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Bollington to Rainow and Kerridge

Walk 3 starts and ends on Ingersley Vale in Bollington. If travelling by car, drive through Bollington along the main road (B5090), passing under the viaduct and the aqueduct. After the aqueduct, drive uphill and then down again, At the mini roundabout, turn right along Church Street. Turn left into Ingersley Vale, after the Crown Inn. There are usually parking spaces available, adjacent to the mill pond.

View the starting point

Distance: 5.2 miles (8.4 km)
Terrain: Medium, along lanes, bridleways, and other footpaths.
Can be muddy after rain.
Access: Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs
Grade: Easy
Time: 2 to 2½ hours
Ascent: 208 metres
Maps: OS Explorer Map 268, OL24
Start: Ingersley Vale, Bollington (SK10 5BP).
Grid Ref: SJ 939 776

Walk Description and Directions

The walk starts in Bollington, heading out along Ingersley Vale, which becomes a driveway. The Gritstone Trail is joined, heading uphill and passing Savio House (a retreat centre). 

This walk heads out of Bollington and across fields to Rainow, along a path to the east of the river. The return leg follows the path to the west of the river (along the side of Kerridge ridge), through Kerridge, then along the towpath of the Macclesfield canal. A walk along a few of the streets in the old part of Bollington returns you to the starting point. For refreshments there is the Bulls Head in Kerridge. Strong shoes or walking boots are essential.

Rainow lies in the foothills of the Pennines straddling the Cheshire boundary of the Peak District National Park. The village gets its name from the Old English Hraefn Hoe meaning Ravens Hill, an indication that the area was once a wilderness. The western boundary runs along the crest of Kerridge (Key Ridge from the Old English Caeg Hrycg). The hill has an altitude of over 900 feet, but descends steeply into the River Dean valley. The heart of the village lies to the east of the river. A number of large menhirs (standing stones) can still be seen in the locality. Their original purpose was probably to signpost tracks through Rainow that once formed part of a ridge way to the Scottish borders.
A short stretch of this route is along the towpath of Macclesfield Canal, which passes Adelphi Mill. The Swindells family made their lasting contribution to the town’s architecture when, with partners the Brooke family, they built Adelphi Mill in 1856, taking full advantage of Macclesfield Canal (newly opened in 1831). The canal’s stone bridges, aqueducts and wharves were engineered by William Crosley. This magnificent industrial building has now been converted into flats and business units. The Swindells family was a major force in transforming Bollington from an agricultural village of 1,200 people in 1801 to an industrial town of 4,600 people by 1851. There are many attractive back gardens on the other side of the canal. Many houses in Bollington back onto the canal, and some have their own moorings.

(1) Walk along Ingersley Vale, passing the mill pond (on your right), small industrial premises (on your left) and the ruins of Ingersley Mill (on your left).
(2) A short distance past the buildings, follow the Gritstone Trail sign which directs you over a stile to the left. Follow the Gritstone Trail downhill. The path soon passes over the River Dean.
(3) Continue uphill, through several gates. Then the Gritstone Trail follows a paved path, with a small estate on the left (Savio House).
(4) At the end of the grounds of Savio House is a ‘cross roads’ of footpaths. Turn right, away from the Gritstone Trail, along a path which is not signposted, keeping the wall on your left hand side (do not pass through the gate shown in the photo!). Follow the path across fields and over three stone stiles.
(5) Eventually the path heads slightly downhill to meet another path which leads uphill from the right.

(6) Pass through a gap in the wall and bear left, following a hedge which is on the left.

(7) Pass through a metal kissing gate. The path is now enclosed, with a landscaped garden to the right. Go up some stone steps, before passing close behind some houses.
 (8) Where the footpath meets a road, bear left along the road. This photo looks back to show the path emerging from behind the house.
 (9) Follow the road to the right (Round Meadow), which takes you up to the main road.
  (10) Turn right and walk down the main road with Holy Trinity church on your left.

(11) Follow the main road up hill.


(12) Take the Gritstone Trail, which is on the right part way up the hill. The Gritstone Trail is clearly marked and follows a bridleway which heads down hill between fields.

(13) After the path crosses a small stream, bear right and head uphill. Ignore a bridleway off to the left.

(14) After a gate bear left and follow the Gritstone Trail uphill.
  (15) After another gate the Gritstone trail heads up the side of Kerridge Ridge. Instead continue straight on along a path that stays on the same contour.

(16) Follow the path as it skirts around the top of a small wooded area.

  (17) After passing through a wall, the path forks. Take the left fork, and follow the path that goes slightly uphill.


  (18) Eventually this path passes through a gate. Bear right to follow the path between a house on the left and an animal enclosure on the right. Keep following the path as it passes through a gate, and then a stile.
  (19) Cross the stile and turn left up the lane. Follow the lane as it goes uphill and bears to the left around the base of Kerridge ridge, and then goes downhill again.
  (20) Eventually the lane emerges onto a road (Redway). Turn right along the road. Walk down the road until it meets Oak Lane. The Bulls Head pub is on this corner.

(21) Turn left along Oak Lane for a short distance.

(22) Turn right at the first footpath on the right, which is signposted as a Private Road (to Beehive Cottage amongst others). Follow the lane downhill, which bears left at Beehive Cottage.
(23) Cross the canal over a bridge and turn right straight after the bridge, down some steps and along the canal towpath. Continue along the canal towpath, passing Adelphi Mill on the left.
  (24) Eventually a bridge over the canal is reached. Just before the bridge, ascend the steps up to the lane (Hurst Lane). Turn right at the top of the steps, crossing the canal, and walk up the lane.
  (25) After a few houses, on the left, is a footpath (see photo). Follow this short path which emerges onto a residential street (Gleave Avenue). Now the White Nancy is seen on the hill straight ahead.



(26) Carry straight on past houses. Ignore the road to the right. Continue to the end of Gleave Avenue.
  (27) Take the footpath (to the right of the house number 19), which goes downhill to emerge onto Chancery Lane.



(28) Turn left along Chancery Lane.
(29) A little further on, bear right up Cow Lane.
  (30) At the end of Cow Lane pass through a gate. There are two footpaths across a farm field (see photo). Take the left fork, which goes slightly down hill, and eventually down to a lane.
(31) Turn left along the lane, which returns to the starting point.

Print the route card and map to take on the walk with you.The step numbers above correspond to the step numbers in the route card and on the map.