The Hanging Gate

Walk 1 - ROSSENDALE BROOK

Distance - 2½ miles

Time - 1¼ hours


Leave the Hanging Gate by walking between the pub entrance and the outside toilets. Bear right and over the stile and continue down on the partly paved path before crossing a further stile immediately adjacent to a white house on your left.

Follow the narrow path which drops quite steeply until you emerge on to Meg Lane, turn left and after 25 yards turn left again down a small lane, passing in front of the white house.

Continue down the lane and at the ‘y’ junction bear right (the left is a private track to Pot Lords farm) until you approach Smallhurst farm, now a private dwelling. Follow the sign to the left, following a stone wall as it swings right, then descend steps on your left and cross over a stile.

Cross over a small stream by the timber bridge, bear right immediately and head for the ladder stile over the stone wall directly ahead. Cross the stile and bear slightly right down to the bottom right corner of the field, then cross a timber stile immediately adjacent to the brook on your right.

Follow the tree line, but circuit the small pond and continue walking close to the trees on your right. Eventually you will reach a partly hidden timber stile. Cross this with a stone wall on your left, follow this for 10 yards then follow the contour of the bank on your right, again keeping the trees and brook on your right and eventually swinging left down the hill, keeping well to the right.

Cross the brook by the timber bridge, turn right and immediately cross a timber stile emerging on to a farm track. Cross this and over a second stile, both of which have the Gritstone Trail yellow disc.

Cross the field diagonally to your left towards a timber stile. Cross this and skirt the trees on your right until you come to a small opening in the fence. Pass through this and head for the rear right hand side of the converted old chapel. Cross the stile, emerging on to Hollin Lane.

Turn right passing the old Dyehouse cottages on your left, then a barn on your right and turn right at the signpost through the farmyard. Cross over a timber stile next to a wooden gate and bear left up the hill keeping right of the first telegraph pole before contouring right up a feint path.

Proceed straight ahead towards a line of trees and cross over a timber stile in a wire fence on your left. Bear right and head for a further timber stile ion the tree line. After crossing this follow the fence on your right until you meet a timber stile, cross this and head up hill to the left corner of the field and cross over a stone and timber stile.

Keep the trees and fence on the left and head up the field through a gap in the tree line in the left-hand corner, marked with a yellow arrow. Cross the next field keeping the trees on your left. A clear view of the Hanging Gate can be seen half right.

Continue for approximately 300 yards keeping parallel with the trees then cross a timber stile in a stone wall on your left.

Follow the farm track, keeping the stone wall on your right until you reach the end of the field. Cross over a timber ladder rack stile and emerge on to Meg Lane.

Turn right and walk along the lane until you reach the white house passed at the beginning of the walk. Pass this and take the narrow footpath behind the house back up to the pub.



Walk 2 - KINDERFIELDS EDGE

Distance - 2½ miles

Time - 1½ hours


Leave the Hanging Gate by walking between the pub entrance and the outside toilets. Bear right and over the stile and continue down on the partly paved path before crossing a further stile immediately adjacent to a white house on your left.

Follow the narrow path which drops quite steeply until you emerge on to Meg Lane. Turn left, walk down the lane, passing a small lane on your left, and after approximately 75 yards turn left at footpath sign through a wide steel gate.

Follow the farm track passing first through a timber gate and then a steel gate. Bear right along the farm track and after approximately 200 yards cross over a timber stile marked with a yellow gritstone trail disc.

Follow the hawthorn bushes, keeping them on your right for some distance. As you round a corner there is a good view of the valley with Croker Hill in the background.

Eventually meet and cross over a tone stile and head half left down the hill towards Hartstone Farm. Keep to the left of the farmhouse crossing a timber stile. Pass through a small paddock with a duck pond on your left before crossing a timber stile.

Emerge on to a farm track, carry on up the track away from the house and pass between the Ryles Arms on the left and a barn on your right on to Hollin Lane. Turn left and walk up the lane passing Kinderfields Edge – a converted barn on the roadside.

