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Lockdown 8

 

Route description & photos

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the local Rotary Club organised a mass charity sponsored walk every September.  Known as "Beat The Bounds", the route closely followed the Macclesfield town parish boundary, and was approximately 19 miles in length.  Sadly, the event no longer takes place, but for nostalgic reasons, I decided to attempt to undertake such a walk!

 

When devising a route, I found improvements could be made to the original "classic" route that followed even closer to the parish boundary line in places, and on better and more pleasant public footpaths.  Of course checkpoint locations would have been a consideration back then, and access situations may have been different.

 

Pack Horse, Broken Cross        Cock Inn, Henbury

 

Start from Pack Horse pub, Broken Cross.  Walk west along Chelford Road A537 as far as The Cock at Henbury.  Opposite the pub, walk into the common land at Whirley, and progress across the fields in a northerly direction to pick up the public footpath, onto which you turn left.

 

Access to common land between Henbury and Whirley        Common land between Henbury and Whirley

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.

Footpath across the common at Whirley        Fenced path between the common and tracks at Longmoss

Continue on the track, looking out for a few steps on the right, leading to a narrow path up to Longmoss Top. 

Steps to path across Longmoss        Path up to Longmoss

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.

Tower at Longmoss        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. 

Footpath across Whirley estate        Bluebell woods behind Whirley Hall

Continue on the lovely path through the wood. emerging out onto lofty field with south-facing views at Highlees.

Bluebells        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        Looking towards the next section of path at Highlees

Cross the stile and follow the path around the right-hand boundary of the field at Highlees. 

Pleasant section of track at Highlees        Waypost at 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 a gate in a small gap and footpath sign, leading into the new King's School campus.  Don't follow the main footpath heading between the school building and the sports centre, but head towards the playing fields to pick up another path, initially up a gravel path.

King's School playing fields        Path cutting through to Prestbury Golf Course

The path turns left and then right to follow the boundary of the playing field area, then exits onto a driveway.  Cross the driveway to enter a narrow path between a wooden fence and a hedge.This path emerges onto the access road for Prestbury Golf Club.  Turn right onto this access drive, and then shortly left onto another public footpath, marked with a wooden signpost.

Path emerges at the main entrance to the golf club        Continuation onto to another path to cut across to Prestbury Road, towards the village

Walk to the end of this path, bring you out onto the road as it heads into Prestbury village.  Continue along this road on the pavement  and pass the village hall on your right.  Turn right to walk along Shirleys Drive to Abbey Mill at the end of the cul-de-sac.  Enter the public footpath to the right of the entrance to Abbey Mill.

Path into the Bollin Valley, beside the entrance to Abbey Mill        Connecting path to the Bollin Valley

Follow the footpath to the River Bollin and cross the footbridge.  Turn left the follow the Bollin Valley Way back towards Prestbury village.  As the path reaches Bollin Grove at its end, turn sharp right to walk under the railway tunnel.

River Bollin, near Prestbury        Footpath under the railway line, near Prestbury

The path now climbs gently up towards Tytherington.  You'll need to bear right, and then turn right at a path junction in order to walk into the golf course at Tytherington Links.

Footpath between Prestbury and Tytherington        Trying not to disturb the locals!

The public right of way across the golf course is followed using a series of wooden marker posts, but generally you are heading up towards the clubhouse which is visible throughout.  The path passes to the right of the clubhouse and car parks and continues on a rough path behind a row of houses.

Tytherington Links golf course        Footpath from Tytherington Links to the main road

Take care crossing the busy main road, as the footpath ends on a blind bend with very poor views in both directions.  It may be prudent to move a distance to either side in order to find a safer place to cross.  Turn right, and then quickly left into Tytherington Lane.  Walk down this road until you can turn right into Springwood Way.  Walk past the Springwood Park pub and continue to follow the winding road.  Look out for a public footpath sign pointing into the driveway for Cold Arbour Farm.  Follow this path.

Footpath through Cold Arbour Farm, easily missed!        Footpath to make your way out of the estate towards the footbridge

The footpath weaves its way around, rejoining and crossing the residential road a couple of times.  Eventually it follows alongside the main A523 "Silk Road", and then cross a rather impressive footbridge.

The Silk Road A523        Footbridge over the Silk Road

Shortly after the footbridge, there is a right turn onto a path that leads down to the Macclesfield Canal.  Turn right onto the canal towpath.

Joining the Macclesfield Canal        Macclesfield Canal towpath

Walk along the canal towapths to bridge number 33 (Higher Fence Road).  Exit the canal here and turn left.

A proud mum of 8!        Higher Fence Road canal bridge - exit here

Follow the rough road past the farm and turn left onto another track.  At the buildings, a public footpath passes to the left.

