Sponds Hill and Lyme Park

An energetic walk through the moorland deer park of one of Cheshire’s finest stately homes.

Technical sheet
No. 17174683
A Rainow walk posted on 15/11/21 by Walks from the Door. Update : 16/11/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h05[?]
Distance Distance : 11.43km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 280m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 288m
Highest point Highest point : 408m
Lowest point Lowest point : 230m
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Peak District
Location Location : Rainow
Starting point Starting point : N 53.29886° / W 2.053449°
Download : -


(D/A) Leave Harrop Fold Farm via the main entrance and turn immediately left, passing our farmhouse on the left. Continue straight on passing the next farmhouse on the left, through their gateway to a stile on the right. Follow the wall beyond to a stile, then drop steeply down to a footbridge. Climb up the other side to Further Harrop Farm, where you turn left then right, skirting the farm buildings. Cross a ladder stile to the left of the entrance gate and follow the left-hand wall, parallel to the drive. When the drive bends away to the right, go straight on, over a stile, to the road.

(1) Turn left, then immediately right onto the Gritstone Trail. Follow the track to a topograph to the right of the track at the top of the hill. Keep on along the ridge-top track until you reach the road at Bowstones Farm. Having viewed the Bow Stones, take the footpath to the left of the farm entrance and climb the ladder stile into Lyme Park. Descend the obvious path ahead of you, and go through the gate into Knightslow Wood. After a short distance take a path on the right that leaves the wood and heads directly towards Lyme Hall across the Fallow Deer Park and then swings left to the car park. (From November to March this path is unavailable, so stay on the main path and turn right when you reach the park road near the car park. Either way, the return route is described from the information centre in the car park.) Cross the car park and turn left along the park road.

(2) When the road swings right, follow the Gritstone Trail off to the left to a gate (if you arrived via the winter route, retracing your steps). Keep on along the track beyond, with pine trees on your left, until you reach the entrance to the Knightslow Wood.

(3) Do not enter, instead turn right and walking along the forest wall until you reach a wall stile on the left in the corner. Cross the stile and turn right. Do not follow the obvious path down the steps and to the right, but instead go straight down the steep slope and ford the stream. Walk up a small dry valley beyond, to emerge in moorland. Follow the path ahead. When you meet the wall at a stile and gate, carry on with the wall on your left. At a junction of walls before a house, turn left over a ladder stile, then turn right to a second.

(4) Join the driveway beyond (Moorside Ln) and follow it for ½ mile to the road. Turn left and walk through the Industrial Estate and beyond. Keep on up the road, passing a footpath on the left. Just beyond this point follow a footpath sign on the right, which leads up a steep bank. Follow the wall beyond, ignoring a path signposted off to the left, until you reach a wall at the end of the field overlooking the Harrop Valley; turn left. Partway up the field, cross a stile on your right by a footpath sign.

(5) Drop down the field, past a small covered reservoir, to a stile and into a wood. The path here is indistinct; head steeply downhill, keeping as close to the small stream on your left as possible. You emerge from the wood above a farm. By a gap at the end of a wall, turn left to cross the stream by a stile. After a second stile take the right-hand path that leads down through the wood to Harrop Brook. Beyond a small waterfall, enter open fields, then cross the footbridge on your right and walk up through the trees to meet a wider path. Turn left here and follow the signposted path back to Harrop Fold Farm.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 274m - Harrop Fold Farm
1 : km 1.46 - alt. 362m - Gritstone Trail
2 : km 3.68 - alt. 389m - Park road
3 : km 4.49 - alt. 301m - Knightslow Wood
4 : km 7.23 - alt. 288m - Moorside Lane
5 : km 9.95 - alt. 284m - Wood
D/A : km 11.43 - alt. 274m - Harrop Fold Farm

Useful Information

Higher stretches can be bleak in bad weather, and boggy after rain. Lyme Park closes at 6pm.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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