Carry on up Hollin Lane for ½ mile then turn left up Withenshaw Lane. Walk up the lane, which rises steadily, passing Withenshaw Farm on your left. Ignore the farm track on your left then as you come to the end of a line of trees on your left scramble up the bank and pass through a signed steel farm gate.

The track bears slightly left and, following this passing through a gateless (at last time of passing) opening in a stone wall and bear right to join a stone wall. Keep as close as possible to the wall until you near High Lee Farm.

Cross a stile in the wall to your right just before you reach the farm then follow the farm perimeter fence on your left. As you reach the corner junction of the fence, strike half left down the field and where the stone wall on your left meets a post and wire fence, cross the wooden stile.

Keeping a further post and wire fence on your left, drop down into the natural gully heading towards the trees and brook straight ahead. Follow the slightly raised ground as it winds past trees on your right. Follow the slope down to these trees, one of which is marked with a yellow arrow.

Pass through a stone stile, cross the brook and head uphill on an indistinct track. Follow this as it bear slightly left and note the Hanging Gate almost straight ahead. There are a number of boulders on your left, which appear to be the remains of an old wall. Walk past these until you reach a wall.

Ignore the farm track on your left and continue forwards, keeping the wall on your left before reaching a farm gate marked with a yellow arrow on the post. Cross the stile to the left of the gate and continue on keeping the wall on your left.

When you reach a timber post marked with a yellow arrow, turn right and upwards, following the gully as it rises and curves left, eventually reaching a stone stile with Old Dollards Cottage opposite. Turn left on the paved road reaching the Hanging Gate on your left after 100 yards.



Walk 3 - LANGLEY

Distance - 3½ miles

Time - 2 hours


Leave the Hanging Gate by walking between the pub entrance and the outside toilets. Bear right and over the stile and continue down on the partly paved path before crossing a further stile immediately adjacent to a white house on your left.

Follow the narrow path that drops quite steeply until you emerge on to Meg Lane. Turn left and walk for approximately one mile down the lane, first passing Drove Key Farm on your right and Fernlee and Oldfield Farms (both converted) in your left.

Pass Whistons Lane on the right, then Meg Lane Cottage also on your right.

Passing Wetton Way on the right, notice the good view of Teggsnose and Macclesfield Forest on the right and Croker Hill on the left.

Back Ridges Farm is then on your right set back from the road some 75 yards. Walk past the farm entrance for about 200 yards and take the stone stile on your right at the signed post just about opposite the farm track to Ridge Hall Farm (signed Foxbanks).

Bear half right across the field to a timber stile in a hawthorn hedge. Cross this and head down the field keeping the hedge and trees on your left heading for an electricity pole in the centre of the field. Beyond the pole you can see the old Rieter Scragg factory.

As you pass a small fenced-in copse, bear right to the bottom right hand corner of the field. Pass over two timber stiles about 25 yards apart, down the steps and across a bridge before skirting the factory reservoir on your left.

Leave the reservoir area by passing through a tall steel gate, turn right and after 50 yards emerge on to Cock Hall Lane. Turn right and walk up the lane, passing the cricket pitch and pavilion on your left.

When you reach Moss Lee Farm on your left, follow the sign to the left. Cross over a timber stile adjacent to the house and proceed forward to cross over a timber bridge.

Head for the right hand corner of the field and cross over a timber stile in a hawthorn hedge. Notice the manmade pond on your right which is home for a good selection of ducks and geese.

Head straight across the next field keeping the trees on your left and cross a timber stile near a telegraph pole. Continue straight ahead keeping the trees on your left.

Continue straight ahead past a marker post on your left eventually meeting a farm track with the North West Water treatment plant on your left.

Cross over a timber stile and turn right along the farm track and cross a cattle grid. The path splits at this point. Keep to the left and as you approach the gates to Throstles Nest Farm, bear right.

Follow the sign and a path that passes across the front of the farm. Cross the stone stile and bear left to join a farm track which, rising slightly, heads towards Greenbarn Farm.

