Field and quarry paths up to the famous folly, with superb views in all directions, and a pleasant canalside return.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) From the front door, turn right along the main road, crossing Bleeding Wolf Lane. After 100 yards, cross carefully into Moss Lane and follow it over the canal bridge. Continue for ½ mile, crossing a railway bridge partway up the hill.
(1) At a T-junction, take the footpath over the stile ahead, and bear slightly left across the field. On meeting another path, turn left and follow the field edge to a stile into a road. Cross over, and take the right-hand of the two paths, a green lane beyond a stile running roughly parallel to the road.
(2) Just before a stile on the right, turn left over a stream. Walk up the field edge towards Brieryhurst Farm, passing to the left of a pond, where you cross a stile on your left and turn right to the farm. Pass through the farm buildings, then turn right onto a track (at the time of writing, extensive building renovations were in progress here; follow on-site directions in the case of a diversion). As the track bends right, turn left by a waymarked telegraph pole, cross a stile and follow another grassy track below a slope on your right to a field. Cross the field ahead and bear left to ford the small stream below a stone wall. Walk up the field edge to a stile in the corner. Continue, with the hedge on your right, bearing left to a metal kissing gate.
(3) Join the driveway beyond and turn right to the road. Turn right for a short distance and take a footpath on your left over a wooden stile. Follow the path as it climbs through some disused quarries. Keep left at a junction of paths by an upright stone, then bear right, ignoring a path off to the left. Beyond another quarried area, keep right past a bungalow and join the track-cum-driveway, which you follow out to the road just above a chapel.
(4) Turn left onto High Street. Just beyond a turning on the left (leading to the Primitive Methodist Church), turn right beyond a former mill (Coronation Mill) at a Heritage Trail fingerpost. Ignore a turning, and then a stepped footpath, on your right to reach a junction of tracks, where you turn left then right (ignoring the path ahead through a bike barrier). Walk along below the heathery slopes and past a gate with a National Trust sign. Below an ivy-covered slope, turn left onto a path that zig-zags up to a loop at the end of the driveway of Beacon House, below Mow Cop Castle. Steps on the left lead up to the folly. Returning to Beacon House, take the path opposite (with a waymark post indicating “Sugar Well Farm”). Bear left above the farmhouse and follow the path beside and above the driveway out to Castle Road.
(5) Turn left to the brow of the hill, where you turn right past a pair of mobile masts on your right and a house on your left. At a junction of tracks, turn left and follow the track round to the left (ignoring a footpath straight ahead) to pass another house. Just beyond the NT sign, turn left past a bench and to the right of the Old Man of Mow. On rejoining the track beyond the rock pillar, turn left and follow the track out to the road.
(6) Turn right then immediately left onto a track heading towards the Castle. Take a path on the right that contours to the foot of the folly mound, then drop down to the car park on your right. At the road, turn left and pass the junction with Top Station Road.
(7) By Coronation Mill, turn right to Parson’s Well and the Primitive Methodist Chapel. Take the footpath ahead, next to the phone box, and continue downhill beyond the chapel and past gardens until you meet a track. Turn left, then turn right onto a footpath by a house. Descend between fields to a stile and then walk down The Brake to Mount Pleasant Road. Cross and follow a road/track opposite, until you meet another road.
(8) Turn left, shortly crossing the end of Mill Lane. At a bend, cross to the right-hand pavement and continue downhill to pass under a railway bridge. Keep left at the road junction beyond.
(9) Cross the canal bridge and turn left onto the towpath. After ¼ mile, pass under bridge 89 and then Tramroad Bridge (91) a similar distance beyond. Bridge 92 follows after a further 250 yards, then you finally leave the canal at Hall Green Footbridge (93), just above a lock. Go up the ramp and follow the short path right, between garden hedges, out to Little Moss Lane. Turn left for 175 yards to reach the main road within sight of the Bleeding Wolf.(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 132m - Bleeding Wolf
1 : km 0.84 - alt. 145m - T-junction
2 : km 1.48 - alt. 162m - Stream
3 : km 2.48 - alt. 202m - Driveway
4 : km 3.26 - alt. 279m - Hight Street
5 : km 4.07 - alt. 323m - Brow of the hill
6 : km 4.63 - alt. 322m - Wood Street
7 : km 5.16 - alt. 286m - Coronation Mill
8 : km 6.38 - alt. 174m - Spring Bank
9 : km 7.1 - alt. 125m - Canal bridge
D/A : km 8.81 - alt. 132m - Bleeding Wolf
Field paths (mud possible after rain) with a significant climb and some rocky ground around Mow Cop Castle. Multiple stiles and some road walking.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Locks, bridges and aqueducts on the Trent & Mersey and Macclesfield Canals (with an optional 1-mile extension to their junction).
A wooded stroll with a visit to a rewarding church, passing a stately home (private) and some interesting remnants of its estate.
A fine walk with the chance to descend a coal mine or ride a steam train.
A stroll through woodland to a historic blast furnace and then a monument with a fine view.
The Gritstone Trail runs for 56 km through the Cheshire countryside, west of the Peak District, from Disley to Kidsgrove. This third stage picks up the trail at The Cloud, having left Congleton in a circular route using the Dales Valley Way and the towpath along the Macclesfield Canal to the aqueduct over the River Dale. The route passes Timbersbrook, Nick i' th' Hill, Cheshire's Close, Mow Cop and rejoins the Macclesfield Canal before following the Trent & Mersey Canal into Kidsgrove.
An easy stroll that packs a lot into its short distance.
A historic town centre, pretty stream valleys and an easy canalside return.
Two contrasting waterways lead you through pleasant Cheshire countryside.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.