Farm at Higherfence        Path out of Lark Hall

Follow this path past a couple of small reservoirs and up some steps to emerge onto the end of Ecton Avenue.  Turn right to follow this residential road down to the main A537 Macclesfield to Buxton road. 

First of a couple of small reservoirs above Lark Hall        Climbing up towards Ecton Avenue

Turn sharp left and walk along the pavement around a few bends, passing Eddisbury Park Field on the opposite side of the road.  Turn sharp right into Back Eddisbury Road.

Eddisbury Park Field        Macclesfield from above!

Climb to the highest point of Back Eddisbury Road, the turn left to follow a byway track - a walled packhorse trail, up towards Windyways Farm.

 

Byway from Back Eddisbury Lane up towards Windyways        Gritstone Way marker post between Windyways and Tegg's Nose

The track emerges onto Buxton Old Road.  Turn right to walk the short distance down to Tegg's Nose Country Park and cafe.  From the country park entrance, take the main path away from the cafe and into the main country park area.

Tegg's Nose Country Park entrance        Main footpath into Tegg's Nose Country Park

Following the main path through the country park brings you past some exhibits of old quarry machinery.  The summit of Tegg's Nose can be accessed by taking a short path to the right.

Climbing towards Tegg's Nose        Old quarry machinery at Tegg's Nose

Take care when passing some of the quarry edges.  Some of these are deisgned for rock climbing and abseiling activites, and are unfenced.

Climbing / abseiling wall at Tegg's Nose        Windswept!

From the summit, drop back down to the main path and continue on the path down to Tegg's Nose Farm then Broadcar Lane.

Tegg's Nose summit        Dropping off Tegg's Nose

Turn right onto Broadcar Lane, then left onto Buxton Old Road.  Take care here as most of this section doesn't have a pavement.  Turn left onto a stony walled track.  Follow this to a sharp right-angle bend.  Turn right and follow the track all the way down to the end of Longden Lane.  Turn right into Longden Lane, then left down Stoneyfold Lane.  Turn left again into Blakelow Road and follow this around a series of sharp bends as it winds its way downhill towards Macclesfield.

Walled packhorse track from Buxton Old Road to Longden Lane        Richmond Hill bridge over the Macclesfield Canal, shortly after joining from Windmill Street

Rejoin the Macclesfield Canal at the bridge on Windmill Street and turn left to follow the towpath.

Not that I would ever be tempted to swim in the Macc Canal anyway!        A turnover bridge near Sutton

A long section of easy canal towpath walking follows.  The canal is crossed at an attractive turnover bridge at one point.

The narrowboats of two licensed amateur friends - Sean M0GIA & Andy M1BYH        Sean M0GIA with his CBG (cigar box guitar)

Continue along the canal, passing Sutton village on the opposite bank, then Lyme Green retail park on the immediate right. 

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 left, and then almost immediately right over a couple of planks. 

Path out of Danes Moss towards Moss Lane        Reasonable balance required!       

Continue forward, and another rudimentary plank crossing is there to help you over a muddy/boggy section, but take care if it is wet!  

Route through Danes Moss        Danes Moss       

Emerge onto the playing fields area and aim for the changing room and shower block, and then onto the main Congleton Road A537.  Cross over the main Macclesfield-to-Congleton road and turn right to walk towards Macclesfield town centre.

Entering the playing fields at Danes Moss        Eastern section of Penningtons Lane, approaching Congleton Road       

Turn left into Penningtons Lane, which is a tarmac residential road at this end, but later becomes a rough farm track and not recommended for driving!  Follow the lane past Little Bailey Riddings Farm on the right then the farm buildings on the left.  Turn right into Gawsworth Road but then almost immediately left through a kissing gate into a field.

Penningtons Lane (track)        NW end of Penningtons Lane       

The path on the ground keeps to the left of the field, but veer right to climb up to the summit of the small hill to take in the only trig point on the route.  This is TP5093, nicknamed mischievously as "Great Weston Fell"!  Head down to a gap in the trees at the botto, of the field.  Avoid the kissing gate in the corner as this area is usually badly waterlogged.

Trig point on New Farm ("Great Weston Fell"!)        PROW across New Farm       

After passing a pond on your left, continue to follow the path.  Head towards the wooden footbridge with stiles which is now visible ahead.  After crossing the bridge, continue ahead to the kissing gate out onto Pexhill Road.

Bridge stile across ditch in New Farm        Start of PROW across New Farm       

Turn right to walk along Pexhill Road towards Broken Cross.  Much of this section does not have a pavement, but there is a faint path running through a wide grass verge for a considerable distance, so you don't need to take your chance with fast vehicles and blind bends!

Faint path in grass verge alongside Pexhill Road        End of Pexhill Road       

As you approach Broken Cross, look out for the beer garden behind the Pack Horse pub on your left.  Turn in here, and the route is complete.

Pack Horse, Broken Cross      A new personal record on my Fitbit step tracker!