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Lockdown 19

 

Route description & photos

Park on the minor road on the west side of the A523 at Fools Nook.  There is space for several cars at the roadside just after the canal swing bridge.

 

Liam & Tom        Start of walk at Fools Nook

 

Start by walking on the canal towpath, north towards Macclesfield.  Cross the first footbridge and the cross the A523 road.

 

Footbridge to exit Macclesfield Canal        Sutton Reservoir

 

Enter the gate over the road into Sutton Reservoir.  It is possible to walk around either side of the reservoir, but the path to the left is considerably better.

 

Footpath beside Sutton Reservoir        Sutton Reservoir

 

At the other side of the reservoir, exit onto Leek Old Road and turn right.  Walk uphill along the road and then turn left into Croker Lane.

 

Croker Lane Entrance to Croker Farm Liam in Croker Farm

 

Follow this road (a byway) into Croker Farm.

 

Croker Farm        Croker Farm

 

The road eventually becomes a track, some of it with a concrete service vehicle surface. 

 

Croker Farm        Track ascending Croker Hill

 

It weaves through Croker Farm and then Hanging Gate Farm before angling left to climb up to the ridge.  On the ridge turn right to follow the Gritstone Trail route up to the telecommunications tower on Sutton Common.

 

Concrete road up Croker Hill Bosley Tower Bosley Telecommunications Tower

 

The Gritstone Trail turns left off Sutton Common beside a farmhouse.  This can be taken, but to avoid the mud, continue along the Sutton Common service road down to the A54.

 

Lunch break on Sutton Common        Road south off Croker Hill

 

At the A54 Buxton to Congleton road, turn left and walk down to rejoin the Gritstone Trail.

 

Tom @ Bosley Tower Looking back at Bosley Tower Gritstone Trail route off Sutton Common - do not follow!

 

Turn right onto Minn End Lane, which is also the continuing route of the Gritstone Trail.

 

Start of climb up Wincle Minn Wincle Minn Summit of Wincle Minn

 

Follow this quiet lane right along Wincle Minn and enjoy the scenery in all directions.  Bosley Cloud will be prominent to the right on a clear day.

 

Liam on Wincle Minn        Walking off Wincle Minn, Bosley Cloud in the distance

 

As the road begins to drop and swing left, look out for a bench on the right.  From here, pass through the kissing gate and follow the path down the field to a stile and signpost.

 

Wincle Minn        Rest spot before leaving the road onto the public footpath

 

Do not cross the stile, but turn right at the signpost to head downhill.

 

Start of footpath, another view of Bosley Cloud        Veering right to drop towards Stilesmeadow Farm

 

Don't be tempted to veer right, but keep on straight ahead to drop down to a gate.  This section can be muddy and slippery.

 

Muddy path down to Stilesmeadow Farm        Heading towards Stilesmeadow Farm

 

Continue dropping downhill towards Stilesmeadow Farm.  A boggy stream is crossed by a wooden footbridge, but the area before it can be extremely boggy itself!

 

Footbridge near Stilesmeadow Farm        Approaching Stilemeadow Farm

 

The path follows through Stilesmeadow Farm.  Look out for a footpath diversion and signs showing the route out of the farmyard.

 

Walking through Stilesmeadow Farm  Footpath diversion at Stilesmeadow Farm  Footpath route out of Stilesmeadow Farm

 

At the end of the road, turn right and walk up to Bosley Reservoir.

 

End of road to Stilesmeadow Farm        Bosley Reservoir

 

Turn left and walk across the dam at the south end of Bosley Reservoir. 

 

Dam across Bosley Reservoir        Bosley Reservoi, looking back to Croker Hill in background

 

The original route for this walk used the public footpath around the right hand side of Bosley Reservoir, but this becomes appallingly muddy and should be avoided!

 

Croker Hill behind Bosley Reservoir        Bosley Reservoir

 

Take the steps down off the dam and follow the public footpath through Kiln Hill Farm.

 

Stairway off the dam        Kiln Hill Farm

 

Exit through the kissing gate onto the A523 Leek to Macclesfield road.  Turn rght and walk up to Bosley village.

 

Exiting onto the A523  Footpath beside St Mary's Church  Muddy footpath under the disused railway line

 

Turn left onto a public footpath just before St Mary's Church.

 

St Mary's Church, Bosley        Passing underneath disused railway line, Bosley

 

Follow the path down under a viaduct (disused railway) to emerge at some industrial works.  Parts of this path can be very muddy.

 

Works at Bosley        Leaving Bosley village

 

Continue onto the road and head a short distance in the direction of Bosley Cloud.

 

Bridleway from Bosley to Macclesfield Canal        Cattle at Bosley

 

Turn right onto a public bridleway.  Follow this up to the River Dane and continue towards the aqueduct.

 

Aqueduct Macclesfield Canal Information board at Bosley Locks

 

Join the Macclesfield Canal towpath and turn right to follow towards Macclesfield.

 

Entry back onto the Macclesfield Canal        Walking along the Macclesfield Canal towpath, with Croker Hill in the background

 

This towpath now leads all the way back to Fools Nook to complete the circular route.

 

Bosley Locks        Bosley Locks

 

The full flight of twelve locks at Bosley are encountered.  These allow the canal to climb a total of 36m.

 

Bosley Locks        Sean M0GIA

 

Exit the canal at Fools Nook to complete the route.

 

Macclesfield Canal        Return to Fools Nook