Also known as the Matterhorn of Cheshire, the Shutlingsloe walk is definitely one to add to your list of hikes. There are many different routes – some short, others longer that will take you up and down this Peak District Summit
This is a 7-mile walk, which takes you through many different environments on the same walk. Starting from Wildboarclough, walking alongside cloughs, then across green fields, with the odd sheep and Shutlingsloe peak in the distance behind you.
Then following a short section of the Gritstone Trail to Ridgegate and Trentabank Reservoirs, a haven for herons nesting and other wildlife. The walk then continues via Macclesfield Forest, before slowing descending to Shutlingsloe hill for beautiful views of the entire walk.
Here you will find details on how to get to the start of the walk at Wildboarclough, route information, facilities on the walk, plus a detailed step by step guide of the walk.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve done this walk and what you think!
Read next: 15 BEST Walks in the Peak District
Shutlingsloe walk from Wildboarclough
Shutlingsloe circular walk map© Crown copyright and database rights (2022) OS 002572460 Click for OS online map here
Walk start point
Start grid reference: SJ 982 686
Car parking address: Nabbs Road, Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, SK11 0BD
There are a few places to park for free near the start of the walk. The first place is where the joining road meets Nabbs Road, about 100 metres from The Crag Inn pub. You can only fit about 6 or 7 cars here.
Nearest train station: Buxton train station (7 mile/12 km)
Unfortunately, there are no suitable public transport options for this walk. Since the train station is such a distance, a taxi or walking would be the only options.
There is a bus but the route doesn’t go near the walk start point.
Facilities on the walk
There are no public toilets available at the start of the walk at Wildboarclough
There is a second pub on the route, called the Hanging Gate, which reopened in 2021. The owners Hilary and James are very welcoming – go give them some support and treat yourself too!
When you reach Macclesfield Forest, there is an information centre, public toilets, and at weekends there is a mobile snack van, known as ‘The Forest Snug’
The Forest Snug food van is open most weekends throughout the year, however, during the winter months if it’s bad weather they might not be there. You can order bacon butties, burgers, hot drinks and plenty of different cakes, including gluten-free options.
And at the end of the walk, you have The Crag Inn, a local pub with traditional food. There’s even a lovely outside area for the summer months. Treat yourself to a drink and some food at the end of your walk.
Other useful information
The walk is fairly remote in most parts, with the exception of the section through Macclesfield Forest, around the reservoirs.
How high is Shutlingsloe? The top of the peak is 506 metres, slightly shorter than nearby Shining Tor at 559 metres but will still give you wonderful views of the Peak District. Remember to pack supplies and warm clothes for the walk. It can be cold and windy at the top of Shutlingsloe peak.
At Trentabank Reservoir there is a large flock of herons that nest there every year, if you love wildlife it’s a perfect place to stop.
The busier part of the walk, up to Shutlingsloe has flagstones; however other parts of the walk can be quite muddy in places. Also in winter, the flagstones can become very slippy with ice.
Small sections of this route takes you on roads, however, they are fairly quiet country roads so not too much of an issue.
The route is fairly well signposted but I would always recommend you take a map and compass (see below).
Peak District weather
The weather can vary widely from Wildboarclough to the top of the hills, so please check the conditions and make sure you have warm clothes/waterproofs if necessary.
- BBC Weather for Macclesfield
- Met Office weather for the Peak District
- Met Office weather and/or MWIS (Mountain weather information service) for the Peak District
Ordnance Survey Walk Map
The map required for this walk is OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area).
For online maps, I recommend OS Online App (I have been using for many years and it is worth getting if you want to start walking more). Check prices here for the one month or annual option with OS Online App. All the walks on the website are created using OS Online + you can download them to the App.
See both maps that cover the Peak District here.
Want to learn more map skills? Check out our Guided Walks with map reading skills here.
Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App.
Shutlingsloe walk route
Stage 1 – Wildboarclough to Oakenclough
Distance: 2 miles/3.3 km
Grid reference SJ 982 686.
This Shutlingsloe walk starts from Wildboarclough. From the cliffs where you parked, turn right and walk a short distance up the road, with Clough Brook on your left.
Please note, if you parked further down the road having driven past the pub, you’ll need to turn left and walk back up to the pub!
Once you reach The Crag Inn pub, look for a public footpath, near the end of the car park. Go through the gate and head across the fields.
Be sure to look behind for beautiful views of Shutlingsloe peak in the distance.
Follow the path across five fields, with mostly gates but the odd stone stile to squeeze through! There is good signage, so you’re simply following the yellow markers across the fields.
After about 1 km, you’ll go slightly uphill to cross a spur, it can be muddy around here, so watch your footing. Again, there’s a small wooden waymarker post with a yellow arrow directing you.
Once across, continue on a narrow path, to yet another gate and then head slightly uphill, towards a taller stone stile. There’s a green signpost, ‘Public Footpath to Oakenclough & Teggs Nose’.
Tegg’s Nose is just on the edge of the Peak District, but it gives you great views of Macclesfield Forest, Shutlingsloe and Shining Tor hils.
After you’ve climbed over the stile, turn left and follow the track for about 700 m, before reaching a road.
Turn right, down the road for a few hundred metres, then look for a metal gate on your right, taking you on a narrow path walking parallel to Oaken Clough.
Follow the clough, over a small wooden bridge, over a wooden stile, until you reach a small pond and buildings at Oakenclough. Then up the footpath across the track that takes you uphill.
