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).
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.
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.
Continue on the track, looking out for a few steps on the right, leading to a narrow path up to Longmoss Top.
At the end of the path, turn left into Whirley Road, and follow down to Whirley Hall. Turn left to follow the short distance to Whirley Hall, then turn right into Wrigley Lane.
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.
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.
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. Almost immediately, turn left into another field, which after an initial rise, slopes gently downhill. This continues into another beautiful wooded path, all the way through to Hocker Lane.
Turn left onto Hocker Lane (track) and follow all the way to its end. This passes to the north of Alderley Park and emerges at the village of Nether Alderley. Turn left onto the main road, and follow a short distance down to a road junction. At the junction, follow straight on, onto a public footpath. This passes behind the church and heads towards the A34 bypass.
A modern and substantial footbridge can be seen ahead, and that is where you will cross the busy A34 bypass.
The bypass was constructed thanks to the campaigning of renowned local rambler Derek Smith, and a commemorative plaque is displayed on the bridge.
These photographs were taken at the start of the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown, and this normally busy road was eerily quiet in what would normally be rush-hour period.
On the other side of the bypass, the footpath continues past Heawood Hall to Mere Farm. Shortly after, turn right into Stubby Lane, a public byway.
Look for a wide entrance into the quarry area on your right. This cuts the corner of the paths and passes closer to the flooded quarry.
This path is not marked on maps as a public right of way, but appears to be well used, and has signage along it that suggests tolerance of its use as a footpath.
The path passes through George's Wood and there are views of a large mere on the right
After passing through more woodland, the path ahead passes between two large pools, in an almost causeway-like manner.
There are good views of the vast expanses of tranquil water either side of the path as it proceeds towards Chelford village.
When the path eventually reaches Alderley Road, turn left and then almost immediately right to follow another public footpath.
The footpath passes along the right-hand boundary of a crop field, with the railway line ahead.
Pass underneath the railway line and into the edge of a residential estate in Chelford village. Turn right to follow the woodland path.
After a short distance, the path turns ninety degrees to the left. Navigation is easy as there's nowhere else to go!
The path turns ninety degrees left again and becomes a track along the edge of the housing estate. Continue straight ahead. right up to the main road.
Continue straight ahead as the path becomes Dixon Drive. At the end, it reaches the main A537 Macclesfield-to-Knutsford road. Just to the right is a fine pub - the Egerton Arms - with very good food and ale.
Turn left to follow the main road back towards the centre of Chelford.
Turn right to take a footpath onto Chelford Heath.
At a T-junction of public footpaths, turn left.
Continue ahead onto another public footpath at Heath Farm.
Continuing straight head, you are brought to a tunnel under the railway line. Mind your head!
Turn left into the road and walk down this to Chelford roundabout. Here you will find the Chelford Corner Shoppe, selling some nice produce for lunch or breakfast depending on your timing.
At the roundabout and shop, turn right onto the A535.
Continue down the A535 Holmes Chapel road until you reach St John's Church on the left. Turn left to pass between houses, walking along a paved road. Behind the houses, you will see a public footpath sign marked for the village of Siddington. Follow this across the coming fields.
This path leads you to Astle Farm (West). Turn right onto the farm road, and up to a T-junction of footpaths. Turn right again.
A sharp left turn is taken through a fenced path. This passes a fishing pool then heads down to the woods.
Again the route on the ground here can be ambiguous, so look out for a kissing gate with the yellow arrow waymarkers.
You now enter an extremely pleasant long thin wood, within which the footpath remains for an unexpectedly long time, as it progresses alongside Snape Brook.
Terrain varies sharply between good paths, wooden footbridges and boardwalks - and very boggy sections to negotiate! Almost without fail though, the bogs look much worse than they actually are, and none are actually all that deep.
With the width of the wood being very small, it gets plenty of sunlight, and so it is a bright, colourful and attractive place on a fine day.
The footpath ends onto Mill Lane. Turn left to walk in the direction of Capesthorne Hall.
Continue along Mill Lane as it swings around to the right, then turn left into a PROW across Capesthorne Estate. At this point there may be an honesty box type stall. The apple and raspberry crumble muffins are very highly recommended!
The route now heads in an easterly direction direction, passing on the other side of the water from Capesthorne Hall. At the end of the path, cross directly over the road to enter into the Redesmere area. Follow the short path past the north end of Redesmere and back around to the left to rejoin the main A34 road.
Walk north up the pavement beside the A34 for around 500m. At the main entrance for Capesthorne Hall, turn right onto a public footpath, which initially follows a farm access road.
The path reaches, and passes through the yard for Lingards Farm. Turn left out of the farm onto a minor road, and then turn right onto a public footpath that at the time of writing did not appear on the OS mapping (but now does!)
An access road is reached. Cross over this and veer right slighty to pick up a grassy track between a hedge and a metal fence. This heads slightly uphill towards a coppice wood, which can be seen ahead.
When the coppice is reached, turn right to pass it to the right. After the coppice is passed, bear left and slightly downhill. The target at the other side of this large grassy area is not visible for most of the route across, so drop to the lower parts of the field and pass close by two large trees to get the approximate direction.
A wooden footbridge is crossed into Bearhurst Farm, then bear left to follow the fence line down to the road. The OS 1:25000 map suggests that the public footpath and exit onto Bearhurst Lane is about 100m from the fence, but in reality it is much closer. Stay close to the fence, and the stile onto the road is right in the corner of the field.
Turn right into Bearhurst Lane. Follow this around to a crossroads at Pexhill Road, which you go straight over into Dark Lane.
Walk down Dark Lane, until a bridge stile is seen on the left. Use this to enter the field and begin to climb up to Underbank Farm.
After passing through the farmyard, this becomes a metalled road which runs parallel to Gawsworth Road and Pexhill Road, dissecting the two.
Near to this road's end, it meets New Farm at a sharp bend. Continue onto the path into New Farm and bear left towards the trees.
After the small wooded area, the land gains height suddenly, rising to a trig point on the brow of the hill.
Nicknamed "Great Weston Fell" by mischievous radio amateurs in Macclesfield, this is an occasionally popular spot of portable ham radio operations! Local hills including the distinctive Shutlingsloe now come into view.
Continue onto Gawsworth Road, turn left, and then right into Earlsway. Walk down past the shops and abandoned pub, before cutting across to Merebrook Road to complete the route. You can cut into the sideroads on alleyways on your right to walk through Weston Park, which may (or may not) be preferable to walking down Earlsway!
Turn right into Earlsway, but then take the second right into Kendal Road in order to avoid some further road walking!
Almost immediately, turn left to follow a ginnel through to the recreational ground on the Weston. This can be followed for its entire length in order to only re-emerge onto Earlsway down beyond the old Weston pub.
Continue down Earlsway, then turn left for the footpath back across to Merebrook Road. The route is complete.