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Vale walk (medium)

If travelling by car, take the Bollington Road exit from the roundabout on the A523 where the Silk Road becomes London Road, by Tytherington Business Park. Bollington Road continues onto Henshall Road, then Wellington Road. Follow this road for approximately 1.4 miles (2.2km). Shortly after the Co Op on the left, the Middlewood Way footpath bridge passes overhead approximately 500 feet (50m) before the turning for Adlington Road. Turn left onto Adlington Road. Follow this road, past Bollington Insurance, and the National Trust Middlewood Way car park. Car parking is available in the Middlewood Way car park, which is on the left just before the Vale Inn. The Vale Inn is on the right, just before a sharp left-hand bend in the road.
Inside offers an open, friendly feeling – a touch of the original 1980s refurbishment remains with the original slate bar and a taste of the new with a redesigned back bar. A real fire completes the homely feel. The fresh food menu combines a mixture of dishes which are changed regularly rather than just having a set menu with a specials board. The Vale serves real ale brewed in the Bollington Brewery. The brewery was launched in 2008, almost 80 years after ale production ceased in the town at the Heavers Brothers’ site on Dyers Close.

Distance: 6.3 miles (10.2 km)  
Terrain: Lanes, footpaths and bridleways. Two steep, but short, climbs.
Access: Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs
Grade: Easy
Time: 2¼ to 2¾ hours
Ascent: 299 metres
Maps: OS Explorer Map 268
Start: Vale Inn, Adlington Road, Bollington
Grid Ref: SJ 931 781  

Walk Description and Directions

Pub Walk 2 is a circular route, beginning and ending at the Vale Inn. In Bollington, near to the start of the walk, there is a short climb up a steep lane. There is also a short climb up Kerridge Hill. Apart from this, the walk is fairly easy. Strong shoes or walking boots are essential – there are some potentially muddy footpaths.

Firstly, the walk leads to the north side of the Happy Valley (as Bollington is known locally). There is quite a steep climb up the lane out of Bollington, but this is quite short, and is worth it! From the lane (Long Lane), a footpath leads across fields. The walk then descends back down to, and crosses, the main road out of Bollington to Pott Shrigley (Shrigley Road).

The walk then leads you away from Bollington, up the side of Billinge Hill, and on to Rainowlow. After passing through Rainowlow, the walk heads in the direction of the White Nancy, which can be seen atop Kerridge Hill.

After walking along the edge of the grounds of Savio House (a retreat centre on the outskirts of Bollington), the walk now follows part of the Gritstone Trail. After emerging onto a lane, the Gritstone Trail leads you up the side of Kerridge Hill. Before walking up Kerridge Hill, a short and worthwhile diversion leads to Waulkmill Farm, and the picturesque waterfall on the River Dean.

The Gritstone Trail leads you past the base of Kerridge Hill, where a short diversion up to the White Nancy is recommended.

After descending into the village of Kerridge, the walk leads down to the towpath of the Macclesfield Canal. This takes you past both of the majestic mill buildings: Adelphi Mill and then Clarence Mill.  Once you have reached the canal towpath opposite Clarence Mill, a path takes you back down to Bollington recreation ground, and then back to the Vale Inn.

(1) From the Vale Inn, walk up Adlington Road (turn left with the pub behind you).

(2) Turn left into the recreation ground. Walk along the right hand edge of the recreation ground, with the River Dean to your right. Cross the bridge over the river, and turn left to follow the river. At the end of the recreation ground, bear right to walk up to the main road.

(3) Turn left along the main road, to pass under the canal bridge (it is probably best to cross to the pavement opposite).

(4) Keep straight on at the traffic lights, to continue along Palmerston Street.

(5) After a church on the left, turn left up Beeston Brow. This is a steep, cobbled lane uphill past several houses. At the end of the houses, Beeston Brow takes a sharp right turn.


