A NEW long distance horse ride has been opened in east Cheshire – and has been named after a Knutsfordian.

The Cheshire Cheese Loop – the very first long distance horse ride in Cheshire East – is now open to the public.

The loop is part of a larger course named Laureen’s Ride, after Mereheath Park resident Laureen Roberts, and the route runs to the south east of Knutsford, around the parishes of Over Peover, Chelford and Ollerton.

The Cheshire Cheese Loop is one of two loops that makes up Laureen’s Ride, with the second, Heritage Loop, currently being developed.

On the route there are also country estates to see, such as 16th century Peover Hall, Colshaw Hall and New Hall, which was used by General George S Patton during the Second World War.

The route is signposted on roads and way-marked on bridleways and byways. There are also maps and a talk-around service to guide the rider around the 17 mile route.

A leaflet is also available, which lists horse-friendly pub stops, accommodation and equestrian services close by.

Laureen said it was a great honour for the route to be named after her.

“I designed the route after breaking my leg last year, and I couldn’t do much apart from go on the computer,” she said.

“People have been interested in doing a route for years but as I had nothing else to do I worked with Cheshire East and other groups and applied for funding to create it.

“The bridle group asked if it could be named after me.

“Originally they said no, so the group said we won’t do it, but they changed their mind.

“There has been a large amount of interest, we’ve given out 1,000 leaflets and the signs on the route are purple so you can see them.

“One of the biggest plusses about riding is getting off the roads and seeing the great scenery, but riders are nervous because they may come across a bull or barbed wire.

“At least they know someone has sorted the route out, and it is good to ride on.”

Laureen’s Ride was developed by North Cheshire Riders working in partnership with Cheshire East Council, with funding from the British Equestrian Federation, British Horse Society and local riding groups.

If you would like to find out more about the various horse riding, walking and cycling opportunities, log on to discovercheshire.co.uk.