are camping/hostelling would be either side of Manchester conurbation. We are slow tourers, My bike is a Spa Tourer with 1.5" tyres.
So criteria is backroads/Sustrans cycling rather than speed. Hope that's enough.

Jamesh
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby Jamesh » 18 Mar 2019, 2:55pm

Chester to Kendal for me

much appreciated

cheers James

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby ferrit worrier » 18 Mar 2019, 7:14pm

Which way are you approaching Manchester?
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

rareposter
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby rareposter » 18 Mar 2019, 7:32pm

Chester to Kendal sort of forces you to go through Runcorn unless you do a LONG diversion to the east. Not been to Runcorn in at least 10 years so I've no idea on a good route through it, I don't even know if cyclists are allowed over the new bridge or if you're sent over the old one. Once up at Preston though you're fine, that's actually not too bad on a bike and it's quite difficult to avoid all the urban around there.

As for the OP, I'd go up through Knutsford, High Legh, cross the Manchester Ship Canal at Warburton. From there you can either go NW past Ashton-in Makerfield, hrough the gap between Skelmersdale and Wigan and then follow the B roads north to Preston or you could go NE and thread through the gaps around Leigh then up to Rivington and over Rivington Pike which is lovely but hillier!

Jamesh
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby Jamesh » 18 Mar 2019, 9:53pm

Much appreciated :D

mfpnl
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby mfpnl » 18 Mar 2019, 9:58pm

We used the Cicerone route for that stretch. It takes you from Clun to up to Runcorn (keeping east of Chester) and then from Runcorn up to Slaidburn.

We camped in quiet little farm campsite - Birch Bank Farm Caravan and Campsite, Stamford Ln, Chester CH3 7QD. The site was clean, flat and cheap - no frills - so perfect for our needs. The added bonus was the Ring O' Bells pub in Christleton - about 1.1 miles from the campsite, down a quiet country lane. Great food and a good selection of beers.

Norman H
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby Norman H » 18 Mar 2019, 10:38pm

mfpnl wrote:
We camped in quiet little farm campsite - Birch Bank Farm Caravan and Campsite, Stamford Ln, Chester CH3 7QD. The site was clean, flat and cheap - no frills - so perfect for our needs. The added bonus was the Ring O' Bells pub in Christleton - about 1.1 miles from the campsite, down a quiet country lane. Great food and a good selection of beers.



I also used that campsite on my LEJOG. There's details of our route from there to the YH at Slaidburn, elsewhere on the forum here

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RickH
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby RickH » 19 Mar 2019, 12:38am

Runcorn bridge is closed to traffic until 2020(link)! There is a bus to take pedestrians & cyclists across but I've heard it isn't all that frequent.

An alternative if your around Chester is to go up the Wirral & cross the Mersey using the ferry (or train). You can stay off road for a significant chunk if you follow the Wirral Way up to West Kirkby & then round the coastline through New Brighton to the ferry (or a station). There are generally pleasant routes up the east side of the Wirral but they tend to be somewhat more convoluted.

To go through Manchester you can pick up the Trans Pennine Trail past Lymm & Dunham (where it follows an old railway line then follow the Bridgewater Canal (apart from about 1/4 mile where it crosses the Ship Canal as the Barton swing bridge doesn't have a towpath). Beyond Worsley the towpath is pretty dire but if you leave the canal at Monton (Parrins Lane) you can join the Roe Green rail path which, if you take the left fork, joins a new path alongside the guided bus way which you can follow for several miles - either branch off near Tyldesley (but beware the route marked as 55 on many maps as it is more of a mud bath than a path in places - although it looked as though improvement/ actually create a path work was starting on one of the worst bits when I went past on the road recently).

If you go all the way to Leigh, very short bit of road riding will take you to the Leeds Liverpool Canal which you can follow all the way through Wigan & up the flight of locks (20+). The gotcha here is that there are a number of gates, about 8 I think, which are not easy to get through with a loaded bike. A couple of the gates are almost always closed, the remainder are often open but I have been through when, for whatever reason, they have mostly been shut. The right fork of the Roe Green path takes you up across (or onto) the A6 to the outskirts of Bolton.

Again it is wise to leave the canal to pass Haigh Hall as parts of the towpath can be pretty muddy there. From Red Rock onwards the towpath improves steadily & you can follow it all the way past Chorley (I've happily ridden this bit with 25/28mm tyres but wider is better IMO).

spaman
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby spaman » 19 Mar 2019, 7:16am

RickH, you mention 'shut gates' on the Leeds Liverpool canal - are they locked, ie impassable?

philvantwo
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby philvantwo » 19 Mar 2019, 8:52am

Get a radar key for the gates!
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RickH
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby RickH » 19 Mar 2019, 8:53am

spaman wrote:RickH, you mention 'shut gates' on the Leeds Liverpool canal - are they locked, ie impassable?

There is a large gate that is sometimes open, sometimes closed. There is also a kissing gate with a Y shaped hole in the end that an unloaded bike will pass through. Luggage (& wide bars) won't fit through so you need to stand your bike on its back wheel or lift it over. The number of times you need to do this varies depending on how many of the big gates are open.

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RickH
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Re: Lejog routes past Manchester or Runcorn/Widnes

Postby RickH » 19 Mar 2019, 2:35pm

philvantwo wrote:Get a radar key for the gates!

I don't think they are radar locks - from what I've noticed they mostly seem to be chains with padlocks.