Stage 2 – Oakenclough to Gritstone Trail
Distance: 0.8 mile/1.3 km
Grid reference SJ 949 698
At the top, go through another gate, where the path is muddy and less-defined. Make your way past the second pond on your left and over a wooden stile down to a narrow track between two wire fences.
Follow this path, now going downhill, all the way to the road. You’ll go through a metal gate and see a pub on the opposite side of the road, the Hanging Gate.
The footpath takes you next to the pub, go past the small outbuilding and through a gate, leading to a second gate further down the path. Continue following all the way until you descend some stone steps to a road.
Turn left here, following the road for a few hundred metres. The Gritstone Trail intersects the road, just before the red telephone box which you can see in the distance.
Stage 3 – Gritstone Trail to Macclesfield Forest
Distance: 2 miles/3.2 km
Grid reference SJ 960 694
There is a tall fingerpost, signposted Gritstone Trail. Turn right here, follow the path to a wooden gate, then a second metal gate. You’ll notice the circular yellow sign with Gritstone Trail on it.
Now you go through a wooden gate and follow the path around to the right, then to the left. Again, look for the yellow Gritstone Trail signs to guide you the right way, as you don’t want to end up in someone’s house!
There are numerous gates to pass through on this section, then you reach a small road, again signposted for you, cross over and continue across the fields. In the distance, you can see Tegg’s Nose hill.
Once over the field, you then have a very muddy and slippy section, then reaching a track. Turn left up the track for a short distance, then go through a small gate, next to a pond, around a house.
From here, go down the track (this is where you leave the Gritstone Trail) and go through a small wooden gate in the wall. You’ll see a sign saying you’re entering Macclesfield Forest. Cross the small wooden bridge and follow the gate until you reach Ridgegate Reservoir.
Walk past the reservoir, the path then splits, keep on the left-hand trail, closest to the reservoir, until you reach a road.
Turn left, then cross over the road and follow the trail, through the green gate, taking you on a trail through the woods. Follow the left-hand path, then at the next t-junction, instead of following the sign to Shutlingsloe, turn left and this will take you down to Macclesfield Forest Visitor Centre.
Stage 4 – Macclesfield Forest to Shutlingsloe summit
Distance: 1.5 miles/2.4 km
Grid reference SJ 961 711
Trentabank Ranger Centre at Macclesfield Forest is a small wooden cabin, but there’s plenty of information about the nature and wildlife in the area, as well as the park wardens on hand to help you out too.
After your stop at the Ranger Centre in Macclesfield Forest, cross over, walk around the short nature trail with wooden carvings next to Trentabank Reservoir. Look out for those herons too!
Now take the trail heading straight up through Macclesfield Forest, signposted Shutlingsloe. This is where the climb uphill starts, it’s gradual but you notice it after walking on mainly flat paths through the woods.
After the first junction, you reach a crossroads. Keep going straight up, following the signs for Shutlingsloe walk. On this part of the trail, I saw deer crossing the path, so keep quiet and you might see some!
At the top of this path, you come out onto a wider trail, again with good signposts! Follow the trail up and look out for a fingerpost for Shutlingsloe, it’s a short walk to the top now.
You’ll then see a second sign Wildboarclough via Shutlingsloe, pointing right, keep following the path up the large flagstones.
As a popular route, these flagstones do a good job of protecting the paths from erosion, but on my winter walk, they were very slippy from the ice!
In the distance, you can now see the iconic summit of the Cheshire Matterhorn, as it’s known by locals due to its shape. Follow the flagstones all the way, next to the boundary wall and up to Shutlingsloe summit.
Stage 5 – Shutlingsloe summit to Wildboarclough
Distance: 0.8 mile/1.3 km
Grid reference SJ 976 695
At Shutlingsloe summit, there is a concrete trig point marking the highest point. At 506 metres high, you have some wonderful views of the surrounding area.
On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Roaches, another wonderful walk in the area. This is a great 10-mile walk you can do including the Roaches, Lud’s Church and Hen Cloud. See the full route here.
From Shutlingsloe summit it appears to be a steep descent down. It is in a few places, but the path is a switchback so it’s more gradual than it looks.
Once you’ve done the main part of the descent, the path becomes less steep. Continue following the path all the way down until you reach a track.
And from here, you simply follow the track all the way down to the road. If you turn right, it will take you to The Crag Inn pub, if you fancy a treat or turn left and you’ll be back at your car.
Do you have any more questions about this Shutlingsloe walk via Macclesfield Forest? Ask me in the comments below.
More options for this walk
Shorten the walk
If you’re looking to still do the Shutlingsloe walk but would like a shorter route, I would recommend starting this route in reverse and doing an out and back to Wildboarclough. (Stage 5)
Start by taking the track up to Shutlingsloe and up to the summit. From the top, you can reward yourself with the views and catch your breath, as doing the walk this way means it’s all uphill at the start, in fact, it’s about 230 metres of ascent.
A walk to the summit and back would be around 2 miles/3 km, but you’ll need to factor in the uphill so allow between 1-1.5 hours to do this option.
The best thing about doing this is you can walk back the same way and not have to worry about getting lost!
Are you doing the trig challenge? Find more of our beginner trig walks here.
More Walks in the Peak District
Love the walks in the White Peak Area of the Peak District? You might like these Peak District circular walks.
- Dovedale walk in the Peak District
- Curbar Edge + Froggatt Edge – White Peaks
- The Roaches, Lud’s Church and Hen Cloud
- Three Shires Head walk from Gradbach
- Monk’s Dale walk from Millers Dale
- Errwood Hall + Shining Tor Walk From Errwood Reservoir | 5-Mile Route
Have you done this walk, let me know any feedback in the comments?
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