Cheshire walk - Higher Hurdsfield and Bollington
PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:27 03 May 2020
This month’s walk features a bit of town and country, the town in question being one of my favourites... Bollington
Half way up Beeston Brow, I turned and looked back down this calf-punishingly steep climb, lined with pretty cottages, and had a moment of déjà vu.
Yes, this is Bollington’s version of that cobbled hill in the old Hovis TV advert, up which a delivery boy pushed a heavy bike to the strains of Dvořák’s New World Symphony. We are in territory somewhat hillier than the Cheshire norm, but this brief ascent of Beeston Brow is the only serious gradient we encounter on a walk - suggested by the bollingtonoutdoors.co.uk website - which goes from the farmland of Higher Hurdsfield, into Bollington, skirting Kerridge and back again.
It takes you through fields of black sheep, along the picturesque Higher Lane, up the canal passing such grand relics of Bollington’s past as the Adelphi and Clarence mills and halfway up the hill towards Bollington’s fascinating folly White Nancy.
1. The starting point is Kerridge Road, close to the junction with Swanscoe Lane, postcode SK10 5TA. After turning off the B5470 Rainow Road onto Kerridge Road, you will find the odd spot suitable for on-street parking. Begin walking up Kerridge Lane, with views uphill to your right, and bear left along a path signposted Bollington, which is also the lane to Lower Swanscoe Farm. Just before reaching the farm, go through a kissing gate on your right, heading across the field following footpath signs to the top corner. Through the gate, up the steps and through another gate, then go left along the lane.
2. A short distance later, go right through a wooden kissing gate and across a field. Through the next gate, go right, up a bridleway, crossing a narrow stile beside a gate after a short while. Passing through the next gate, keep ahead, reaching houses. When the path veers left, keep straight ahead, beside a black gate into a gravelly path beside houses. You emerge on cobbled Higher Lane, which you follow all the way down to a T junction with Oak Lane. Head right up Oak Lane, then immediately left into a bridleway signposted as a private road. Keep on this track until you reach the imposing gates of Beehive Cottage, then take the path to the left of the entrance, over the canal and down the steps on the right.
3. At the bottom of the steps, keep ahead along the towpath, passing Adelphi Mill, and keep going for some time until you reach Clarence Mill on the opposite side of the canal. When you are level with the centre of the mill, take the wide path on the left leading downhill to the main road,. At the road, bear left, passing under a high bridge and bear slightly left into Palmerston Street (follow the signpost for Pott Shrigley B5090). After passing a church on the left, turn left up the cobbled Beeston Brow, following the lane as it veers right into what, after passing the entrance to Green Lane Farm, becomes Long Lane. Keep going uphill for some time until you reach a footpath on the right, very well-hidden in vegetation beside a metal gate.
4. Follow this footpath across fields. At a small gate with a couple of steps down to a grassy lane, head right and immediately left into a paved path with a handrail. Reaching a residential road, keep ahead until you reach Shrigley Road, cross over into the cul-de-sac Shrigley Rise and take the footpath beside tall hedges to the right. Through a gate, cross the field and a bridge over a stream and you reach Ingersley Road. Go left, and, at the Poacher’s Inn, bear right along a bridleway. After passing houses, the path narrows and goes downhill. Reaching an open area with homes and commercial premises, head left up the unmade lane and, just a few yards later, sharp right up a footpath, climbing steps through a field.
5. Keep on this path and it emerges onto Cow Lane, which you follow to a T junction, where you take the paved footpath running uphill on the left. Up some steps, you reach a kissing gate. Bear right here and the path emerges at a road called Redway. Turn right, keeping to the raised pavement, and when it dips to meet the road, cross the stone stile on your left onto a paved path. After passing three pinch points in the path, bear right down a tarmac drive toward tall conifers. Crossing a cattle grid, you emerge onto Higher Lane. Bear left and you are re-tracing your steps back to the start point.
6. Just in case you can’t think in reverse....at the top of Higher Lane, take the path ahead beside the houses, keep ahead along the unmade lane, then turn right onto the tree-lined footpath. As the path bears right, take the gate on the left through a field. At the next gate onto a lane, bear left, then a few yards later right through another gate, downhill to a gate into a field with a pond. At the next gate go left along the bridleway which brings you to Kerridge Road
Area of Walk: Higher Hurdsfield and Bollington
Distance: Six miles
Time to allow: 3 hours
Map: OS Explorer 268
Refreshments: The Poachers Inn, 95 Ingersley Road, Bollington, SK10 5RE; The Holly Bush, 75 Palmerston Street, Bollington SK10 5PW.
Howard will be back next month with a walk around the Lower Peover area but if you can’t wait that long log onto cheshirelife.co.uk where you’ll find more walks to enjoy around the county. And don’t forget your camera - your pictures could win you prizes. See online for full details of our readers’ photos competition and to see the images we’ve received.