Keep the farm on your right and follow the arrowed signed up the field keeping the farm perimeter fence closely on your right.

At the end of the fence bear half right then cross over a timber stile and bear left up the field. Cross the face of Hallycombe Farm before climbing over the ladder stile in the top left hand corner of the field.

Cross the next field bearing slightly right towards a five barred gate, cross the stile to the right of the gate and emerge on to Heathcote Lane.

Turn left up the lane until you emerge on to Red Lane. Turn right and continue along the lane passing Thickwithens Farm, Higher Hardings Farm and Brownlow Farm all on your left.

Join Meg Lane at the sharp hairpin bend bearing left up the hill to reach the Hanging Gate on your right after about 200 yards.



Walk 4 - GREENWAY BRIDGE

Distance - 2 miles

Time - 1 hour


Leave the Hanging Gate, turn right and walk along the road for about 100 yards, passing Old Dollards Cottage on your left.

Turn left at the road junction and, keeping Cophurst Edge cottage on your right, ascend steadily up the road and after some distance start to descend quite steeply down the winding road.

At the bottom of the hill follow the sign post on the left by crossing over the timber stile. This is Greenway Bridge.

Follow the well-defined path as it follows Oakenclough brook on your left. Pass a signed telegraph pole, then keeping a stone, wire and post fence on your left you re-join the brook after a short distance.

Cross over the timber stile in a wire and post fence and drop down to the brook. Pass over this by the stone slab bridge.

Keep the stone wall on your right as you follow the path. Leave the brook and climb for a short distance heading directly towards a telegraph pole.

Pass to the left of the telegraph pole through a pair of concrete gateposts and after 100 yards branch left just before you reach a semi-derelict stone hut.

Cross over the brook and turn right following the distinct path as it rises steadily with the brook below you on the right. 20 yards after you pass over a red sandstone shale area, pass through a pair of gateposts to the right.

Head straight across the field and cross a timber stile to the right of a steel farm gate. Oakenclough, a fine residence, is above you to the right.

Bear half left after you cross the stile, rising steadily on a faint path towards a set of steps passing a pond on the right. Pass through a steel pedestrian gate and continue ahead on a farm track to a stone wall directly ahead.

Turn left and climb steeply between a line of concrete posts on your left and a stone wall on your right. At the top climb over a timber stile and bear half right through open grassland.

There is a good view behind you of Oakenclough with Shutlingsloe in the distance. After some fifty yards note the red shale/soil scrapings which are badger setts.

Continue along the well-defined path, eventually joining the junction of two stone walls where there is a signpost and a local area map courtesy of Cheshire County Council.

Carry onwards keeping the wall on your right along a good grassy path and as your reach the top of rise an excellent panorama of the Cheshire plain comes into view. Jodrell Bank observatory can be seen half left with the Welsh mountains behind, Macclesfield straight ahead and Stockport and the Pennines to your right.

Drop slightly and turn right between a pair of stone posts in the wall. After 20 yards cross over a timber stile on your left and follow the intake path as it descends between a post and wire fence on your left and a stone wall on your right eventually emerging opposite the Hanging Gate Inn.



Walk 5 - HAMMERTON KNOWL

Distance - 4½ miles

Time - 2½ hours


As you leave the pub turn right and walk along the road, passing Old Dollards Cottage on your left.

Walk along the ridge road for over a mile, noting the excellent views, until you come to Withenshaw Lane on your right. Opposite the lane on your left is a steel farm gate.

Pass through this gate and follow the paved surface for some considerable distance as it winds around Hammerton Knowl.

Note the view of Shutlingsloe and also the Pet’s gravestone on your left at the first sharp bend in the track. Continue on the farm track as it descends until you reach Hazels Farm.

As you enter the farmyard bear slightly right and pass through a steel farm gate, then cross a field keeping the farm on your left.

Pass through a further steel gate and bear slightly right across the field keeping the telegraph poles on your left.

