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Lockdown 50

 

 

Route description & photos

Start anywhere on Merebrook Road.  Walk to the top of Merebrook Road and out onto Chester Road via Colville Road.  Turn right towards Macclesfield.  Look out for an opening in the wall on your left.  Turn into a path, and then immediately right to walk on a good path more or less parallel to the road.  This returns you back onto Chester Road down a few steps.  Turn left into the Villas Estate and then right into The Uplands.  Look for an open gate on your left leading into the cricket ground.

 

Merebrook Road at dawn        Alternative pavement down Chester Road

 

Walk along the path and then car park of the cricket club and exit the main entrance onto Victoria Road.  Walk straight over into The Whitfields and head through the residential estate.  Turn right into Bittern Grove "The Peanut" and out through an alleyway near its opposite end.  Shortly after you emerge from the alleyway, turn right into Wren Close, and then quickly right again into another alleyway.  This leads out onto Prestbury Road.  Turn right, and then left into Bollinbrook Road.  Walk about three-quarters down the length of this road, then turn right through a gateway into the cemetery.  Walk across the cemetery to its entrance onto Westminster Road, opposite the Pack Horse Bowling Club.

 

Entrance to Macclesfield Cricket Club        Footbridge over the River Bollin       

 

Pass to the left of the Pack Horse Bowling Club along Abbey Road before bearing right to walk down a ramp path into the Bollin Valley.  Cross the footbridge and turn right onto the Riverside Park footpath. 

 

Pipe over the Bollin.  This used to be the "bridge" when I were a lad...!        Railway viaduct in Bollin Valley

 

After passing under the railway viaduct, walk through the Bollin Valley Riverside Park car park to the road.

 

Macclesfield Riverside Park        Macclesfield Riverside Park

 

Cross over the main road, turn right over the bridge, and then left onto a track / public footpath. 

 

Route from Beech Lane to the Middlewood Way        Approaching the Middlewood Way, with the Silk Road flyover ahead

 

Continue straight ahead through the tunnel under the A523 Silk Road.

 

 

 

Public footpath from Brink Farm to Walker Barn

head towards and through Brink Farm.

Approaching Walker Barn        Peak District National Park border stone

The path descends to the main A537 Macclesfield-to-Buxton road.  Cross over, pass the former Setter Dog pub, and continue to the Peak District National Park boundary stone.  Just beyond this, take the stile into the field.

Public footpath from Walker Barn to Lamaload        Lamaload

Follow a series of grassy paths through the fields towards Lamaload Reservoir.  Where there is a fork in the paths, bear right.

Woodland footpath south of Lamaload        Climbing away from Lamaload

Continue on the path as it works its way around the south of Lamaload and then joins a road.  Turn left onto the road and walk down towards Lamaload. 

Lamaload Reservoir  Turning onto the public footpath  View of Shutlingsloe

At a corner in the road, turn right onto a public footpath.  This weaving and undulating path takes you all the way to the summit of Shining Tor.

Shining Tor summit        Tom M1EYP

From Shining Tor summit, descend towards the Cat & Fiddle.  Turn right at the T-junction of footpaths, pass through the kissing gate through the wall, then follow the established track down the the main A537 Macclesfield to Buxton road.  Continue the 200m up the road to the famous Cheshire pub.

Cat & Fiddle                Cat & Fiddle

 

Cross the road to take the bridleway over the moor directly away from the Cat & Fiddle.

 

Bridleway opposite the Cat & Fiddle                Bridleway between A537 and A54

 

At the signpost, continue straight on for Three Shires Head.  This brings you to the main A53 Buxton to Leek road.  Cross over the road and climb down the ladder stile into the field ahead.

 

Right turning down towards Cumberland Brook 

 

 

 

Bear left onto the path to begin climbing more steadily and away from the river.  This tops out at a large rock formation.

 

River Dane towards Gradbach Forest Wood Liam close to Lud's Church

 

There is a maze of paths available here; follow the path clearly signed "Lud's Church".  Turn right into the chasm entrance, then follow around and down to the left.

 

Entrance to Lud's Church Liam dropping into Lud's Church Lud's Church

 

The route bottoms out deep into the chasm before climbing back out through a very narrow squeeze. 

 

Lud's Church Climbing out of Lud's Church Boardwalk section between Lud's Church and Roach End

 

 

 

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 the southern outskirts of Macclesfield.

 

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

 

Continue on the towpath at Fools Nook. 

 

Macclesfield Canal        Return to Fools Nook

 

 

 

Macclesfield Canal        WWII pill box on Gaw End Lane

Exit the canal at the bridge at Gaw End Lane.  Walk past the World War II pillbox and cross the footbridge over the mainline railway tracks and into Danes Moss.

Railway line north to Macclesfield        First railway footbridge       

Follow the path until an obvious junction of paths marked by a white post.  Prior to this, there appear to be possible diversions to the left; ignore them - wait until you see the white post and a clear path going off to the sharp left.

Turn sharp right here        Path to continue south     

Follow the the trodden path as it weaves its way through the woods.  When it meets a more substantial path at a kind of T-junction, turn right.

 

Path out of Danes Moss towards Moss Lane

Turn right onto a more substantial and very straight path.  This takes you all the way to Moss Lane, which you follow for a very short distance before turning left into Stamford Road.

Stamford Road        Start of footpath through Moss Lane Allotments

Follow Stamford Road to a sharp corner bend.  At this point, turn left into the public footpath through the Moss Lane allotments.  There are many allotments here, and usually quite a few people out tending to them.

Footpath through Moss Lane Allotments Flower Pot Greenway (Moss) Flower Pot Greenway approaching Flower Pot junction

Ignore a couple of right turns off the path, keeping straight on between the allotments.  The path emerges onto the southern end of the Flower Pot Greenway.  Bear right to follow the greenway route up to Park Lane, near the Flower Pot junction.

Flower Pot Greenway signpost        Junction of Park Lane and Oxford Road

From this point, the official route of the Flower Pot Greenway goes up Ivy Lane before turning right into Sycamore Crescent.  However, this is not a particularly satisfying option following estate roads in a residential area.  For a much better route with longer sections of non-roadside footpaths, follow the main Oxford Road for a couple of minutes, before turning left into Brooklands Avenue.

Start of footpath beside All Hallows School        Flower Pot Greenway approaching Chester Road

At the top of Brooklands Avenue, head into the footpath/cyclepath to the left of the entrance to All Hallows School.  This follows around the back of the school boundary until it rejoins the official route of the Flower Pot Greenway just ahead of the Bollin Meadow Grassland.

Flower Pot Greenway signpost        Bollin Meadow Grassland

The greenway ends at Chester Road, onto which you turn left to follow up to the junction with Ivy Road.  Turn left here, and soon after, right into Merebrook Close (which is easily missed!).

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