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Walk from Ridgegate Reservoir to Higher Sutton

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.


Distance: 3.9 miles (6.3 km)
Terrain: Lanes, footpaths and bridleways. Only one short climb up a field to Higher Sutton, otherwise fairly easy.
Access: Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs
Grade: Easy Walk
Time: 1½ to 2 hours
Ascent: 176 metres
Maps: OS Explorer Map 268, OL24
Start: Leather’s Smithy pub, Langley.
Grid Ref: SJ 952 715


Route Guide

This short circular walk involves an easy climb up to Higher Sutton, and then back via an easy set of paths and lanes to the Trentabank reservoir, then returning to the Leather’s Smithy along a path.

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, the Trentabank Visitors Centre, and at the Leather’s Smithy pub where the walk starts and ends. Strong shoes or walking boots are essential.

The top of this route reaches the Hanging Gate pub at Higher Sutton. 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.” From here, the views across the Cheshire Plain make the last climb well worth while.

The Visitors Centre at Trentabank reservoir is worth a visit. Also, at the back of the Visitors Centre, is the Nice Nosh refreshment stall, where John sells some wonderful food and drinks (hot and cold) at weekends. There are seats and tables here, right next to the forest, where birds come and go all the time to visit the bird table.

Route Details

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