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Higher Hurdsfield and Bollington Circular

Walk 5 starts and ends on Kerridge Road, just off the B5470 Rainow Road at Higher Hurdsfield. As you leave Macclesfield town centre on the B5470 (signposted to Whaley Bridge), you will soon pass over the canal, and the road then rises uphill to Higher Hurdsfield. Look out for the George and Dragon pub on the right hand side of the road (NOTE: the George and Dragon pub suffered a catastrophic fire, and in 2017/2018 is a burnt out shell.). Shortly after this, Kerridge Road is on the left. For those arriving by car, turn down Kerridge Road and bear right at a junction. The road is wide enough just before or just after the junction to allow safe parking.

View the starting point

Distance: 5.8 miles (9.4 km)  
Terrain: Lanes, footpaths and bridleways. One steep, but short, climb.
Access: Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs
Grade: Easy
Time: 2 to 2½ hours
Ascent: 200 metres
Maps: OS Explorer Map 268, OL24
Start: Higher Hurdsfield, SK10 5TA.
Grid Ref: SJ 938 751  

Walk Description and Directions

The walk is a circular route, beginning and ending on Kerridge Road in Higher Hurdsfield. The walk begins along easy paths and lanes to Kerridge. From Kerridge the walk then follows a circular route around Bollington. There is one short climb up a steep lane. Apart from this, the walk is fairly easy. Refreshments are available at the Poachers Inn pub, which you will pass just after halfway round the walk, and at the Bulls Head in Kerridge (which is about three quarters of the way round). Strong shoes or walking boots are essential.

Kerridge stands above Bollington on the western side of Kerridge Hill which is the local landmark. The walk passes along Higher Lane, along which there is a row of beautiful stone cottages which have wonderful views out over the Cheshire plain. Their gardens are a picture, built amongst stone walls and steps.

After Kerridge, the walk leads down to the towpath of the Macclesfield Canal. This takes you past both of the majestic mill buildings: Adelphi and Clarence. After walking along the canal towpath, the walk leads around Bollington, and up onto the low hill overlooking Bollington.

After passing through Ingersley Vale, the walk heads past the end of Kerridge Ridge, and then down into Kerridge. You will then retrace your steps back to Higher Hurdsfield.

  (1) Walk along Kerridge Road, which passes a few houses on the right.

(2) Shortly after the houses, take the driveway which bears left away from the road.

  (3) The driveway eventually reaches Lower Swanscoe Farm. Turn right to pass through a kissing gate just before the farm, and follow the yellow footpath signs, to cross a field. 
  (4) The path soon reaches a gate to the right. Pass through the gate, up some steps to another gate, to emerge onto a lane.
  (5) Turn left along the lane. The lane bears round to the left, and there is a gate on the right.


  (6) Pass through the gate, and follow the yellow footpath signs across a field. At the end of the field, pass through a gate to emerge onto a bridleway.


  (7) Turn right along the bridleway, which leads to Kerridge. Along the bridleway there is a gate, but you can cross the stile to the right of the gate.

(8) Keep straight on when the bridleway is joined by another from the right.

  (9) Do not follow the bridleway when it bears left past some houses, but continue in the same direction along a footpath which passes between (and very close to) some houses. The footpath emerges onto Higher Lane, where you will pass a row of old cottages on the right.
(10) At the bottom of Higher Lane (this old school house is on your left), turn right along a road.
  (11) After a short distance take the bridleway to the left. This is signposted as a Private Road (to Beehive Cottage amongst others). Follow the bridleway downhill. Bear left at the bottom of the lane (to the left of Beehive Cottage), crossing the canal over a bridge.
  (12) 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). Eventually, Clarence Mill is reached (on the right).
  (13) Opposite Clarence Mill, take a sharp turn to the left to follow a lane downhill to the main road.
(14) Turn left along the main road, to pass under the canal bridge. Go straight on at the traffic lights, to continue along Palmerston Street.
  (15) After a church on the left, turn left up Beeston Brow. This is a steep lane uphill past several houses.
At the end of the houses, Beeston Brow takes a sharp right turn, and a little further on becomes Long Lane.
  (16) Eventually, Long Lane becomes less steep. Look out for a footpath on the right. Take this footpath, which heads across fields, with fine views across Bollington.
  (17) At the end of the footpath, and just past a few buildings on the right, turn right down a lane.

(18) A short distance down the lane, take the paved footpath downhill to the left. This footpath has a wooden handrail on the right, which is useful as it is slippery in places.

  (19) The footpath descends past some houses on the left, where it becomes a road (Beeston Mount). Continue straight on down past more houses to the main road (Shrigley Road).
  (20) Cross straight over the main road, into a short cul-de-sac. At the end of the cul-de-sac, take the footpath that continues straight on down hill.

(21) Follow the footpath across a field, and then up to a road (Ingersley Road).


(22) Turn left along the road.
  (23) Just past the Poachers Inn (well worth a lunch stop), turn right along the bridleway (Mill Lane). Follow the bridleway past a few houses on the right, which then becomes a narrower path and leads down to a lane.

(24) Turn left along the lane.


  (25) After a short distance, turn sharp right up a footpath. Follow the footpath through a few gates, then across a field up to another gate.

(26) After passing through the gate, you will be on Cow Lane. Walk down Cow Lane, past some houses (pictured here).

  (27) At the bottom of the lane, turn left up a paved footpath up hill, at the right hand edge of a field.
  (28) At the top of the hill, pass through a kissing gate and turn right, along a footpath which has a low stone wall to the right.
  (29) The footpath emerges onto a road (Redway). Bear right along the raised pavement, with railings on the left, to follow the road downhill.
  (30) At the end of the railings, cross the road and cross a stone stile over the wall on the left (see photo), to follow a paved footpath across a field.


(31) After the paved footpath has passed through three narrow gaps in walls, it passes behind a house. Turn right after the house, descending to a lane.
  (32) Turn left along the lane (Higher Lane).
(33) Where traffic is prohibited from driving further up Higher Lane, carry straight on through the small gate, and walk along the driveway that passes to the left of the house in front.
(34) Where another lane merges from the right, continue straight on.
(35) Continue along the lane, passing more houses on the left. This lane turns into a bridleway.
(36) Where the bridleway forks into two bridleways, take the right hand fork, eventually crossing a stile to the left of a gate.
(37) The bridleway now becomes a footpath, between two walls. After the walls diverge away from the footpath, take the footpath to the left.

(38) The footpath crosses a field, with farm buildings over to your right.

(39) At the end of the path, pass through a kissing gate and turn left up a lane.
(40) Go through the gate on the right, which leads down some steps to another gate. Turn left, to follow a wall (on the left), then bear right to follow the footpath signs (yellow arrows) to a driveway.
(41) Turn left along the driveway, away from Lower Swanscoe Farm.

(42) Where the driveway meets a road, bear right along the road to return 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.