The Gritstone Trail
Stride out along the Gritstone Trail and sample some of the finest walking in Cheshire. This is a more challenging route stretching from Disley to Kidsgrove, with some fine ridge walks and stunning views over the Cheshire plain.
The Gritstone Trail, which now includes the former Mow Cop Trail, has been extended to make it more accessible by public transport. The route is split into three sections, which can each be walked in a day by fairly fit walkers. There are few facilities along the Trail - most pubs, cafes and shops are a short distance away.
Check opening times and always take some food and plenty to drink with you. Even in the summer the weather can change quickly, so always be prepared with extra layers and waterproofs.
After walking the Gritstone Trail you might want to consider walking the Sandstone Trail in Cheshire West and Chester. More information about the Sandstone Trail and Cheshire’s sandstone ridge can be found at www.sandstoneridge.org.uk
The trail is well marked using a mixture of finger posts and yellow waymark discs with a 'G' in a footprint. Waymarks indicate the way to go as you stand directly in front of them. Often there is a clear path on the ground, but some paths may not be quite so obvious. Look out for stiles in hedges, fences or walls or waymark posts to guide you.
When out in the countryside
- Keep to the path across farmland, and leave all gates as you find them.
- Paths may be wet and muddy at any time of year. Dogs should be kept under control so they are not a nuisance to other walkers, farm animals or wildlife
- Although the trail is well waymarked, you are strongly advised to use the Ordnance Survey Explorer map 268, Wilmslow, Macclesfield and Congleton, and the Outdoor Leisure Dark Peak map
- The trail uses both permissive routes and public rights of way. You should not experience any problems using the rights of way network, but if you do, please report them to the PROW Network Management and Enforcement Team on 01270 686029 or email the Public Rights of way team
The Trail is very hilly, with several long climbs and some steep but short ascents. There are many stiles, including ladder stiles along the way. Surfaces vary along the trail but they may be rough, boggy or slippery, so sensible footwear is recommended.
How to get there
There are good rail links to Disley, Macclesfield, Congleton and Kidsgrove, as well as regular bus services to the major towns and villages.
For all passenger travel and timetable information contact Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 (Calls cost 12p per minute plus network extras). Lines are open 8am - 8pm, every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Twin Trails improvement project
Together, Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council have secured Rural Development Programme for England (2014-20) funding to improve the infrastructure of Cheshire's Twin Trails: the Gritstone Trail and the Sandstone Trail. The funding has been granted under the growth programme as part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The funding will help to make sure both trails remain of a high quality and work closely together as a visitor attraction. This will be done by improving path infrastructure to a high standard along both routes. Works include signposting, way marking, interpretation, the replacement of stiles with more accessible gates and surfacing improvements.
The project is now underway, with the aim for improvements on the trails to be delivered during the spring and summer of 2019. The benefits of the improvements will be there for residents and visitors to enjoy from 2019 and beyond.
Temporary closures of Public Rights of Way along which the Gritstone Trail runs may be necessary during the improvement works. Where possible an alternative route will be available and shown on the closure notice and plan which will be posted on site.
Works will be undertaken on the canal feeder near Rushton Spencer in Staffordshire over a period of 4 weeks, scheduled from 20 May 2019: an alternative route is described The Gritstone Trail leaflet (PDF, 3.7MB)