The Gritstone Trail

Gritstone walkStride 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 trail is called the Gritstone Trail because of the local rock type which is millstone grit. Millstone grit is made of sand particles, grit particles and small stones, which over time built up into layers of gritstone. Millstone grit is estimated to be around 300 million years old.

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.

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 or kissing gate in hedges, fences or walls or waymark posts to guide you.

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

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.The Trail is mainly stile free, with kissing gates replacing stiles in most locations. 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 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 was granted under the growth programme as part of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Yellow flag logo

The funding has been used to bring both trails to a high standard and to work closely together as a visitor attraction. This has been done by improving signposting, way marking, interpretation, by the replacement of stiles with more accessible gates and surfacing improvements.  The project has now been completed with the benefits of the improvements there for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.

Discover more countryside sites

See all our countryside sites 

Page last reviewed: 12 January 2024