(6) A little further on, bear left up Long Lane.
(7) Eventually, Long Lane becomes less steep. Look out for a footpath on the right.
Take this footpath, which heads across fields, with fine views to the right across Bollington to the White Nancy.
(8) At the end of the footpath, and just past a few buildings on the right, turn right down a lane.

(9) 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.

(10) The footpath descends past some houses on the left, where it becomes a lane. Continue straight on down past more houses to the main road (Shrigley Road).
(11) Cross straight over the main road, into a short cul-de-sac.

(12) At the end of the cul-de-sac, take the footpath that continues straight on down hill. Follow the footpath across a field, and then up to a road.

(13) Turn left along the road (Ingersley Road).
(14) Keep following the road as it bears round to the left and passes the Poachers Inn. There is a pavement on the left hand side.
(15) A short distance further on, a crossroads is reached. Turn left along Spuley Lane (signposted to Pott Shrigley).
(16) Turn right up a lane (Hedge Row). Continue past several buildings. Do not take the first footpath on the right.
(17) Take the second footpath on the right. There are 6 stone steps up to a stile. Follow the footpath, which bears left and goes slightly uphill (up the side of Billinge Hill). After a short distance, the footpath follows an old wall (which is on the left).
(18) Cross a stile over a wall and continue in the same direction.
(19) Cross another stile, and bear right, slightly uphill, along a bridleway. Follow the bridleway, which passes under some trees, and then goes downhill to a metal gate.
(20) Pass through the gate and turn left along the road (Blaze Hill).
(21) Turn right after a short distance down a bridleway (signposted as a “Restricted Byway”).
(22) Eventually the bridleway forks. Take the right fork, downhill into Rainowlow (signpost “Access to Rainowlow Only”).
(23) After a short distance the bridleway forks. Take the left fork to pass between some buildings in Rainowlow.
(24) After the houses, you will see a signpost, indicating directions to Billinge (where you have just come from), Rainow and Bollington. Take the right hand direction, signed to Bollington, passing through a gap in the stone wall. Cross a stile shortly after, down a narrow footpath.
(25) Cross a stone stile, bear slightly left, and follow a wide grassy path, to the left of a hedge.
(26) Soon you will see a sign (two yellow arrows), indicating that you can continue straight on or turn left. Turn left here, and follow the path down to a stile and a stream.
(27) Cross the stream, and follow the path, in the same direction, up the middle of a field. The White Nancy obelisk can be seen in the distance, straight ahead.
(28) Cross a stone stile to a bridleway (Oakenbank Lane). Cross straight over the bridleway (slightly left), to pass through a wooden gate between a metal gate and a wall. Continue straight on down a field towards the white building amongst trees. This is Savio House (a retreat Centre).
(29) At a crossroads of paths, go straight on (through a gate and downhill), with the grounds of Savio House on the right. You are now following the Gritstone Trail. Follow the Gritstone Trail as it descends through a few kissing gates, and eventually emerges onto a lane.


(30) Turn left along the lane.
(31) Soon the Gritstone trail (and our route) turns right up a bridleway. The bridleway goes uphill, and then down again to meet a road (Redway). At the top of the hill, you will see this view across Bollington, with the Nab hill in the distance.
(32) Turn right along the road, which takes you into Kerridge.


(33) At the end of Redway, turn left.
(34) Take the bridleway off to the right. This is signposted as a Private Road (to Beehive Cottage amongst others). Follow the bridleway downhill.
(35) Bear left at the bottom of the lane (to the left of Beehive Cottage), crossing the canal over a bridge.
(36) 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.
(37) Eventually, Clarence Mill is reached (on the right). Turn sharp left, directly opposite Clarence Mill, down a bridleway.
(38) The main road is reached at the bottom of the bridleway. Turn right along the main road, and then immediately right into the recreation ground. Cross the recreation ground to Adlington Road.
(39) Turn right down Adlington Road to return to the Vale, for a well-deserved drink!

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.