AMBITIOUS plans to link two cathedral cities would provide a direct route for walkers between Chester and the Cheshire countryside.
The Two Saints Way project aims to create an 87-mile pilgrimage route between Chester and Lichfield cathedrals by 2012.
As part of the £180,000 scheme, the canal towpath would be upgraded between Waverton, Tattenhall and Bunbury, and a footpath diversion created so walkers can take in Beeston Castle.
The route would continue to Nantwich before passing the Saxon Cross at Stoke Minster and joining the Heart of England Way across Cannock Chase to Lichfield, Staffordshire.
The idea is the brainchild of experienced long distance walker David Pott from Stone, who is keen to revive an old pilgrimage route dating back to medieval times.
He is leading a steering group comprising representatives from the two cathedrals, British Waterways, Staffordshire University and the tourists boards.
Mr Pott said: “We’ve raised about £20,000 so far. It’s not easy to get funding for a project like this but there is a lot of enthusiasm for it.”
The scheme has received the backing of Tattenhall Parish Council, who are writing a letter of support to Mr Pott.
Chairman Carol Weaver said: “We were considering writing to British Waterways to see if there was anything on their programme for refurbishments in Tattenhall. This kills two birds with one stone.
“It’s a lovely route to sail and would make a very pleasant walk. It’s a nice way of providing countryside space for the public to use.”