North West

Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire

  • Distance

    6 miles

    Equivalent of walking up the Eiffel Tower 30 times

  • Duration

    3 hours

  • Difficulty

    Moderate

  • Terrain

    Firm tracks and paths

  • OS grid reference

    SJ9173

  • Calories burned

    600

    The equivalent of six bananas

Route Info

As home to the largest heronry in the Peak District, you can find some unusual (not to mention noisy) sights nesting in tall firs that border the Trentabank Reservoir. But that’s just part of the charm of this stunning working forest.

Walking through the remnants of this ancient Norman hunting forest, set high above the town of Macclesfield, you will discover an abundance of birds and woodland flowers, such as bluebells. And, if you’re really lucky, you might spot a few more elusive creatures, such as badgers, weasels or even a herd of red deer.

Firm tracks and paths lead you up through mixed fir and broadleaf woods to moorland, where you can take in the breathtaking views of nearby Shutlingsloe and the great ridge, topped by Cheshire’s highest point, Shining Tor.

Kit List

  • Good walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Daysack
  • Snacks that can be stored in pockets
  • A few fish for the Herons!

Did you know?

The Royal Forest of Macclesfield was once the preserve of the nobility

Route Highlight

St Stephen's Church, more commonly known as 'Forest Chapel', stands proud in the forest. Rebuilt in 1834, it is famous for its traditional rush-bearing ceremony, held in August each year.

Where to stop

If you’re staying in the area Harrop Fold Farm, a luxury B&B tucked away in the hills just north of Macclesfield Forest, provides a comfy bed for the night.