Six of the best walks in Cheshire - East Cheshire Ramblers
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
East Cheshire Ramblers celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. They reveal their six favourite walks for Cheshire Life readers to enjoy
East Cheshire Ramblers, who celebrate 40 years of walking up, down and around Cheshire’s beautiful countryside, have put their heads together and decided upon their six favourite walks.
Their routes are explained briefly for you to enjoy, offering a range of distances from 4 ½ to 10 ½ miles but you will need to take the 1 : 25,000 White Peak Map OL24. You should also see the detailed route descriptions on the club’s website at
www. ramblerseastcheshire.org.uk Just follow the links from ‘Our Walks to Self-guided Walks/East Cheshire Paths’ .
Enjoy the views but do remember to take sufficient food and drink and wear stout walking boots and suitable outdoor clothing.
1. Danebridge, Wincle Grange and Wild Boar Inn
Distance: 9km/5.5m, moderate. Can be shortened to 5km / 3m
Start: Roadside above Danebridge, Wincle, SJ 965651
Route: Just before the bridge over the river Dane turn down the track in front of the brewery and past the trout fishery then ascend steadily towards Dumkins and Wincle Grange.
For the short walk, return to the start via the Ship Inn.
For the longer walk, continue from Wincle Grange to cross the A54 by the Wild Boar Inn before heading back via Hammerton and Bartomley Farm.
Footnotes: Splendid views of Bosley Cloud, the Roaches and Hen Cloud.
The Ship Inn welcomes walkers and offers great food or try the Rambler Ale at Wincle brewery.
What is believed to be a Bronze Age burial chamber is just about visible beneath the gorse bushes surmounting a rocky outcrop near Bartomley Farm.
2. Wildboarclough and Three Shire Heads
Distance: 10km/6m, moderate-strenuous. Can be shortened to 8km / 5m
Start: Disused quarry opposite road bridge, Wildboarclough, SJ 983687
Route: Walk down the road towards the Crag Inn and take the footbridge over the stream towards Crag Hall, the grade II listed country seat of Lord Derby.
At the bend in the road take the footpath signposted Three Shire Heads.
Here the route divides : the short walk going left along the River Dane and then uphill to reach the A54 Congleton – Buxton road before returning to the start via Clough House and Bank Top.
The long walk goes further along the Dane and ascends to Dane Quarries, crossing higher up the A54 to enter Danebower Hollow and proceeding to join the short walk at Cumberland Brook.
Footnotes: Wildboarclough is dominated by the awesome presence of Shutlingsloe (506m), otherwise known as the Cheshire Matterhorn.
Three Shire Heads bridge is where Cheshire meets Derbyshire meets Staffordshire and was once used for bare-knuckle prize fights, the idea being that if the police turned up from one county the boxers simply transferred the bout into another’s jurisdiction!
Today it makes a peaceful picnic spot.
As well as the Crag Inn, another popular pub is the Stanley Arms on the approach to Wildboarclough from the A537 Buxton-Macclesfield road.
3. Bollington and Kerridge Ridge
Distance: 16km/10.5m, moderate-strenuous.
Start: Adlington Rd Car Park, Bollington, SJ931780.
Route : Stroll through the park opposite to emerge near the towering arch that carries the Macclesfield Canal over the road standing as an impressive reminder of Bollington’s heritage as a historic Cheshire cotton town.
After making its way gently uphill through quaint side streets and rows of terraced houses, the route gives way to open countryside and the steepest climb on the walk : White Nancy.
Here panoramic views of Victorian mills and lofty chimneys give away to rolling hills as you walk along Kerridge ridge then drop down to pick up the Gritstone Trail for Tegg’s Nose Country Park where there are toilets and picnic tables.
After descending through fields towards Lamaload take a deep breath for the return climb out of the valley to Bollington.
Footnotes: Waterside Cafe in Clarence Mill can be reached by a footpath beside the canal bridge.
Bollington also has a large number of pubs.
Also, do try the Plaice fish ‘n’ chip parlour for a wide choice of meals and tables laid with candelabras.
Dominating the skyline, White Nancy was built by John Gaskell in 1817 to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo.
4. Tegg’s Nose and the Dean Valley
Distance : 9.5m km / 6m, easy-moderate.
Start: Tegg’s Nose Country Park Visitor Centre car park, SJ 950733
Route: This walk also takes you along the Gritstone Trail but goes north from Tegg’s Nose before you leave it to join a high footpath overlooking Lamaload Reservoir and go on to visit the pretty valley that is Gulshaw Hollow, and the River Dean. From here there are more fine views looking back down the Dean Valley to Rainow, Kerridge Hill, Pott Shrigley and The Nab, while to the fore lies the Cheshire Plain, Alderley Edge and Jodrell Bank radio telescope.
Footnotes : Macclesfield Forest is not far away and the excellent Leather’s Smithy pub overlooking Ridgegate Reservoir. Special children’s activities and nature trails are available at the Ranger station alongside Trentabank Reservoir, whilst the disused quarry on Tegg’s Nose has displays of old stone cutting equipment and related information.
5. Todd Brook and Sponds Hill
Distance: 12km/7.5m, moderate-strenuous.Can be shortened to 7.5km/4.5m (NB:for these walks you will also need the 1 : 25,000 Dark Peak map, OL 1)
Start: Lay-by near industrial estate on Pott Shrigley-Kettleshulme road, SJ 955796
Route: The short walk passes Andrew’s Knob to join the Gritsone Trail towards Sponds Hill (410m) where your hard work is rewarded with the spectacle of Lyme Hall and its deer park.
Along the way you will also find a viewing platform with indicators to more distant horizons that on a clear day can encompass the Yorkshire Pennines and the mountains of Wales.
The long walk too has more grandstand views. First, go along Bakestonedale Rd, where there are glimpses of Windgather Rocks and Shining Tor, then on to Charles Head Farm, Kettleshulme village, Lumbhole Mill, Todd Brook and Handley Fold Farm where the return connects with the short walk overlooking Lyme Park.
6. Shining Tor and Windgather Rocks
Distance: 13km / 8m. Can be shortened to 8km / 5m.
Start: Pym Chair car park, SJ995768 Directions : At 559m (or 1,834ft), the highest point in Cheshire is Shining Tor, the crowning point of both walks.
Route: Turn left out of the car park and make your way to the road junction, then right and follow the foot path ascending slowly due south over Cat’s Tor until you reach the summit.
At the trig’ point drink in the panorama : Alderley Edge and the Cheshire Plain lying to the west and south, the Goyt Valley to the east while to the north east is the brooding Kinder Plateau.
Retrace your steps a short distance and follow the signpost to Lamaload Reservoir, eventually turning right for Thursbitch and Howlersknowl.
Continue until you meet the road coming up from Jenkin Chapel where the long and short walks diverge – the latter going right up the road for 800m to get back to the start and the former continuing north on the footpath through Greenstack and Dunge farms as far as the road junction at Fivelaneends.
From there take the track over to Taxal Edge and ‘a U’ turn on to the ridge will bring you back to Pym Chair via Windgather Rocks.
Footnotes: Walkers will find a warm welcome awaits at the Peak Cafe – not forgetting a cornucopia of cakes and a bevy of beverages.
For something stronger, try the Cat and Fiddle pub, the popular haunt at weekends of ageing bikers.
Both are located within close proximity of each other on the A537 Macclesfield-Buxton road.