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Walk from the Crag Inn, Wildboarclough, along the Dane Valley to Wincle

The walk starts and ends at the Crag Inn in Wildboarclough. If travelling by car, take the Leek road away from Macclesfield (A523). Turn left at traffic lights (Byrons Lane) and follow the signs to Langley, bearing left after going under the canal. Where the road bends to the left, and just after the Bulls Head, turn right (Ridge Hill, signposted Wincle). Follow this winding road uphill, until you reach the Hanging Gate pub. Shortly after the Hanging Gate, take the lane to the left. Bear left at the next junction. There are several layby's along this road in which to park your car, before you get to the Crag Inn in Wildboarclough.

Get directions to Wildboarclough by public transport or car with Redplanet.

Distance: 7.5 miles (12.0 km)
Terrain: Lanes, footpaths and bridleways.
Access: Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs
Grade: Moderate Walk
Time: 2¾ to 3¼ hours
Ascent: 362 metres
Maps: OS Explorer Map 268 and OL24 or Landranger 118
Start: Crag Inn, Wildboarclough.
Grid Ref: SJ 982 685


Route Guide

This circular walk involves no major inclines. Strong shoes or walking boots are essential.

Wildboarclough's claim to fame is as the place where the last wild boar in England was killed. The village is now a quiet backwater, popular with visitors at weekends. This photo of the river in Wildboarclough was taken by local photographer Wayne Molyneux. To look at more of his work, follow the links on the Links page. The large house of Crag Hall in Wildboarclough is the country seat of Lord Derby, and there was once a carpet mill which used Clough Brook to power its machinery. The mill was largely demolished but the administration block remains, a fine building which once had the strange distinction of being the largest sub-post office in England. Below the mill the bridge over Clough Brook bears a commemorative plaque to the flash flood of 1989, which drowned a motorist in his car here.

From Wildboarclough, the walk takes you initially over moorland to Gradbach. Gradbach is a tiny hamlet on the River Dane. The hamlet is centred around a fine stone-built mill which was built in 1785 for the spinning of silk. Though the mill was water-powered and therefore cheap to run, this was too remote a site for an enterprise like this and the mill closed as early as 1885. It is now a Youth Hostel. The walk then takes in a stretch of the Dane Valley Way, from Gradbach Mill to Danebridge. The 41-mile Dane Valley Way extends from Buxton to the confluence of the River Dane with the River Wheelock at Middlewich. The section that this walk takes in is a pleasant stroll through quiet woodlands. Wincle, Danebridge and Swythamley are a group of small Staffordshire Peak District villages on the River Dane. Wincle is an isolated farming community, with a fine church. At Danebridge there is a pub called the Ship Inn, close to the River Dane.

Route Details

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