Macclesfield Circular via The Dane Valley walk

The Dane Valley, pastures and wooded valleys, and ridges with views of the Cheshire Plain, high moors and gritstone ridges

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Option Post # Weather
Sat, 13-Jul-24 Saturday Walk - Macclesfield Circular (via the Dane Valley): pastures and wooded valleys, and ridges with views of the Cheshire Plain, high moors and gritstone ridges [Macclesfield Trip] 16 cloudy start with wet afternoon
Fri, 08-Oct-21 Friday Walk - Macclesfield Circular (via the Dane Valley) 16 low clouds lifting slowly some sunny breaks later
Length: 28.9 km (18.0 mi) [shorter and longer walks possible]
Ascent/Descent: 735m
Net Walking Time: ca. 7 ½ hours
Toughness: 8 out of 10
For the Full Walk: 09.15 Start at the Train Station.
For the Morning Shortcut: 09.30 Bus Line 14A from the Bus Station, direction Langley (arrives Sutton Lane Ends, Church House Inn at 09.55)

Varied walk, through pastures and wooded valleys and along some ridges, with many fascinating views of the Cheshire Plain and across to the surrounding high moors and gritstone ridges in the westerly Dark Peak area.

Leave the town along a section of the Macclesfield Canal with its Roving Bridge and up along the Bollin River valley onto Ridge Hill and continue through rolling pastures and up onto Croker Hill, the ridge separating the pastoral landscapes of wooded valleys and grazing pastures of the westerly Peak District from the Cheshire Plain. After a short descent, you follow the Gritstone Trail up to and along the Wincle Minn (ridge) – or alternatively through the tight wooded Greasley Hollow part of the Shell Brook valley – to then follow an enchanting stretch of the Dane Valley upstream (shorter and longer options come into play around here) for lunch in Wincle.

From lunch, follow the Dane Valley at an elevated level further upstream towards the high moorlands, then return to Macclesfield up the tributary valleys of the Clough Brook and the Highmoor Brook, to scale up to the watershed to the Bollin Brook Valley. You follow a quiet lane along a ridge with more splendid views before descending through pastures and past one of the reservoirs feeding both Macclesfield and its canal.

Pass through Langley village and go up one last rise: The Hollins, the hill overlooking Macclesfield.The route bursts with bluebells in season in dells, glades and cloughs and on hillsides and verges.

Several walk options make for a variety of shorter, longer, higher and lower routes.

Walk Options:
Bus Line 14 (Macclesfield Langley, about hourly Mon-Fri, every two hours Sat) enables a start in Sutton Lane Ends (cut 3.1 km and 60m ascent). From Macclesfield, alight at the Church House stop in Sutton Lane Ends. Walk back for about 100m to a four-way road junction by the Church House Inn opposite on the left and pick up the directions on page 5 at the single asterisk *).
An Alternative Routing early on follows the Macclesfield Canal for a slightly longer stretch and then follows Hollin Lane, this is overall a little easier to walk.
An Alternative Routing in the morning avoids the rise up onto Croker Hill and its exposed ridge and follows the Rossen Clough instead. This cuts 800m distance and 70m ascent.
An Alternative Routing mid-morning descends into the scenic but mud-prone Greasley Hollow instead of following the very quiet tarmac lane along the exposed ridge of the Wincle Minn.
A pre-lunch Shortcut off the Greasley Hollow route direct to Wincle cuts out a scenic stretch up the Dane Valley to Danebridge. This cuts 2.4 km/1.5 mi and 20m ascent.
A pre-lunch Extension follows the Gritstone Trail all the way into the Dane Valley and turns upstream along the Dane Valley Way for a longer stretch. This adds 1.6 km/1.0 mi and 20m ascent.
Bus Line 14 enables a finish in Langley (cut 3.6 km/2.4 mi and 95m ascent). The last bus from Langley Church runs at 17.33.

Elevenses/Lunch:
Ye Olde King’s Head Gurnett. Located 2.4 km into the walk.
Church House Inn Sutton. Located 3.2 km into the walk.
Wincle Beer Company Dane Bridge, Wincle. Wincle Beer is located 17.2 km (10.7 mi) into the walk, on the banks of the River Dane. Open 10.00-16.30.
The Ship Inn Wincle. The Ship Inn is located 17.6 km (10.9 mi) into the walk. Open all day every day. Food served all day. A 16th century country pub.
Tea:
4 pubs on or just off route, between the lunch stop in Wincle and Macclesfield.
Numerous options in Macclesfield; some of the ones on the route are mentioned in the pdf. T=swc.381

For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.

  • 12-Jul-24

    I am hoping to do the morning part of this walk Jane from Cheshire and Kew

  • 13-Jul-24

    5 of yesterday's group took a day out from walking for various reasons (work, sightseeing, blisters, a ticket for the opera in Buxton), and with 1 new arrival we were 16 today.

    7 of those took the morning bus to Sutton for a shortcut, while 7 others started at the station and on time, 2 others started late and played catch-up.

    It was well cloudy to lunch but with high cloud levels we still had fine views. Overnight rain though meant the pastures and farm tracks were quite energy sapping. The train station starters caught up with the bussies and the group of 15 (1 late starter was still behind) quickly split into various subgroups. Some of those took a midday shortcut, but 10 of us passed through Wincle, some paying a courtesy visit to the brewery, others going straight to the Ship Inn, which is a very efficiently run pub with pretty decent food.

    While there, the heavens opened (pity the shortcutters), so we stayed a bit longer than strictly necessary. On through the remaining drizzle that did not really stop until the end. 5 stopped at The Hanging Gate, which has seen a dramatic turnaround within a few years from closed and dilapidated to thriving and with various enlargement and improvement projects going on.

