A route to the summit of the Cheshire Matterhorn and more!
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)Start of this walk in Cheshire is from the Visitors Centre, in Macclesfield Forest (Grid ref. 961711) near Trentabank Reservoir. Proceed out of the car park and turn left down the road. Go left again up the minor road. At the corner take the wide path ahead continuing onto a forest path on your right that drops down to Ridgegate Reservoir. Follow the path to the left of the dam then over the stile on your left, walking down to the brook. Continue up through a broken wall to turn left on to the well-marked "Gritstone Trail". This Trail takes you over fields passing farms en route.
(1)On reaching the second road (Grid ref. 950698) turn left. Walk up the road for a short way and then take the old footpath to the left of the cottage. This leads up to the back of the "Hanging Gate" pub. Cross over the road and follow the often wet bridleway opposite. On reaching the top, bear right following the path on High Moor to the large buildings at Oakenclough. Ahead of you across the moor is your first good view of Shutlingsloe. Turn right at the pond in front of the hall and follow a feint path leading you through the pretty Oaken Clough and its Highmoor Brook. The path ends at a road (Grid ref. 963687).
(2)Head south along the road and take the farm track that climbs on the left. Leave this track at Lower Nabbs Farm and drop down to the fields on your right. Then continue straight across many fields and walls to reach the road (Grid ref. 981685).
(3)Walk through Wildboarclough and take the steep lane on the left leading to Banktop (Grid ref. 982692). From here you take the path to Shutlingsloe, the summit of which is reached by an easy scramble. The hill can be avoided by taking the right fork roughly half way up. From the top descend via the path heading north. This is soon joined by the alternative path mentioned above. Follow the well worn path descending to Macclesfield Forest. Cross over the stile and then go left to reach the wide forest path descending through the forest to the visitors centre and your start.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 266m - Start: Visitors Centre in Macclesfield Forest
1 : km 2.71 - alt. 284m - Turn left down road
2 : km 4.84 - alt. 307m - Head south along road
3 : km 7 - alt. 272m - Wildboarclough: turn left down road
D/A : km 10.97 - alt. 267m - Finish: Visitors Centre in Macclesfield Forest
The unique shaped Shutlingsloe (the local Matterhorn) is visible for most of the walk but its not until near the end that you can stand on its top and trace your route. From this low hill you have unrestricted views of Shining Tor, Kinder, The Cloud and the Mountains of Wales. The navigation looks more difficult than it really is but bear in mind the greatest challenges are some of the many stiles!
For accommodation in the local area, you can contact the Crag Inn at the following link:
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Date of walk : 29/08/16
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Good
Walk interest : Average
This is a great walk, with stunning views from the top of Shutingsloe. A couple of points to note;
At the start of the walk there is now a footpath beside the reservoir, so you don't need to walk on the second lane.
There were fields with suckling calves and warnings about avoiding cattle, this was a concern for some of our party, and would definitely be a concern for dog owners.
The car park is pay and display £4.50 per day, there is free parking on the road but it fills up quickly. We thought someone had tampered with our car whilst parked in the Forrestry car park, make sure you don't leave valuables in the car. There are lots of other places on the route where parking is free, if you avoid the Forrest car park and don't mind a different start point.
The GPS track and description are the property of the author.