The walk starts and ends in Bollington. If travelling by car, take the main road out of Macclesfield towards Stockport (A523). Turn right to follow the sign to Bollington (B5090). As you come into Bollington, turn right along Grimshaw Lane, where there is a sign to “Hotels”. Take the second right into Clough Bank, where you will find a car park on the right. This car park is actually adjacent to the Middlewood Way trail.
Get directions to Clough Bank by public transport or car with Redplanet.
|Distance:||9.0 miles (14.5km)|
|Terrain:||Mainly footpaths and bridleways, gentle uphill for a few miles, can be muddy in places.|
|Access:||Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs|
|Time:||3½ to 4 hours|
|Maps:||OS Explorer Map 268|
|Grid Ref:||SJ 929 772|
This walk is a mainly medium level of difficulty, with an uphill stretch shortly after the start. Starting in Bollington, the Gritstone Trail is followed, towards (but not all the way to) Lyme Park. After reaching the highest point of this walk, the route leaves the Gritstone Trail, and a series of downhill footpaths are followed back to Wood Lanes, near Adlington.
There are two cafes along the route, one just before Wood Lanes, and the other adjacent to the canal. The walk returns to Bollington along the towpath of the Macclesfield Canal.
The outward part of this walk is along the Gritstone Trail. The Gritstone Trail is a long-distance footpath running from Kidsgrove in Staffordshire to Disley in Cheshire. The trail is well marked using a mixture of finger posts and yellow waymark discs with a ‘G’ in a footprint. Waymarks indicate the way to go as you stand directly in front of them. Often there is a clear path on the ground, but some paths may not be quite so obvious. Look out for stiles in hedges, fences or walls or waymark posts to guide you. You will first meet the Gritstone Trail in Ingersley Vale. After passing Savio House, the trail crosses the top of Bollington (passing the cottage pictured here), before heading down into Harrop Valley. Now it’s a climb out of the valley and up onto Bakestonedale Moor. This is a steady climb, but well worth the views when you get to the top.
After leaving the Gritstone Trail, the route heads downhill to Adlington. The route follows the Macclesfield Canal from Adlington back to Bollington. Along the towpath, the majestic Clarence Mill is passed. The Swindells family made their lasting contribution to the town’s architecture when, with partners the Brooke family, they built Clarence Mill in 1834-38, taking full advantage of Macclesfield Canal (newly opened in 1831). The canal’s stone bridges, aqueducts and wharves were engineered by William Crosley. 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.
The route is also available as a plain page.