On a glorious Sunday in May, we headed out for a ride down the Bridgewater Way and Trans Pennine Trail. Two families, four kids and eight bikes, we made our way from Stretford towards Lymm.

We headed out on The Bridgewater Way at Stretford Marina, going south. At this time in the morning the path was relatively quiet, though busier than normal, due to the lovely weather. As usual, we had a combination of cargo bikes and kid’s bikes, with kids riding some or all the way.

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Once we passed Hawthorn Road, we took the turning for the Trans Pennine Trail. Unfortunately, the construction work on the linking path is still in progress and the signage is poor. There’s no warnings on The Bridgewater Way telling you of the closure with diversions, though there is if you’re coming from The Trans Pennine Trail.

Fortunately, some enterprising people had made a route through the construction work, so we used this. The work they’re doing here is welcome and it should make going between The Bridgewater Way and The Trans Pennine Trail more accessible without the slope. Though it does seem to be taking a long time and signposting and diversions should have been much better.

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Construction work on the section linking to The Trans Pennine Trail

From here, we headed towards the M60, crossing over near Kickety Brook, then on towards the River Mersey. We then passed under the Carrington Spur road, and crossed the Mersey. From here, it was a short ride along Stromford Brook until we got to traffic lights crossing the Carrington Spur road.

Once over the road, we were back on the The Trans Pennine Trail by Dainewell Park. Along here, we took the diversion for the Nation Grid work. I don’t know the details of this work, but the diversion has been implemented well. We carried on along the route until we reached Woodcote Road, where we headed towards Atlantic Street.

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National Grid diversion on The Trans Pennine Trail

Fortunately, we were not on the road for too long before we joined the Thelwall to Broadheath railpath towards Lymm. This is a particularly nice stretch of the route, especially given the unpleasant roads that preceded it. Though it is let down by the awful barriers, that must cause accessibility issues. We continued down here until near Dunham Massey. At this point, we return to the roads to head to Red House Farm for lunch.

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Barriers on the Thelwall to Broadheath railpath

After a very pleasant lunch with well-deserved ice creams and the kids having had a chance to run round, we set off for home. We headed back down the Thelwall to Broadheath railpath, then joined the newly completed section of The Bridgewater Way on Seamon’s Road.

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Newly finished section of The Bridgewater Way with too many stones

This stretch of The Bridgewater Way is much improved from what it was, being very narrow and muddy before. But it suffers the same problem as the new sections towards Worsley and Manchester, beyond Waters Meet. There’s just far too many stones on the path.

This issue was raised to Peter Parkinson of The Bridgewater Canal Company at the Trafford Cycle Forum back in February. Peter thought it was an error by the contractors and he said he would investigate. Unfortunately, nothing has been done, so these new sections remain quite tricky and dangerous to ride on.

While heading towards the A56 bridge, you pass the Linotype and Machinery Works that are currently in the process of being demolished. I don’t know the details of what’s been carried out here, but I do hope they’re planning to keep some of the building and not just replace the whole lot with faceless apartments.

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Demolition at the Linotype and Machinery Works

We carried on straight down The Bridgewater Way that got increasingly busy as we approached Sale. Not surprising, given this is generally the busiest section and the lovely weather. It’s great to see lots of people out enjoying the canal and the majority of people were respectful of the other users of the path.

After a brief stop for the kids at Walton Park, we continued back to Stretford Marina where we finished. What a lovely day it was, the weather was perfect and The Bridgewater Way and Trans Pennine Trail are great for spending a day out on the bikes with the family.

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