The walk starts and ends at the Middlewood Way Car Park 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). Continue to follow the main road (B5090, Wellington Road) through Bollington, until you pass under the first viaduct. Take the next left, which is Adlington Road. Car parking is available in the Middlewood Way car park.
Get directions to Bollington by public transport or car with Redplanet.
|Distance:||10.3 miles (16.6 km)|
|Terrain:||Mainly footpaths and bridleways, a few small inclines, can be muddy in places.|
|Access:||Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs|
|Time:||3½ to 4 hours|
|Maps:||OS Explorer Map 268|
|Start:||Adlington Road, Bollington.|
|Grid Ref:||SJ 930 780|
The Macclesfield Canal was one of the last narrow canals to be built, indeed, it was very nearly built as a railway! A variety of ideas were proposed and the present canal was approved by Act of Parliament in April 1826. The route of the canal was surveyed by Thomas Telford and construction was engineered by William Crosley. The completed canal was opened on 9th November 1831 at a cost of GBP320,000. Commercial carrying finished only in the 1960’s. However, although in need of maintenance, the canal remained navigable and did not require restoration when leisure use began. Indeed, the UK’s very first narrow canal cruising club, the North Cheshire Cruising Club (NCCC), was established on the canal in 1943! This photo is bridge number 16, where the walk leaves the canal to head up to Lyme Park.
The Lyme Park estate was granted to Sir Thomas Danyers in 1346 and passed to the Leghs of Lyme by marriage in 1388. It remained in the possession of the Legh family until 1946 when it was given to the National Trust. The house dates from the latter part of the 16th century. Formal gardens were created and developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Gritstone Trail is joined in Lyme Park, which leads up to Knights Low woods, and on up to the Bowstones. The Gritstone Trail is a long-distance footpath running from Disley to Kidsgrove in Staffordshire. The trail is well marked using a mixture of finger posts and yellow waymark discs with a ‘G’ in a footprint.
The Bowstones are actually the upper parts of the shafts of double Anglo Saxon Crosses, dating to the 9th or 10th century AD. The crosses were probably destroyed shortly after the Reformation in the mid 16th century. Two cross heads, now in Lyme Park, were ploughed up in a field near Disley Church in the 19th century and may belong to these shafts. The stones were probably erected in their current position at Bow Stone Gate by Sir Piers Legh in the late 16th century perhaps as boundary markers or guide posts. Having passed the Bowstones, the Gritstone Trail now takes you back via Bakestonedale moor to Bollington.
The route is also available as a plain page.