Pass through yet another steel gate and head downhill passing Hammerton Knowl Farm on your right, skirting the farm perimeter fence.

Bear right, passing a stone wall which changes to a post and wire fence, and when you reach the end of this, turn right and head uphill to join a farm track.

Follow the track around to your left and as you pass a small derelict building follow the arrow on your right. Bear immediately half right, and head up the grassy slope towards the junction of two stone walls.

Keep the wall on your right hand side, cross a stile and then keep the wall on your left hand side. Pass through a gateless opening and immediately bear half right uphill, keeping a lone hawthorn tree on your left.

Stay parallel to the remains of a stone wall on your left, which meets a stone wall. Keep this on your left and cross over a stile.

Continue with a wall and fence on your left until you reach a ladder stile. Cross this and bear slightly right across the field towards the Wildboar pub, passing over a stile to the left of the pub and turning right along the A54 road.

Pass the Wilboar on your right and walk along the road for about 200 yards, and then take a right up a signed farm track to, and through, Longutter Farm.

Cross a timber stile and head directly up the field keeping the line of hawthorn bushes immediately to your right. Cross a stone stile and a timber stile immediately behind it.

The path is indistinct at this point but bear directly ahead joining a grassy path, which bear left, and follows the contour of the hill on your left on a more distinct course.

As you round the hill, bear slightly right and head for a gateless opening between two timber gateposts. There is a stile immediately to the right of the opening and if you are feeling law abiding you can cross this, then bear left keeping the post and wire fence to your left.

Cross a timber stile and bear slightly left until you reach a stile. Cross this and emerge on to the ridge road.

(This walk can be shortened at this point by turning right and returning to the Hanging Gate along the ridge road – about one mile).

Turn right and after 15 yards left down Withenshaw Lane.

Carry on down the lane as it drops steadily, passing Nab End Farm on your left.

As you reach a stand of trees on your right, join a track, which meets a signed steel farm gate on your right, through which you pass.

The track bears slightly left to pass through a gateless (at last time of passing) opening in a stone wall and bears right to join a stone wall. Keep as close as possible to the wall until you near High Lee Farm.

Cross a stile in the wall to your right just before you reach the farm then follow the farm perimeter fence on your left.

As you reach the corner junction of the fence, strike half left down the field and where the stone wall on your left meets a post and wire fence, cross the wooden stile.

Keeping a further post and wire fence on your left, drop down into the natural gully heading towards the trees and brook straight ahead.

Follow the slightly raised ground as it winds past trees on your right. Following the slope down to these trees, one of which is marked with a yellow arrow.

Pass through a stone stile, cross the brook and head uphill on an indistinct track. Follow this as it bears slightly left and note the Hanging Gate almost straight ahead.

There are a number of boulders on your left, which appear to be the remains of an old wall. Walk past these until you reach a wall.

Ignore the farm track on your left and continue forwards, keeping the wall on your left before reaching a farm gate marked with a yellow arrow on the post.

Cross the stile to the left of the gate and continue on, keeping the wall on your left.

When you reach a timber post marked with a yellow arrow, turn right and upwards, following the fully as it rises and curves left, eventually reaching a stone stile with Old Dollards Cottage opposite.

Turn left on the paved road reaching the Hanging Gate on your left after 100 yards.


Walk 6 - SHUTLINGSLOE

Distance - 6½ miles

Time - 3 hours


Turn left when leaving the pub and walk down the lane, when you reach the hairpin bend turn right into Red Lane. Walk down this for approximately one mile, passing various farms on your right.

After descending steeply the lane turns sharp right, follow this around and after 50 yards cross over a stile on your right.

Follow the path down the slope keeping parallel with the lane. At the bottom of the slope follow the path as it bears right and then left over a stream.

At the signpost turn right and follow the track up a slope until you arrive at a broad stony track. Turn right and follow the track until you reach a junction of four tracks.

Turn right up the slope until you reach a ‘Shutlingsloe’ signed timber stile, cross this and follow the well paved path for a considerable distance, with Shutlingsloe coming into view as you reach the top of the rise.

