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Poachers walk (medium)

If travelling by car, take the Bollington Road (B5090) exit from the roundabout on the A523 where the Silk Road becomes London Road, by Tytherington Business Park. Bollington Road (B5090) continues onto Henshall Road, then Wellington Road, then Palmerston Street. After passing under two viaducts, Palmerston Street rises uphill. At a mini roundabout, go straight on (B5090 towards Pott Shrigley), then turn immediately right up Ingersley Road. After a right hand bend, the Poachers Inn is on the right. The pub has a small car park. The Poachers is a pleasant and very friendly pub with a reputation for good quality, fresh home-made food. Formerly known as the Masonic Arms it has been created by merging half a dozen terraced cottages. Occupying a corner site it is solidly built from local stone and blends well with its surroundings. By the door, the comfortable lounge chairs and open fire provide a warm, relaxing and surprisingly quiet niche where you can stare into the fire while enjoying a pint of real ale. To the rear can be found a large secluded beer garden.

Distance: 5.8 miles (9.3 km)  
Terrain: Lanes, footpaths and bridleways. Two steep, but short, climbs.
Access: Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs
Grade: Easy
Time: 2 to 2½ hours
Ascent: 279 metres
Maps: OS Explorer Map 268
Start: The Poachers Inn, Ingersley Road, Bollington.
Grid Ref: SJ 942 778  

Walk Description and Directions

Pub Walk 5 is a circular route, beginning and ending at the Poachers Inn. To the north of Bollington, 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. From the Poachers, the walk initially heads 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, the walk descends to and follows the main road for a short distance.

From the main road, the walk leads up the hill to the north of Bollington. There is quite a steep climb up the lane here, 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). A short walk across a field leads to Ingersley Road and back to the Poachers.

(1) Turn right up the road (Smithy Brow) from the Poachers Inn. There is a pavement on the left hand side.

(2) A short distance further on, a crossroads is reached. Turn left along Spuley Lane (signposted to Pott Shrigley).

(3) Turn right up a lane (Hedge Row). Continue past several buildings. Do not take the first footpath on the right.
(4) 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).
(5) Cross a stile over a wall and continue in the same direction.
(6) 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.
(7) Pass through the gate and turn left along the road (Blaze Hill).
(8) Turn right after a short distance down a bridleway (signposted as a “Restricted Byway”).
(9) Eventually the bridleway forks. Take the right fork, downhill into Rainowlow (signpost “Access to Rainowlow Only”).
(10) After a short distance the bridleway forks. Take the left fork to pass between some buildings in Rainowlow.
(11) 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.
(12) Cross a stone stile, bear slightly left, and follow a wide grassy path, to the left of a hedge.
(13) 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.
(14) 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.
(15) Cross a stone stile to a bridleway (Oakenbank Lane). Cross straight over the bridleway (slightly left), to pass through a gate. Continue straight on down a field towards the white building amongst trees. This is Savio House (a retreat Centre).
(16) 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.


(17) Turn left along the lane.
(18) 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). You will get a great view across Bollington to Nab hill, to the right, along the bridleway.
(19) Turn right along the road, which takes you into Kerridge.


(20) At the end of Redway, turn left.
(21) Take the bridleway off to the right. This is signposted as a Private Road (to Beehive Cottage amongst others). Follow the bridleway downhill.
(22) Bear left at the bottom of the lane (to the left of Beehive Cottage), crossing the canal over a bridge.
(23) 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, Clarence Mill is reached (on the right). Cross the footbridge (26A) over the canal to Clarence Mill, and turn right, to follow the road downhill.

(25) Turn left along the main road.

(26) 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.
(27) A little further on, bear left up Long Lane.
(28) 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.
(29) At the end of the footpath, and just past a few buildings on the right, turn right down a lane.

(30) 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.

(31) 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).
(32) Cross straight over the main road, into a short cul-de-sac.

(33) 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 (Ingersley Road).

(34) Turn left along the road, to return to the Poachers 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.