Autumn Musings: A walk in the woods

todayThursday 27 April

share close

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey… 

These are the opening words to a classic song (do you know which one?  Read on for the answer!) and the inspiration for today’s adventure!

It’s a cold winter’s day too – but as part of my January health kick, I was determined to get out and about in the great outdoors and decided to have a walk in the woods!

We are quite lucky in Lymm – there’s lovely walks to be had around Lymm Dam and The Bongs.  A walk along the Bridgewater tow path towards Dunham is always worth doing. There’s also a little-known trail from Sow Brook, across the fields to the edge of the Manchester Ship Canal.

But today, I thought it was time to rediscover Spud and Helsdale Woods, just to the east of Lymm in Oughtrington.

When did you last go for a walk there?

Though it’s mid-winter, the trees are bare and the pathways are muddy – it’s still nice place to spend some quality time to yourself.

With a scenic expanse of open space – an abundance of wildlife, deep pools, tree art – caves, a waterfall and even hidden Lymm Rocks to find, isn’t it time you visited again?

Spud Wood

Adopted and managed by the Woodland Trust, Spud Wood was once a potato growing field but in 1998, it was planted with trees and is now a lush mix of broadleaf woodland and grassland meadow, bordering the Bridgewater Canal on one side and Helsdale Wood on the other. 

There’s a few entry points, though the main one is on Stage Lane (where there is a small car park with free parking).  A short walk over Grantham’s bridge and you have arrived.  Take a left or a right for a circular walk – or be brave and make your way through the trees and get lost along the way!

The 40 or so acres of land make for easy family-friendly walks – and it’s dog friendly too, though just be aware of a couple of hazards if you have young children.  There’s no barrier between the woods and the Bridgewater Canal for example.  Also, bordering the north-end of the woods, there’s some hidden deep-water pools.  It’s also a bit muddy this time of the year!

This is the place to do some birdwatching – and to spot the many squirrels playing in the trees.  It’s a favourite hiding place for Lymm Rocks too!

It’s a safe haven with some lovely views to take in.  A wonderful place to spend some “me” time, where you can let your imagination drift away whist taking in the views.

There’s about 6 benches dotted around for when you fancy a rest – and there’s a couple of picnic benches too, although they are looking a bit sorry for themselves at the moment.  Rubbish bins are located at the car park, the Grantham Bridge entrance and just by the entrance on Oughtrington Lane.

The original plans for Spud wood included toilets near the Oughtrington lane entry point, but these were never built.

There’s no other facilities, not even a visiting ice cream van – so you’ll have to take your own drinks and snacks, but it’s well worth a visit!

Helsdale Wood

Once a sandstone quarry, Helsdale Wood is seemingly privately owned – but unrestricted access is allowed and there’s an unofficial pathway which connects to Spud Wood.

In many respects, there’s more to see and discover here compared to it’s neighbour.  It’s a more challenging walk for sure – and it’s also popular place for young mountain bikers, with a few mud mounds to navigate.

There’s also a couple of makeshift swings too!

It’s a site of biological importance due to it’s population of liverworts and mosses – there’s a couple of deep pools, a stream and even a waterfall for you to discover!

Written by: ian

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


We would love to hear from you!

Please record your message.

Record, Listen, Send

Allow access to your microphone

Click "Allow" in the permission dialog. It usually appears under the address bar in the upper left side of the window. We respect your privacy.

Microphone access error

It seems your microphone is disabled in the browser settings. Please go to your browser settings and enable access to your microphone.

Speak now


Canvas not available.

Reset recording

Are you sure you want to start a new recording? Your current recording will be deleted.

Oops, something went wrong

Error occurred during uploading your audio. Please click the Retry button to try again.

Send your recording

Thank you