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    Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    2.6 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    86 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk

    Walking the Macclesfield Forest Circular is a fun experience on the edge of Peak District National Park that will lead you through breathtaking stretches of woodland terrain and offer scenic views across the Ridgegate Reservoir. Made up of well-maintained pathways that are easy to navigate, this walk is perfectly suited for walkers of all skill levels, including families with children. If you are looking to extend your journey, try taking the alternate around the Ridgegate Reservoir for some nice views and the option to pop in to the Leather’s Smithy Pub for a quick pint.

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    Route Description for Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk

    If you are looking for a walking route with breathtaking views from a scenic hilltop, then the Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk is probably not going to be on your radar. What this easy-going track does well is provide a family-friendly pathway that allows you to stroll through a beautiful stretch of forest and reconnect with nature, while taking in some nice views across the water of Ridgegate Reservoir and a few surrounding hills. The wide paths are well-maintained and easy to navigate, creating a great experience for all, and the picnic area offers a great space to sit and relax in the peaceful forest atmosphere.

    Setting out from the picnic area next to the carpark, head west along the trail for 0.3 km and cross over the road to arrive at a junction in the trail. Take the path to the left and follow it along the edge of the wood, where it will bend to the right and enter into the thick cover of the trees on a route towards the reservoir. Enjoy the peaceful quiet of the forest and reconnect with nature as you meander amongst the moss-covered trees and vibrant green colour of the forest floor.

    After 0.5 km, you will break out of the tree cover and arrive at another junction with some nice views looking out across the calm water to the rugged summit of Tegg’s Nose in the northwest. Taking the optional path to the right will lead you around the reservoir and provide the opportunity for some refreshments at the nearby pub, Leather’s Smithy. For the sake of this walking guide, make a sharp left turn along the path and follow it south through the wood for 0.2 km, where it will bend to the left and skirt along the edge of the trees until you meet up with the road.

    Cross over the road and follow it for about 73 m, turning right to pass through a gate onto the bridleway. Make an immediate left turn to enter into the shady cover of the forest and head through the beautiful woodland atmosphere for 0.3 km before arriving at a series of junctions. Keep straight through the first, and head right at the second to continue through the peaceful forest for another 0.3 km.

    Turn left here on a course that will take you north towards the picnic area where you began your walk. Reaching a fork in the path, head left and continue onto the next intersection, also taking it left to wrap up your journey along the Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk.

    Trail Highlights

    Macclesfield Forest

    Located 3 miles south of the town of Macclesfield in Cheshire, the Macclesfield Forest is the last remaining portion of what was once the Royal Forest of Macclesfield, an ancient hunting ground that spread throughout the area. These days the forest is part of a nature reserve and is primarily made up of conifer trees, featuring a small population of red deer and a heronry.

    Other amazing walks in Peak District National Park

    Check out our guides to Kinder Scout, Mam Tor, Stanage Edge, Dovedale, and Padley Gorge. Or see all of our Peak District walks on 10Adventures.

    Insider Hints for Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk

    • Pay and display parking is available.
    • Try extending your walk around the Ridgegate Reservoir for more time on the trail and the option to stop in at Leather’s Smithy Pub.

    Getting to the Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk Trailhead

    To reach the trailhead for the Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk from Macclesfield, head southeast along A537 for 1.3 km and make a slight right onto Buxton Old Road. After 1.1 km, turn right onto Broadcar Road and follow it for 0.5 km, where it will turn sharply and become Coalpit Lane. Make a left on Langley Road, followed by a slight left onto Main Road. Continue for 0.3 km and keep straight onto Clarke Lane. After 1.0 km, make a right turn followed by a left at the first cross street, where you will find the car park on the right in 0.2 km.

    Route Information

    • When to do


    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


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