I took my little group along the Greenway to start with, and after a short blip along the A56, we turned towards Thornton Le Moors, and then beyond to Oil Sites Road - as glam as it sounds! I love the variety we have riding from Chester; flat open marsh land, river and canal sides, lanes, Welsh hills (and a few Cheshire ones!) but also the industrial, and following the pipelines and old railway tracks alongside steam and tall chimneys makes quite a change.
The Boat Museum is also a great reminder of the history of this area, when it was full of industry, and the Manchester Ship Canal running alongside. The cafe is also a good size, and being recently re-furbished it is nice to check it out.
We bade farewell at the cafe and went our separate ways, my group set off along the canal, which after a short while left behind the industrial and functional parts of Ellesmere port, through an estate and to the back of The Blue Planet Aquarium (even glimpsing Santa's reindeer, no really!). Then we crossed and entered open fields and farmland, heading back via Stoke and Picton Gorse. The lanes were muddy, but there are working dairy farms here and the cows have not learnt to wipe their feet!
The great thing about cycling, is the opportunity to either forage in the hedgerows, or sometimes take advantage of autumnal goodies, like these apples sat in a basket on the roadside.