As you reach a timber stile, cross this and turn right with the hill well in view. Climb over the stonewall before ascending stone steps and a rough track to the summit. Spend some time here, as the views, on a good day, are excellent.

Note the location plaque naming the main points of interest.

Head east down a steep and sometimes slippery path through the rocks and, as the going improves, pass Shutlingsloe Farm over to your left.

Cross over a timber stile and join a farm track, after passing Banktop Farm also on your left. Descend to your right down the track and turn right when you meet the road, passing the Crag Inn on your right.

Just before you reach the pub the buildings on your right contain the source of the well-known Wildboarclough spring water.

Immediately you pass the Crag Inn car park follow the sign to your right over a stone stile. Walk half left following a flat grassy path as it rises through gorse and hawthorn bushes. As you emerge from these head half right uphill towards a stone stile in the wall. Cross this heading directly across the field towards the peak of Hammerton Knowl some distance away. Notice the Brookside Restaurant and Tea Room down to your left.

Cross over a ladder stile and continue to head towards Hammerton Knowl. Climb a stone stile and head a quarter right and slightly uphill and after a short distance Higher Nabbs Farm comes into view on your right. Head for the ladder stile then cross the field keeping the stone wall immediately to your left.

Cross over a further ladder stile passing some large boulders on your left. Take a half right to follow a fairly distinct path.

Descend into a rough area, crossing the stream on the left. Follow the distinct path which rises steadily. Cross a timber stile adjacent to a steel farm gate in a post and wire fence and keep to the well-worm path as it gradually rises to your right towards a stone wall.

As you reach a (usually muddy) depression, turn right at the old steel enamel bath and head upwards. Pass between two timber posts near the wall, then through a steel farm gate.

At the arrowed post cross the stone stile and join the farm road. Turn left following the road for a distance, with Lower Nabbs Farm below you on your left, as it descends to join the road. Turn right when you reach the road.

Walk along the road for about ¼ mile and at Greenway bridge leave the road to your right at the signed post by crossing the timber stile.

Follow the well-defined path as it follows Oakenclough brook on your left. Pass a signed telegraph pole then keeping a stone, wire and post fence on your left, you re-join the brook after a short distance. Cross over the timber stile in a wire and post fence and drop down to the brook. Pass over this by the stone slab bridge.

Keep the stone wall on your right as you follow the path. Leave the brook and climb for a short distance heading directly towards a telegraph pole. Pass to the left of this through a pair of concrete gateposts and after 100 yards branch left just before you reach a semi-derelict stone hut.

Cross over the brook and turn right following the distinct path as it rises steadily with the brook below you on the right. 20 yards after you pass over a red sandstone shale area, pass through a pair of gateposts to the right.

Head straight across the field and cross a timber stile to the right of a steel farm gate. Oakenclough, a fine residence, is above you to the right.

Bear half left after you cross the stile, rising steadily on a faint path towards a set of steps passing a pond on the right. Pass through a steel pedestrian gate and continue ahead on a farm track to a stone wall directly ahead. Turn left and climb steeply between a line of concrete posts on your left and a stone wall on your right. At the top climb over a timber stile and bear half right through open grassland.

There is a good view behind you of Oakenclough with Shutlingsloe in the distance. After some fifty yards note the red shale/soil scrapings which are badger setts.

Continue along the well-defined path, eventually joining the junction of two stone walls where there is a signpost and a local area map courtesy of Cheshire County Council.

Carry onwards keeping the wall on your right along a good grassy path and as you reach the top of the rise an excellent panorama of the Cheshire plain comes into view. Jodrell Bank observatory can be seen half left with the Welsh mountains behind, Macclesfield straight ahead and Stockport and the Pennines to your right.

Drop slightly and turn right between a pair of stone posts in the wall. After 20 yards cross over a timber stile on your left and follow the intake path, you previously walked up, as it descends between a post and wire fence on your left and a stone wall on your right eventually emerging opposite the Hanging Gate Inn.

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