Walk from Ridgegate Reservoir to Croker Hill
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IT HAS COME TO MY ATTENTION THAT THE TRACK BETWEEN POINTS 22 AND 23 (BETWEEN HIGHER PETHILLS FARM AND HOLLIN LANE) ON THIS WALK IS NOT A PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY. PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THIS ROUTE UNTIL I HAVE REVISED IT TO MODIFY IT ACCORDINGLY.
The walk starts and ends at the Leather’s Smithy pub, which may be found a short distance beyond the village of Langley. By car, take the A523 Leek road south out of Macclesfield. Turn left at traffic lights and follow the signs to Langley, bearing left after going under the canal. Bear left again at the church, following Main Road then Clarke Lane. After a short distance uphill past Bottoms reservoir, the Leather’s Smithy is on the left. There is car parking available at the side of the road adjacent to Ridgegate reservoir just beyond the Leather’s Smithy.
This circular walk involves an easy climb up to Higher Sutton, a longer (but fairly gentle) climb up to the top of Croker Hill, and then back via an easy set of paths and lanes to the Ridgegate reservoir.
The first part of this walk makes use of the Gritstone Trail. The trail is waymarked with yellow discs with a footprint inscribed with a 'G'.
Refreshments and toilets are available at the Hanging Gate pub in Higher Sutton, and at the Leather’s Smithy pub where the walk starts and ends. Strong shoes or walking boots are essential.
The Leather’s Smithy is situated next to Ridgegate Reservoir. The highest point of the route is the summit of Croker Hill. Here is a photo from the dam at the end of Ridgegate Reservoir, looking towards the transmission tower at the top of Croker Hill. It looks a long way off from the start of the walk, but it is less than 3 miles as the crow flies, and is a fairly gentle climb for the most part. The walk will take you along the Gritstone Trail for most of the first part up to the summit of Croker Hill.
From the summit of Croker Hill, the views across the Cheshire Plain make the climb well worth while. After Croker Hill, the walk returns to Ridgegate reservoir past the Hanging Gate pub. The Hanging Gate is an old Drovers pub, licensed for over 300 years. The pub sign is a hanging gate with the legend 'This gate hangs here and troubles None. Refresh and Pay and Travel On'. After the Hanging Gate, the walk heads back to Macclesfield Forest, then along forest paths to the Ridgegate Reservoir.
The route is also available as a plain page.