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Walk from Rainow to Kerridge and Bollington

The walk starts and ends in the village of Rainow, on the B5470. As you leave Macclesfield town centre on the B5470 (signposted to Whaley Bridge), you will soon pass through Higher Hurdsfield, and then Rainow. Drive down hill then up again (Holy Trinity church is on the right). Turn left down Round Meadow into the housing estate. There is a small car park on the left.


Distance: 4.9 miles (8.0 km)
Terrain: Medium, along lanes, bridleways, and other footpaths. Can be muddy after rain.
Access: Not suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs
Grade: Moderate Walk
Time: 2 to 2½ hours
Ascent: 195 metres
Maps: OS Explorer Map 268, OL24
Start: Rainow village, on the B5470.
Grid Ref: SJ 947 757


Route Guide

The walk follows the valley of the River Dean from Rainow to Bollington and back. The circular route follows the path to the west of the river (along the side of Kerridge ridge), then along the towpath of the Macclesfield canal where it passes through Bollington, and then back to Rainow along a path to the east of the river. For refreshments there is a pub in Rainow, the Rising Sun. There is also the Bulls Head in Kerridge. Strong shoes or walking boots are essential.

Rainow lies in the foothills of the Pennines straddling the Cheshire boundary of the Peak District National Park. The village gets its name from the Old English Hraefn Hoe meaning Ravens Hill, an indication that the area was once a wilderness. The western boundary runs along the crest of Kerridge (Key Ridge from the Old English Caeg Hrycg), pictured here. The hill has an altitude of over 900 feet, but descends steeply into the River Dean valley. The heart of the village lies to the east of the river. A number of large menhirs (standing stones) can still be seen in the locality. Their original purpose was probably to signpost tracks through Rainow that once formed part of a ridge way to the Scottish borders.

A short stretch of this route is along the towpath of Macclesfield Canal, which passes Adelphi Mill. The Swindells family made their lasting contribution to the town’s architecture when, with partners the Brooke family, they built Adelphi Mill in 1856, taking full advantage of Macclesfield Canal (newly opened in 1831). The canal's stone bridges, aqueducts and wharves were engineered by William Crosley. This magnificent industrial building has now been converted into flats and business units. The Swindells family was a major force in transforming Bollington from an agricultural village of 1,200 people in 1801 to an industrial town of 4,600 people by 1851.

There are many attractive back gardens on the other side of the canal. Many houses in Bollington back onto the canal, and some have their own moorings.

Route Details

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The route is also available as a plain page.