Buxton to Macclesfield via the Cat and Fiddle walk

From Spa Town to Silk Town via the wild Goyt Valley, Shining Tor, lonely moorlands down the Clough Brook Valley to Macclesfield Forest and through Tegg's Nose Country Park

Backview from Stake Side across Goyt Valley up Goyt's Moss to Burbage Edge SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

Backview from Stake Side across Goyt Valley up Goyt's Moss to Burbage Edge

SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

10-Aug-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Stake Farm and Shutlingsloe, from top of Stake Side SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

Stake Farm and Shutlingsloe, from top of Stake Side

SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

10-Aug-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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Backview from Torgate Hill up the Chest Hollow to The Cat & Fiddle SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

Backview from Torgate Hill up the Chest Hollow to The Cat & Fiddle

SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

10-Aug-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk389 walkicon 51373229586

Teggsnose and Bottoms Reservoirs with Croker Hill, from Tegg's Nose SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

Teggsnose and Bottoms Reservoirs with Croker Hill, from Tegg's Nose

SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

10-Aug-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk389 walkicon 51373230281

The Buxton Crescent Hotel SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

The Buxton Crescent Hotel

SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

10-Aug-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

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St. Anne's Well, Buxton SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

St. Anne's Well, Buxton

SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

10-Aug-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk389 51373459308

Gritstone Arm of River Wye, Pavilion Gardens, Buxton SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

Gritstone Arm of River Wye, Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

SWC Walk 389 - Buxton to Macclesfield

10-Aug-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk389 51373961434

Length

25.2 km (15.6 mi), with 784/950m ascent/descent. For a shorter walk see below Walk Options.

Toughness

8 out of 10, with 6 ½ hours walking time.

Walk Notes

An exciting route from the fringes of the White Peak to the fringes of the Dark Peak, namely from the historic Spa Town of Buxton in Derbyshire to the historic Silk Town of Macclesfield in Cheshire.

You leave Buxton along the gritstone arm of the Wye River through parks and the suburb of Burbage to rise steeply to the moorlands that form the British watershed between North Sea and Irish Sea, i.e.: between Wye and Goyt. Descend into the lonely Upper Goyt Valley and rise up again through woodlands and more empty moors to the ridge that forms the County Boundary with Cheshire.
An out-and-back to the fantastic viewpoint of Shining Tor, Cheshire’s highest top, follows, before a steep descent from the Cat & Fiddle distillery/pub along permissive paths through the open moorland of the Chest Hollow and over rolling pastures in the Clough Brook and Tor Brook valleys.
From Bottom-of-the-Oven, a meandering route leads through parts of the enchanting Macclesfield Forest, past the isolated Forest Chapel, then along ancient packhorse routes up to the formerly heavily quarried Tegg’s Nose, now a Country Park with several fine viewpoints. A steep descent into Macclesfield finishes the route.
Return by bus (faster) or train. The bus line also offers multiple ways of reducing the length of the walk.

The first half of the walk of the walk, once out of Buxton, is very lonely and exposed; in bad weather consider taking the bus to The Cat & Fiddle to cut out most of the moorland bits.

Walk Options

Morning Shortcut - cut the out-and-back ascent of Shining Tor (cut 2.0 km and 75m ascent).
Mid-Walk Shortcut - from Bottom-of-the-Oven, ascend steeply along Oven Lane to Forest Chapel instead of routing up and down through the north easterly corner of Macclesfield Forest (cut 1.5 km and 40m ascent).

