The walk from Churton heading north along the east bank of the river Dee to the Eaton Hall bridge at Aldford was described here a few weeks ago, and was followed a few days later with a look at the story behind Eaton Hall Bridge itself. This walk picks up the footpath from Aldford and heads north. The footpath crosses the bridge from the east to the west bank, and turns right sharply to follow the river to the north. For those of you following local footpaths on the Cheshire West and Chester Public Map Viewer, see the map below as copied from the site.
If you are driving to Aldford, it seems to be okay to park outside the Aldford church. There were certainly a number of dog walkers parked there, and there is no signage or road markings to indicate that this would be unwelcome.
It was only a short outing because a serious amount of garden weeding awaited, and when I reached the Eaton Hall sluice gate, which empties a small canal into the river, I turned around and came back (about half an hour each way), but it was enough to establish that this section of the riverbank has a rather different character from the east bank between Churton and Aldford. Instead of the fields that follow the Churton to Aldford section of the Dee to the east, the presence of Eaton Hall estate, fenced off all along that stretch of the path, creates a more contained and intimate feel to the footpath.
If you are starting from Aldford, go to the church and head through the white gate next to it, along the footpath that dissects the field, and over the bridge.
As soon as you cross the bridge, you will see a sign indicating that the roadway ahead is private, and that you need to turn right. Almost immediately, there is a second sign warning of flooding. This is clearly no joke. Even though it was bone try on this occasion, there are long sections that preserve deep sections that were clearly deep mud, endlessly trampled by boots. As the sign says, there is clearly a risk of being cut off in wet weather, as much of the footpath sits in a narrow section between the river on the one side and a big fence along the Eaton Estate on the other.