Shining Tor walk is one of those must-do hikes in the Peak District. It’s the highest peak in the Cheshire Peak District and has beautiful views towards its neighbour Shutlingsloe, which is known as the ‘Matterhorn of Cheshire’ due to its iconic shape.
This route begins from the Derbyshire Bridge car park, takes you through the Goyt Valley before hiking up and along Foxlow Edge to Pym chair (another place you can start this walk).
From Pym chair, you then follow the ridge up and over Cats Tor then on to Shining Tor in the distance, before completing the circular walk back along the River Goyt to the Derbyshire Bridge car park.
Here you will find details of the full route including how to get to the start of the walk, map, GPX file, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.
Have you done the Shining Tor walk? Let me know in the comments?
Shining Tor walk from Derbyshire Bridge car park
Shining Tor walk mapClick for OS online map
Walk start point
Start grid reference: SK 01808 71575
Car parking address: Derbyshire car park, off Buxton Rd, Macclesfield, SK11 0AR
This is a small free car park off the A 537 main road, there’s no postcode for the car park but the Cat and Fiddle pub just up the road.
Alternative start point – Pym Chair car park, High Peak, SK23 7RF (SJ 99460 76785), this is also free, but there are no toilets here. This would also shorten the route by 2.2 miles/3.5 km as you wouldn’t need to walk along the road through the Goyt Valley. (More details at bottom).
Unfortunately, there are no suitable public transport options for this start point.
Facilities on the walk
There are public toilets available at the start of the walk at Derbyshire Bridge car park, plus small information notice on the side of the building.
For after the walk there is a pub just up the road called the Cat and Fiddle pub.
Water on your walk – I recommend a filter water bottle for your Peak District walks, it saves you carrying extra weight and you can fill up safely and drink water from the streams and waterfalls on your walk.
Other useful information
There is a third alternative for parking, which you’ll notice near Goytsclough Quarry. Please note this is a one-way road and you can’t drive from Derbyshire Bridge car park to here (a single road with no passing points).
This walk has a mix of terrains but also through the valley and woodlands, you’ll notice it’s warmer, whereas the section from Cats Tor to Shining Tor can be exposed and cold. Take some extra layers to put on!
Check the weather for your walk location and hills
- BBC Weather for Macclesfield
- Met Office weather for the Peak District
- Met Office weather for Shining Tor
Ordnance Survey Walk Map
And don’t forget your compass, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, a valuable piece of kit!
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
Want to read later? Save the walk to Pinterest
Shining Tor walk route
Stage 1 – Derbyshire Bridge (via Goyt Valley) to Errwood Reservoir
Distance: 2.2 miles/3.6 km
Grid reference SK 01867 71583
From Derbyshire Bridge car park, begin your walk by you’re heading back out of the car park, past the building on your left and turn right down the road alongside the River Goyt. After about 300 m, you’ll cross over Derbyshire Bridge, you can read the history on the sign at the car park.
Keep walking for another 700 m on the road, then look for a path, signposted to the quarry on the left which runs parallel to the road heading uphill.
There’s another fingerpost sign pointing left to Stakeside, with a gate, this is where you come out at the end of the walk! But for now, keep walking straight. The path merges back with the road, going through a small car park.
Shortly after the car park, take a footpath on the right which loops down near the river and over a cute wooden bridge, (a prettier option than staying on the road). 800 m later you are back on the road, go through the gate and on the other side, there’s another footpath you can join that takes you towards Errwood Reservoir where four paths meet.
Stage 2 – Errwood Reservoir to Pym Chair (car park)
Distance: 2.8 mile/4.5 km
Grid reference SK 01134 74678
At the signpost for Errwood Reservoir, turn left and take the wide track uphill, be sure to look behind for views of the reservoir. Go through the gate, following the sign left towards’s Shooter’s Clough. Then follow the path as it zig-zags through the trees and over a small water crossing, depending on the weather you might get wet feet but there are a few rocks to use as stepping stones!
As the path joins the main track, turn left and immediate right across the grass, the path then takes you down some stone steps and across a lovely bridge. Go across the steps on the other side, through a gate at the top and turn right following the signpost for Pym Chair. After 300 m you’ll reach another fingerpost, this time turn right following the sign for Errwood and Foxlow Edge (very faded).
Walk up through the trees and it will bring you out at a drystone wall and main track. Turn left and follow the track along Foxlow Edge for 500 m. Cross back over the drystone wall and take the footpath downhill towards the road in the distance.
At the road, turn left and walk for 1 km down the road to Pym Chair, before you reach the car park there’s a footpath on your left.
Stage 3 – Pym Chair to Shining Tor
Distance: 1.9 miles/3.1 km
Grid reference SJ 99554 76710
Go through the gate and along the ridge following the flagstoned path as it takes you first over Cats Tor, with Shining Tor in the distance and the drystone wall on your right.
In early spring look out for Early Purple Orchids in the moorlands – see my nature and wildlife page for photos here. I also spotted a bird on the walk too.
The path is a gradual uphill and you might wonder where the summit is! But keep going, the trig point is located on the other side of the drystone wall for Shining Tor summit at 559 m (check out all 88 of the Peak District trig points here).
Stage 4 – Shining Tor to Derbyshire Car Park
Distance: 2.7 miles/4.4 km
Grid reference SJ 99469 73743
Turn left following the footpath down from the summit then up again as it meets a track. Turn right and then after 200 m turn left over a stile and follow the path as it heads downhill on a rugged footpath next to a drystone wall.
Cross a small wooden bridge continuing on the path heading left towards the trees and following the sign towards Derbyshire Bridge. Then another 200 m and you are back at the gate you walked past in stage 1.
Go through the gate, turn right and follow the footpath down to the road then continue along the road all the way back to Derbyshire Bridge car park.
Do you have any more questions about this walk, maybe what to wear on your hike or any other questions? Ask me in the comments below.
More walks in the Peak District
Love the walks in the Peak District? You might like these Peak District circular walks nearby.
- Shutlingsloe walk + Macclesfield Forest
- Three Shires Head waterfall walk
- The Roaches, Hen Cloud and Lud’s Church
Or check out all our Peak District walking routes here
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Need more help planning your Peak District trip?
Check out the 7 YHAs in the Peak District and find the best walks direct from your accommodation.
Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.
Top tips - Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.
Guided Walks with introduction to map reading (see dates here).
Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).
Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).
Please note 'Peak District Walks' accepts no liability through any injuries or accidents that may result from walking our routes. We always recommend you wear appropriate footwear to avoid injuries and to take a paper map and compass on your walks. Read more here.