Bus Line 58 (Buxton – Macclesfield via Cat & Fiddle), with an hourly service Monday-Saturday and five buses on Sundays and Bank Holidays, offers various stops on - or close to - the route to either shorten the walk by cutting out a stretch at the start or by finishing the route early, and in any case of getting back faster from Macclesfield to Buxton than via the railway. Last return buses (as of 08/2021): Mon-Sat 18.45 Macclesfield Bus Station, 18.47 opposite Cundiff Close, Sun/Bank Holidays 17.45 Bus Station, 17.49 opposite Cundiff Close. See the route map for the location of the stops.
A - Burbage, Level Lanestop, 2.9 km into the walk: cuts out the start out of Buxton’s centre to the fringe of the town. Continue in the direction of travel and in 20m turn left up along Macclesfield Old Road and pick up the text at the asterisk *) on page 5.
B – Cat & Fiddle PH stop, 150m off route, 11.3 km into the walk. Continue in the direction of travel and in 150m (i.e.: 30m after passing a ‘Blind Summit’ traffic sign pointing the other way), turn left along a faint path downhill through the moorland, in 10m passing a Concession Path marker post and continue towards a crumbling wall. Pick up the text at the triple asterisk ***) on page 8. But if you first like to ascend Shining Tor on an out-and-back, follow the route map and various signposts.
C – Walker Barn stop (cut 4.9 km), the last stop outwith Macclesfield (and without shelter or signpost): from Teggs’ Nose Country Park’s visitor centre and tea room, turn right along Buxton Old Road instead of turning left and follow the road to the A537 by Walker Barn. The bus will stop at any safe spot. Just make yourself visible early enough, as it will approach at a fair speed.
D – Macclesfield, opposite Cundiff Close stop (cut 1.0 km), close to the first pub in Macclesfield and cutting the last urban bits to the station.

Maps

OS Explorer: 268 (Wilmslow, Macclesfield & Congleton) – just for the urban start – and OL24 (The Peak District – White Peak Area)
OS Landranger: 118 (Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield) and 119 (Buxton & Matlock)
Harvey Superwalker XT25: Peak District South and Central (but only to the end of Macclesfield Forest)
Harvey British Mountain Map: Dark Peak or White Peak (but only to Tegg's Nose/Broadcar Road)

Travel

Buxton Station, map reference SK 059 737, is 22km southeast of Manchester, 299m above sea level and in Derbyshire. Macclesfield Station, map reference SJ 919 736, is 237 km northwest of Charing Cross, 133m above sea level and in Cheshire East. Buxton Station is the terminus of the Buxton Line from Manchester, with two trains per hour Mon-Sat daytime and one per hour else. Journey time is 60 mins from Manchester and ca. three hours from London (chg. at Stockport). Macclesfield Station is on the Stafford to Manchester branch line off the West Coast Main Line from London Euston (hourly service). Travel time to London is from 107 minutes Mon-Sat (longer on Sun).

Saturday Walkers’ Club: The walk is doable as a daywalk from London with a train no later than 09.20 hours.

Elenvenses/Lunch

Peak View Restaurant & Tea Room Buxton New Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0AR (01298 22103). The Peak View is located 250m off route, 11.1 km (6.9 mi) into the walk.
The Cat & Fiddle Buxton New Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0AR (01298 73711). The Cat & Fiddle is located 150m off route, 11.3 km (7.0 mi) into the walk. Built in 1813, and long England’s second highest pub, it closed in December 2015 with an uncertain future. Robinson’s Brewery have recently sold it to the Forest Distillery though, who intend to open it as Britain’s highest altitude distillery, with a pub attached.
The Forest Distillery Chambers Farm, Bottom-of-the-Oven, Macclesfield Forest, near Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK1 0AR (01260 253 245). The distillery is located 13.9 km (8.7 mi) into the walk.
The Stanley Arms Hotel Ankers Lane, Bottom-of-the-Oven, Macclesfield Forest, near Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK1 0AR (01260 252 414). The Stanley Arms is located 200m off route, 14.1 km (8.8 mi) into the walk.

Tea

Tegg’s Nose Tea Room Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Buxton Old Road, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0AP (07955 532 703). The Tea Room is located 5.8 km (3.6 mi) from the end of the walk.
The Dolphin 76 Windmill Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 7HS (01625 616 179, ). The Dolphin is a freshly renovated Robinson’s pub and located 1.0 km from the end of the walk.
Numerous options in Macclesfield; some of the ones on the route are mentioned in the pdf.

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Oct-21 Thomas G

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Walk Directions  

Full directions for this walk are in a PDF file (link above) which you can print, or download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

This is just the introduction. This walk's detailed directions are in a PDF available from wwww.walkingclub.org.uk