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Lockdown 1

 

Route description & photos

Start anywhere on Merebrook Road.  Limited on-street parking available.  Walk to the top end of Merebrook Road and over onto Colville Road.  Cross Chester Road onto Maxfield Close and walk to the end (behind St Luke's Church).

Merebrook Road at dawn        Ginnel from Maxfield Close to Dalesford Crescent

Turn left into a long narrow ginnel, following this out onto Dalesford Crescent.  Bear right to walk towards Fallibroome Road, then right again, and left into Fallibroome Close.  Enter another ginnel to walk through to Camborne Avenue on the Greenside Estate.  At the end, turn left, then right and right again up a few steps.  Turn left to follow a long greenway running between the backs of two rows of residential houses.

Ginnel from Fallibroome Close to Camborne Avenue        Greenway from Camborne Avenue to Newquay Drive

Continue straight on through more narrow ginnels, eventually emerging onto Newquay Drive.  Continue onto Whirley Road, turning right to walk past a small farm on your left.  Turn left through a kissing gate to walk along a straight footpath across the common land at Longmoss.  Continue onto the path between two barbed wire fences.  Turn right at the end and follow the path around a few corners onto a track.

Ponies and alpacas beside Whirley Road        Footpath from Whirley to Longmoss Top

Continue on the track to the end, then turn right to walk up the road to the junction.  Turn left to follow the short distance to Whirley Hall, then turn right into Wrigley Lane.

Path up to Longmoss Top        Whirley Hall

A short distance up this road, look out for a stile into a field on the left.  At this point, cross the stile, and walk across the public footpath across the back of Whirley Hall estate towards a bluebell wood.  Continue on the lovely path through the wood. emerging out onto lofty field with south-facing views at Highlees.

Walking across the back of Whirley Hall        Highlees Wood

At the end of this field, bear left onto a well-defined track, following this a short distance to a stile, above you to the right.

Highlees        Highlees

Cross the stile and follow the path around the right-hand boundary of the field.  At the bottom, cross another stile and turn right onto a farm track.  This leads out onto a country lane (Birtles Road), onto which you turn right.  Walk a short distance along the lane then turn right into Cross Lane.  Walk along this narrow road to a crossroads, continuing straight ahead onto the track to Fittontown Farm.

Highlees        Track into Fittontown Farm

At Fittontown Farm, the track ends, but a very pleasant bridleway continues straight ahead through a gate. 

Approaching Fittontown Farm        Top of wooded bridleway that descends from Fittontown Farm

This is a winding path through another bluebell wood, snaking gently downhill emerging onto the Macclesfield-Alderley road. 

Heading down from Fittontown Farm        Path from Fittontown Farm down to the Alderley Road

Turn right onto the road, and take care with passing traffic on blind bends.  After a short distance, a path materialises on the right, giving more comfortable walking through a grass verge.  This then becomes even more pleasant, passing on the other side of some trees to the roadside.

Welcome path veering off the main road into the grass verge        Path parallel to the Alderley road in the Macclesfield direction

Shortly after some farm buildings and houses on the left, look out for an opening to a rough path on the right.  This climbs up a steep muddy bank and enters into the back corner of Macclesfield Rugby Union Football Club.  Bear right and walk beside a rugby pitch towards the main first-team pitch and grandstand.  Turn left and walk around the main pitch towards the main vehicle entrance to the rugby club.  Just past this is an open gate through which you can emerge onto Priory Lane.

Macclesfield RUFC        Macclesfield RUFC

Cross over and walk towards the electricity pylon, behind a row of house on Upton Priory estate.

Macclesfield RUFC        Starting to head across Upton Priory estate

The path passes around the back of Upton Priory School and then continues through green spaces on the estate.  Walk up Donagh Close, but again bear left to walk around the back of a row of houses.

Upton Priory School        Donagh Close - where I lived during my teenage years!

Head towards the shops which can now be seen ahead, crossing Beck Lane (path) in the process.  Walk through the "tunnel" to the fronts of the shops and then over the car park to Kennedy Avenue.

Upton Priory shops        Between Upton Priory and Victoria Road

Cross Kennedy Avenue to follow a footpath into another residential area.  A series of paths and streets are then followed over this estate and past the East Cheshire Hospice.

Between Upton Priory and Victoria Road        Between Upton Priory and Victoria Road

The residential area is left on a path across a green common towards Victoria Road.  Cross that road to then walk across "The Villas", yet another residential area, on the site of the old Parkside Hospital.  Pass to the left of the main building with the clock tower and pick up the cycle path over to Chester Road.  Cross over into Ivy Road.

Emerging onto Victoria Road        Clock tower of the old Parkside Hospital

Walk along Ivy Road, and soon after, turn right into Merebrook Close (which is easily missed!).

Cycle and footpath across to Chester Road        Merebrook Close

Turn left at the top of Merebrook Close to follow the ginnel through to Merebrook Road, at which point the circular route is complete.

Ginnel between Merebrook Close and Merebrook Road        Merebrook Road