<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Cheshire walk - Peak Forest Canal, River Goyt, Marple Bridge

PUBLISHED: 18:55 21 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:23 23 January 2017

Hollinwood Lane, en route to the canal.

Hollinwood Lane, en route to the canal.

not Archant

Water looms large in this month’s walk, which takes us along the Peak Forest Canal and beside the River Goyt in Marple, writes Howard Bradbury

In the fields beside the track leading to Mellor Mill. In the fields beside the track leading to Mellor Mill.

Strolling beside the River Goyt on the home stretch, the thought occurs that this walk has taken me through some pretty, unspoilt country.

And yet the truth is that parts of the Marple landscape I have enjoyed have been substantially shaped by the needs of industry. The Roman Lakes I have passed beside were once the mill ponds of the colossal Mellor Mill, built by Samuel Oldknow, who came to Marple in 1787, and even altered the course of the Goyt to feed those ponds.

The Peak Forest Canal, which forms the outward leg of the walk, was also a product of the industrial revolution and Oldknow’s enterprise; he was the largest shareholder in the project, which was completed in 1800. These days, it is a lovely spot for walkers, and it’s a popular section of the Cheshire Ring, though the 16 locks at Marple must seem like old-fashioned hard graft even for today’s leisure boater.

Mellor Mill was six storeys high and 400 feet long, reputedly the biggest cotton factory in England. But today you can pass the site and scarcely be aware that it was ever there. The mill was destroyed in 1892 by a spectacular fire, the land was allowed to return to woodland, and the mill ponds became places for canoeing, fishing and picknicking.

House beside bridge 19 on the Peak Forest Canal House beside bridge 19 on the Peak Forest Canal

As you walk by the site of the former mill, though, you may see archaeologists and volunteers digging away, trying to unearth what remains of Mellor Mill. Good luck to them. The enterprise of the likes of Samuel Oldknow should not be forgotten.

Lakes Road, near Bottoms Hall Lakes Road, near Bottoms Hall

1. Our walk begins at the car park at Ridge Quarry Viewing Point on The Ridge, Marple, SK6 7ES.

Go back out of the car park entrance, turn left and after 150 yards, turn left into Hollinwood Lane. You see the Peak Forest Canal to your right. Follow the lane downhill until it meets the canal at bridge 21, cross over that bridge and turn left onto the towpath.

2. At bridge 19, cross to the other side of the canal and carry on up the towpath. You soon reach a canal basin with Marple Social and Forces Club to the right. Follow the towpath up to a bridge, crossing over the start of the Macclesfield Canal and then bear downhill beside the flight of locks, starting with lock 16. The path takes you through a tunnel beneath the road at lock 13, then continue walking beside the canal, with Memorial Park to your left, until at lock 9, you reach the busy A626.

Dutson's Cafe, Town Street, Marple Bridge. Dutson's Cafe, Town Street, Marple Bridge.

3. Turn right here and walk down the pavement of Brabyns Brow, passing Marple Station and the 145-year-old St Martin’s Church on your left. At the bottom of the hill, the road crosses the Goyt, affording a lovely view of the river from the bridge. Turn right into Town Street and enjoy the shops of Marple Bridge village. This is, incidentally, your best chance of refreshments on this walk.

4. From the top of Town Street, bear right into Low Lea Road, passing through a pretty huddle of cottages then up a rough, wide track with the river to your right. The path then bends left, away from river, and you follow it beside farmland, eventually descending to the former site of Mellor Mill. At a junction (where you see the road is signed as Bottoms Mill Road) turn left into Lakes Road and then bear right at a fork not long after, in front of Bottoms Hall (once the place where Oldknow housed his young apprentices) continuing along Lakes Road as the largest of the Roman Lakes opens up to your left.

5. At the end of the lake, continue straight on along the bridleway beside the river, passing under Goytcliffe Viaduct. You reach a wooden sign informing you that you are on the Goyt Way. Turn right here, in the direction of Strines Road, and cross over Roman Bridge, which is by no means ‘Roman’, and was built in the 18th century, rejoicing for many years in the name Windy Bottom Bridge. On the other side of the river, turn left and follow the path up to a house, whereafter you head uphill until you reach Strines Road.

6. Cross over Strines Road and walk up Plucksbridge Road. As the road bends to the right, take the steep path on your left, which brings you back to bridge 21 of the canal. Simply retrace your steps up Hollinwood Lane and turn right onto The Ridge and you are back at the car park.

Area of Walk: Peak Forest Canal, River Goyt, Marple Bridge

Distance: 4½ miles

Time to allow: 2½ hours

Map: OS Explorer 268

Refreshments: The Midland pub, 26 Brabyns Brow, Marple Bridge; Libby’s Patisserie, Dutson’s Cafe and, if chips are your preferred walking fuel, the Town Street Fryer, all in Town Street, Marple Bridge.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cheshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cheshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cheshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Rebekka O’Grady looks at businesses in Frodsham that have stood the test of time, and meets those hoping to have a bright future

Read more
Yesterday, 00:00

In 2018, Wales celebrates its outstanding coastline and invites visitors to discover epic experiences all around its shores. This is the Year of the Sea, writes Penny Lloyd

Read more
Thursday, January 11, 2018

There are several major canals that run through Cheshire, these walks run alongside or cross over sections of at least of these waterways.

Read more
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

We head for Styal for a walk which combines river and woodland with the din of international air travel, writes Howard Bradbury.

Read more
Styal Quarry Bank
Monday, January 8, 2018

What is it that makes Macclesfield a magnet for the art crowd? Janet Reeder heads over there to find out

Read more
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Whether you’re horse crazy or just along for the ride, equine events are an important part of the Cheshire social calendar.

Read more
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Eight great, and easy, resolutions that will help make 2018 your greenest year yet. Words by Katie Piercy from Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Read more
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It’s been an action packed year in Cheshire, how much of it can you remember?

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Cheshire Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search