    Those 5 then took the last bus out of Langley as we passed through there just minutes before it was due (and the remaining route was just the reverse of yesterday's start).

    cloudy start with wet afternoon

Thomas G
Length: 28.9 km (18.0 mi) [shorter and longer walks possible]
Ascent/Descent: 735 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 7 ½ hours
Toughness: 9 out of 10
For the Morning Shortcut: 09.05 Bus Line 14 from the Bus Station, direction Langley (arrives Sutton Lane Ends, Church House Inn at 09.18)
For the Full Walk: 09.15 Start at the Train Station
Varied walk, through pastures and wooded valleys and along some ridges, with many fascinating views of the Cheshire Plain and across to the surrounding high moors and gritstone ridges in the westerly Dark Peak area.
Leave the town along a section of the Macclesfield Canal with its Roving Bridge and up along the Bollin River valley onto Ridge Hill and continue through rolling pastures and up onto Croker Hill, the ridge separating the pastoral landscapes of wooded valleys and grazing pastures of the westerly Peak District from the Cheshire Plain. After a short descent, you follow the Gritstone Trail up to and along the Wincle Minn (ridge) – or alternatively through the tight wooded Greasley Hollow part of the Shell Brook valley – to then follow an enchanting stretch of the Dane Valley upstream (shorter and longer options come into play around here) for lunch in Wincle.
From lunch, follow the Dane Valley at an elevated level further upstream towards the high moorlands, then return to Macclesfield up the tributary valleys of the Clough Brook and the Highmoor Brook, to scale up to the watershed to the Bollin Brook Valley. You follow a quiet lane along a ridge with more splendid views before descending through pastures and past one of the reservoirs feeding both Macclesfield and its canal.
Pass through Langley village and go up one last rise: The Hollins, the hill overlooking Macclesfield.The route bursts with bluebells in season in dells, glades and cloughs and on hillsides and verges.
Several walk options make for a variety of shorter, longer, higher and lower routes.

Walk options:
Bus Line 14 (Macclesfield Langley, about hourly Mon-Fri, every two hours Sat) enables a start in Sutton Lane Ends (cut 3.1 km and 60m ascent). From Macclesfield, alight at the Church House stop in Sutton Lane Ends. Walk back for about 100m to a four-way road junction by the Church House Inn opposite on the left and pick up the directions on page 5 at the single asterisk *).
An Alternative Routing early on follows the Macclesfield Canal for a slightly longer stretch and then follows Hollin Lane, this is overall a little easier to walk
An Alternative Routing in the morning avoids the rise up onto Croker Hill and its exposed ridge and follows the Rossen Clough instead. This cuts 800m distance and 70m ascent.
An Alternative Routing mid-morning descends into the scenic but mud-prone Greasley Hollow instead of following the very quiet tarmac lane along the exposed ridge of the Wincle Minn.
A pre-lunch Shortcut off the Greasley Hollow route direct to Wincle cuts out a scenic stretch up the Dane Valley to Danebridge. This cuts 2.4 km/1.5 mi and 20m ascent.
A pre-lunch Extension follows the Gritstone Trail all the way into the Dane Valley and turns upstream along the Dane Valley Way for a longer stretch. This adds 1.6 km/1.0 mi and 20m ascent.
Bus Line 14 enables a finish in Langley (cut 3.6 km/2.4 mi and 95m ascent). The last bus from Langley Church runs at 17.27.
Elenvenses/Lunch
Ye Olde King’s Head Gurnett. Located 2.4 km into the walk.
Church House Inn Sutton. Located 3.2 km into the walk.
Wincle Beer Company Dane Bridge, Wincle. Wincle Beer is located 17.2 km (10.7 mi) into the walk, on the banks of the River Dane. Open 10.00-16.30.
The Ship Inn Wincle. The Ship Inn is located 17.6 km (10.9 mi) into the walk. Open all day every day. Food served 12.00-14.30. A 16th century country pub.
Tea
4 pubs on or just off route, between the lunch stop in Wincle and Macclesfield.
Numerous options in Macclesfield; some of the ones on the route are mentioned in the pdf. T=swc.381
For summary, walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.
  • 08-Oct-21

    The forecast had warned of low fog and clouds to lunch but had also promised sunny breaks later in. That was kind of true. On the first ridge we certainly were still in low clouds, so much that from the base of the BT Tower on Croker Hill we couldn't see its top. That kind of low visibility sharpens the attention though for the beauty of smaller things, like dewdrop-covered cobwebs. Down and up onto the second ridge, the Wincle Minn. There we could see the valleys below at least and even some of the hills nearby, just before descending into the Shell Brook valley. 3 then took the extension for a longer stretch in the Dane Valley, and were rewarded with the sound of rutting stags from across the valley. We passed the rest of the group at the Wincle Brewery taproom, where they were ensconced in the garden. On to the Ship Inn for excellent lunch. Some of the brewery types also joined us there. By now there were a few specks of blue sky visible, here or there, but not quite where we were.

    Never mind, the views from the elevated path in the Dane then the Clough Brook valleys were fantastic, especially when Shutlingsloe and the surrounding moorlands were bathed in the sunshine. On up to the third and final ridge where we had probably 50/50 blue sky/clouds. All stopped at The Hanging Gate pub, to drink in the views from the terrace overhanging the Bollin Valley, before the descent into the valley and a last hill before getting back to Macc around 6. low clouds lifting slowly some sunny breaks later 16 (incl. 1 off the 7.20 from Euston, respect!)