New ‘Rail Walk’ makes getting from Manchester to Cheshire’s £10M Lion Salt Works Museum easy by rail
If a day out in the country with the family appeals but the idea of travelling by car doesn’t, a new ‘Rail Walks’ map published online today to the new Lion Salt Works Museum, near Northwich, may be the answer. Produced by the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership, the map gives full details of how passengers can step off the train at Lostock Gralam station and make their way to the recently-opened £10m Museum on a flat, 2-mile (one way) walk. Details of the walk can be found at midcheshirerail.org.uk and on the Lion Salt Works site at westcheshiremuseums.co.uk.*
The Lion Salt Works Museum, owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council, opened in June this year after a four-year £10m restoration and refurbishment, thanks to a £5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Museum is proving to be a very successful visitor attraction and this new walk, most of which is along the canal towpath, is ideal for those visitors arriving by train. Walkers wanting to extend their walk can do so by following the canal through Marbury Country Park’s beautiful woodland to the historic Anderton Boat Lift (an extra 4-mile round walk).
The Lion Salt Works is the last historic open-pan salt-making site in the UK and one of the last four in the world and its industrial significance is recognised by its status as an Ancient Scheduled Monument. The new ‘living museum’ gives a fresh insight into the story of salt, explaining the national significance of Cheshire’s salt industry and how it shaped the local people, economy and landscape. This is brought to life in the Museum with fun, interactive and imaginative educational exhibits, including a walk-in ‘subsiding house’ Theatrical lighting, sound and film also evoke the giant clouds of steam once produced by the site’s huge salt-boiling pans.
Walkers arriving at the museum can visit the Museum’s established Butterfly Garden (currently at its peak flowering season) imaginatively-designed play area and café for free.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Most Mancunians are less than half an hour from the countryside by train and we are grateful to Mid-Cheshire Community Rail Partnership for preparing this walk for visitors who prefer to take the train.
“The Lion Salt Works is set to become one of the finest industrial museums in the country and we hope that residents and visitors in the Greater Manchester area will take this opportunity of coming to see the Museum for themselves. Since re-opening in June 2015, the Museum has already won two awards for the excellence of its restoration.” **
The Walk – Lostock Gralam Station to Lion Salt Works
Rail services on the Mid Cheshire Line are hourly between Monday and Saturday and every two hours on Sundays. Further details on fares, timetables and taking the train can be found at midcheshirerail.org.uk . Once at Lostock Gralam station, the flat walk of just under 2 miles takes daytrippers down the Trent & Mersey Canal to the newly-opened Lion Salt Works. The walk is estimated to take approximately 45 minutes. The scenery is a mixture of countryside and industrial landscape.