Upper Hulme to Macclesfield via Hen Cloud, Roaches, Shutlingsloe walk

Hen Cloud and the Roaches, the Hanging Stone, Lud's Church chasm, the Dane Valley, lonely Wildboarclough, the 'Cheshire Matterhorn', Macclesfield Forest, Reservoirs.

The Roaches and Hen Cloud SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

The Roaches and Hen Cloud

SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

19-May-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk388 banner 51329593856

Gritstone Boulders and Shutlingsloe: on The Roaches SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

Gritstone Boulders and Shutlingsloe: on The Roaches

SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

19-May-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk388 banner 51330586715

Shutlingsloe from Berry Bank, Wildboarclough SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

Shutlingsloe from Berry Bank, Wildboarclough

SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

19-May-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk388 banner 51330587635

Doxey Pool, The Roaches SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

Doxey Pool, The Roaches

SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

19-May-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk388 walkicon 51330586290

Lud's Church chasm: boardwalk near entrance SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

Lud's Church chasm: boardwalk near entrance

SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

19-May-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk388 walkicon 51330316589

Trig Point on Shutlingsloe, towards Macclesfield Forest and Shining Tor SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

Trig Point on Shutlingsloe, towards Macclesfield Forest and Shining Tor

SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

19-May-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk388 walkicon 51329804583

Churnet River, Upper Hulme SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

Churnet River, Upper Hulme

SWC Walk 388 - Upper Hulme to Macclesfield

19-May-21 • thomasgrabow on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk388 51329802168

Length

24.9 km (15.4 mi), with 784/892m ascent/descent. For a shorter or longer walk see below Walk Options.

Toughness

8 out of 10, with 6 ¾ hours walking time.

Walk Notes

A tour de force of highlights in the Staffordshire/Cheshire borderlands within easy reach of London.
You rise through the tight valley of an arm of the Upper Churnet River to then ascend the quite sensational Hen Cloud, a tilted standalone rockface, for stunning views of the Staffordshire Plain as well as the route ahead over the famous gritstone escarpment of the Roaches, part of a 6-kilometre curved ridge which you follow all the way to the fascinating viewpoint of the Hanging Stone. From there drop steadily through Back Forest into the very scenic Dane Valley by Gradbach Mill and enter Cheshire.
Ascend out of the valley up across a modest hill with quiet pastures and cross into the scenic Wildboarclough, with fine views ahead of the hardest ascent of the day: up the imposing ‘Cheshire Matterhorn’: Shutlingsloe.
An easy descent down the other side leads to a crossing of High Moor (on a good path) to the rim of the wide bowl of the Macclesfield Forest. Descend through the enchanting wood, then pass a string of reservoirs fed by the Bollin Brook and commence one last climb up The Hollins, a modest hill with fine views over the Cheshire Plain and down into Macclesfield before the drop into the historic Silk Town, with its many tea options.

A bus from Langley cuts out the last ascent. An Alternative Start in Leek makes for a longer walk.

Walk Options

If you travel to the start via Stoke-on-Trent Station and a subsequent bus journey from Hanley Bus Station: there are frequent buses linking Stoke Station to Hanley Bus Station, but a pleasant 2.3 km walking route is described in text and also available as a gpx file.
An Alternative Start in Leek (buses from Stoke, Buxton or Macclesfield) enables a longer walk: add 5.8 km/3.6 mi and 140m ascent (9/10).
Omit the ascent of the striking hilly outcrop of Hen Cloud: cuts 1.0 km and 50m ascent.
Cut the out-and-back to the Hanging Stone (cut 880m).
Cut the out-and-back into Lud’s Church Chasm, a unique deep mossy cleft (cut 800m).
An Alternative Route on Shutlingsloe avoids the last rough and steep bit of the ascent by skirting the summit (cut 45m ascent).
Bus Line 14 (Langley – Macclesfield, about hourly Mon-Fri, every two hours Sat, last bus (as of 11/2020) at 17.27 Mon-Fri and 18.17 Sat) enables a finish in Langley (cut 3.6 km/2.4 mi and 95m ascent).

Maps

OS Explorer: 268 (Wilmslow, Macclesfield & Congleton) – just for the urban finish – 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 (but only to Ridgegate Reservoir)
Harvey British Mountain Map: White Peak (but only to Langley)

Travel

Upper Hulme, Old Buxton Road Bus Stop, map reference SK 013 607, is 16 km southeast of Macclesfield, 245m above sea level and in Staffordshire. Macclesfield Station, map reference SJ 919 736, is 237 km northwest of Charing Cross, 133m above sea level and in Cheshire East. Upper Hulme is served by four buses a day (Mon-Sat) on Line 16 Hanley – Leek – Buxton (Stoke Station, closer to London on the Macclesfield line, has frequent buses to Hanley Bus Station, which is a 2.3 km walk away). Macclesfield Station is on the Stafford to Manchester branch line off the West Coast Main Line from London Euston. Travel time to London is from 108 minutes Mon-Fri, but longer on weekends.

Saturday Walkers’ Club: The walk is doable as a daywalk from London with a train no later than 08.20 hours.

Elenvenses

Upper Hulme Start
Ye Olde Rock Inn Old Buxton Road, Upper Hulme, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 8TY (01538 300 324).

Leek Start
Numerous options in Leek; some of the ones on the route are mentioned in the pdf.
The Abbey Inn Abbey Green Road, Leek, Staffordshire Peak District, ST13 8SA (01538 382 865). The Abbey Inn is located 2.4 km/1.5 mi from the start of the walk.
The Lazy Trout Meerbrook, Leek, Staffordshire Peak District, ST13 8SN (01538 300 385). The Trout is located 5.8 km/3.6 mi from the start of the walk.

All Options
Roaches Tea Rooms and Restaurant Paddock Farm, Roach Road, Upper Hulme, Leek, Staffordshire Moorlands ST13 8TY (01538 300 345, ). The Roaches Tea Rooms are located 820m off route, 3.6 km into the walk, on the lane coming up from Upper Hulme.

Lunch

The Outdoor Café Gradbach Mill, Gradbach, Quarnford, Staffordshire SK17 0SU (01260 227 000). The Outdoor Café is located 11.7 km (7.3 mi) into the walk, on the banks of the River Dane.
The Crag Inn Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0BD (01260 227 239). The Crag Inn is located 15.0 km (9.3 mi) into the walk.

Tea

The Forest Snug Food Van Trentabank Reservoir Car Park, Macclesfield Forest Visitor Centre, Langley, Cheshire, SK11 0NS (07743 909 339). The Forest Snug is located 6.0 km (3.7 mi) from the end of the walk.
The Leather’s Smithy Clarke Lane, Langley, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0NE (01260 252 313, ). The Leather’s Smithy is located 4.9 km (3.1 mi) from the end of the walk.
St. Dunstan’s Inn Main Road, Langley, Macclesfield, Cheshire, SK11 0BU (01260 252 615). St. Dunstan’s is located 3.7 km (2.3 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.

Profile
Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback

You can upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr (upload your photos) and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

swcwalks
swcwalk388
By Train

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start Bus Stops, Upper Hulme, ST13 8TY Map Directions

Finish SK11 6JP Map Directions

Amazon
Help

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

Version

Nov-21 Thomas G

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

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