Shutlingsloe Walk from Wildboarclough (via Macclesfield Forest) | 7-Mile Route

Shutlingsloe Hill Peak District

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Also known as the Matterhorn of the Cheshire, the Shutlingsloe walk is 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 summit in the Peak District.

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!

Shutlingsloe walk from Wildboarclough

Views from Shutlingsloe Hill
Views from Shutlingsloe Hill

Walk information

Walk type: Medium circular walk

Distance: 7 miles/11.5 km

Walk time: 3-4 hours

Total ascent: 513 m/1,683 ft

Highest point: 506 m/1,660 ft

Walk highlights: Summiting Shutlingsloe hill with stunning views, walking through Macclesfield Forest and views of Tegg’s Nose and Shining Tor (in the distance).

GPX file

Shutlingsloe circular walk map

Shutlingsloe walk from Wildboarclough via Macclesfield Forest Map
Shutlingsloe walk map
Click for OS online map here

Walk start point

Start grid reference: SJ 982 686

Driving

Car parking address: Nabbs Road, Wildboarclough, Macclesfield, SK11 0BD

There are a few places to park 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.

If it’s full continue past The Crag Inn down Nabbs Road and you’ll find more car parking spaces down the left-hand side of the road.

Parking Cost

Free parking

Parking at Wildboarclough
Parking at Wildboarclough
Additional parking at Wildboarclough
Additional parking at Wildboarclough

Public transport

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.

Remote section of the Shutlingsloe walk
A quieter section at the start of Shutlingsloe walk

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, you might spot on the Ordnance Survey map; however, unfortunately, this pub closed on New Year’s Eve 2018.

Walking through Macclesfield Forest
Walking through Macclesfield Forest to find the snack van and toilet facilities!

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 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 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 take you on roads, however, they are fairly quiet country roads so not too much of an issue.

Following the Gritstone Trail signs
Following the Gritstone Trail signs

The route is fairly well signposted but I would always recommend you take a map and compass (see below).

Check the weather for your walk location and hills.

Ordnance Survey Walk Map

The map required for this walk is OL24 – Peak District (White Peak Area)

Buy a paper map at outdoor shops or shop online at Amazon or Ordnance Survey

Check prices here with Ordnance Survey, you can buy a standard map or a waterproof one. You can sometimes find cheaper deals on Amazon, but the Ordnance Survey website can have discounts if you are buying more than one map!

And don’t forget your compass.

There are lots to choose from, I recommend the Silva Expedition compass, it’s more expensive but a valuable piece of kit!

 

OS Maps link

For online maps, you can get via OS Online App or Viewranger App.

Check prices here for the one month or yearly option with OS Online App. 

 

Views of Shutlingsloe Hill on the walk
Views of Shutlingsloe Hill on the walk

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 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.

The Crag Inn Wildboarclough
The Crag Inn Wildboarclough

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 I’ve been told it gives you great views of Macclesfield Forest, Shutlingsloe and Shining Tor hils.

Shutlingsloe walk from Wildboarclough sign to Oakenclough
Signpost to Oakenclough and Macclesfield Forest

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 left, 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.

Wooden bridge next to Oaken Clough
Wooden bridge next to Oaken Clough

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, the path is less-defined and muddy. 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. Sadly, this pub has now closed.

Shutlingsloe walk - closed pub
Unfortunately, this pub has now closed, so no stopping here.

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.

Gritstone trail on Shutlingsloe walk
Following the Gritstone Trail on Shutlingsloe walk

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.

Tegg's Hill in the distance, near Macclesfield Forest
Tegg’s Hill in the distance, near Macclesfield Forest

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.

Ridgegate Reservoir in Macclesfield Forest
Ridgegate Reservoir in Macclesfield Forest

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.

Trentabank Ranger Centre at Macclesfield Forest
Trentabank Ranger Centre at Macclesfield Forest

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 gradually 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 deers crossing the path, so keep quiet and you might see some.

Shutlingsloe walk - following track to summit
Shutlingsloe walk – following the track to summit

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.

Shutlingsloe summit in the Peak District
Shutlingsloe summit in the Peak District

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 of the summit. 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.

Views from Shutlingsloe summit
Views from Shutlingsloe summit

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.

Shutlingsloe summit from the other side
Shutlingsloe summit from the other side

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!

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.

Have you done this walk, let me know any feedback in the comments?

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