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Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal

There are currently 6 comments and 2 photos online for this walk.

Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal
Author: Pub Walker, Published: 26 Nov 2013 Walk Rating:star1 Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide star1 Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide star1 Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide star1 Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide star0 Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide
Cheshire, Macclesfield
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide boot Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide
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A 4 mile circular pub walk from Sutton Hall in Sutton, near Macclesfield in Cheshire. Sutton Hall is a 480 year old manor house now converted into a proper pub with a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere and a warren of dining areas. The walking route heads out across farmland to reach the nearby Sutton Reservoir before returning along the towpath of the Macclesfield Canal. You’ll be able to enjoy the peace of the rural landscape and the laid back feel of the canal, all with the stunning back drop of the nearby Peak District hills.

The walk has a few gentle gradients throughout plus one short steeper slope. The outward leg crosses farm pastures which can be very muddy so good boots are a must. The pastures are likely to be holding cattle (and maybe sheep) so take care with dogs. There are 2 stiles, several gates and some flights of steps to negotiate along the route (the stiles do have wire fence surrounds, although there was a gap big enough for our standard poodle to squeeze through). The canal towpath can be narrow in places so take care to keep children away from the water’s edge. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours.

There is more than one place named Sutton in Cheshire, so be sure to make your way to the right one. The Sutton you need is the one about a mile south of Macclesfield. The walk starts and finishes from Sutton Hall which is off Bullocks Lane in Sutton. Approximate post code SK11 0HE. The pub is marked with a brown sign and has its own large car park.

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Walk Sections

Start to Hall Lane
Start to Hall Lane

Start point: 53.241 lat, -2.1133 long
End point: 53.2371 lat, -2.1098 long

From the pub car park, walk back along the access drive to reach the main road. Cross over with care and turn left along the pavement for just a few paces. Cross back over the road to turn left down the tarmac residential lane, passing the property Coney Greave on the right. Continue along this lane, passing the large white Sutton Seate on the right. Just beyond this, turn right over a stile into a field (which is likely to be holding cattle).

Cross the field diagonally (at about 2 o’clock), heading for a large tree stump in the middle of the pasture. When you reach the tree stump, with a marker post alongside, bear slightly left and follow the footpath as it then runs alongside the fenced playing field to the right. In the field corner cross the stile, go down the short slope and bear right along the footpath, with a pretty stream running down to the left. You will emerge out to a T-junction with Hall Lane.

Hall Lane to Leek Old Road
Hall Lane to Leek Old Road

Start point: 53.2371 lat, -2.1098 long
End point: 53.2279 lat, -2.1184 long

Cross over with care and turn right along the pavement. Keep ahead on the main village road, crossing over the side roads Church Lane and Brookside Avenue. Just after the lane swings left, turn right along Symondley Road. At the end of the road, pass through the small wooden gate into the field (again likely to be holding cattle) and keep straight ahead following the fence line on the right.

At the far side of the field, pass through the metal kissing gate into the next field and continue along the right-hand boundary. In the field corner, turn right through the kissing gate and keep ahead along the small embankment with a stream running down to the left. When you reach a pretty stone bridge across the stream, cross over this and then turn right to continue on the footpath with the stream now to the right.

Pass through the kissing gate and continue on the path through a section of woodland. Cross over a footbridge at a junction of several streams, and continue a little distance further to reach a T-junction with Leek Old Road.

Leek Old Road to Macclesfield Canal
Leek Old Road to Macclesfield Canal

Start point: 53.2279 lat, -2.1184 long
End point: 53.2262 lat, -2.129 long

Cross over the road with care to take the gate opposite (at about 11 o’clock) and keep straight ahead on the path with a stream to the left and the open water of Sutton Reservoir to the right. Take time to enjoy the water birds that make the reservoir their home.

At the end of the reservoir, bear right through the wooden gate. Do NOT go ahead along the obvious embankment path, instead bear left to head down the side of the embankment to reach a footbridge at the bottom. Cross the footbridge, keep ahead on the path and then pass through the kissing gate to reach a T-junction with the main London Road.

Cross over the road with care. Turn left along the pavement for just a few paces then turn right and cross the bridge (Number 48A) over the canal. At the far side of the bridge go down the steps to reach the towpath of the Macclesfield Canal.

Macclesfield Canal to Gaw End Lane Bridge
Macclesfield Canal to Gaw End Lane Bridge

Start point: 53.2262 lat, -2.129 long
End point: 53.2355 lat, -2.135 long

Turn left along the towpath, passing under the bridge, with the canal running on the right. Follow the towpath for some distance.

Unusually, Macclesfield Canal was commissioned and built when the threat of the competition from the railways was already in sight. The formal opening took place on 9th November 1831, with ceremonial processions of boats from Congleton and Marple proceeding towards Macclesfield. The procession was meticulously timed such that boats would arrive at Macclesfield from both directions at the same time, when a salute was fired. With mission accomplished, the proprietors and dignitaries retired to the Town Hall for dinner.

You will pass by a swing bridge (Number 47) where a footpath crosses the towpath. On the left here is Danes Moss Nature Reserve which is managed by Cheshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve was still work in progress when we walked (Nov 2013) but the site, once complete, will include boardwalks and interpretation boards. The site is a rare lowland raised bog with peat up to five metres deep. The reserve is home to seven species of sphagnum moss and many insects including dragonflies and damselflies.

Take time to explore the nature reserve should you wish then continue along the towpath. Further along you will pass under Gaw End Lane Bridge (Number 46).

Gaw End Lane Bridge to End
Gaw End Lane Bridge to End

Start point: 53.2355 lat, -2.135 long
End point: 53.2411 lat, -2.1134 long

Keep ahead on the towpath and from this point you will have great views of the hills on the edge of the Peak District ahead of you. Ignore the footpath forking off left, simply keep ahead on the canal towpath.

Continue under the stone arch bridge (Number 45) which carries London Road overhead. Follow the towpath, still enjoying the views of the Peak District ahead. Pass under the final bridge (Number 44) and just afterwards, turn sharp left up the shallow steps to leave the canal. Turn left along the road edge (taking care of any traffic). Follow the narrow pavement over the canal bridge and immediately afterwards turn left down the entrance drive of Sutton Hall for some well deserved hospitality.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author pubwalker and may not be reproduced without permission.


6 comments for "Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal"

Great walk even on a wet and muddy winters day, we will be back in the summer to do it all again. Thanks.

By Sinclair on 09 Mar 2014

Really enjoyed the walk, could be managed by most and the extra bonus of lunch at lovely Sutton Hall to finish.

By mich on 05 Nov 2014

Great walk with the dogs, lovely scenery and views, flask of tea half way round at Danes Moss just off the canal and a Hot Chocolate and a pint to finish at Sutton Hall, excellent :).

By nikhadfield on 21 Sep 2015

lovely walk we did it in 2 hours and enjoyed a nice drink at Sutton Hall

By tommyhighfky on 14 Feb 2016

Great walk, 1.5hrs

By Wayne on 23 Apr 2016

Great walk. It's our first proper walk in years, 2 hrs and a drink in Sutton Hall later. Certainly we will do it again.

By michaeleyres on 14 Aug 2016

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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2 gallery images for "Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal"

2689_0WayneWilson11461389194 Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide Image by: Wayne
Uploaded: 23 Apr 2016
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2689_0michaeleyres1471209753 Sutton Hall and Macclesfield Canal Walking Guide Image by: michaeleyres
Uploaded: 14 Aug 2016
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