Shutlingsloe & Three Shire Heads from Macclesfield, Peak District
Guided Walking in the Peak District
This is a great guided walk on the western edge of the Peak District.
The walk heads up through Macclesfield Forest on good paths which are a little steep in parts and then up over open moor to the summit of Shutlingsloe, known as the "Matterhorn of Cheshire" due to it's distinctive shape. This is actually the highest point of the day, with a height of 506m (1660ft) and has an amazing 360° view.
Next we head down into the valley of Wildboarclough, where a local myth suggests the name comes from it being the location where the last wild boar in England was killed. When we reach the bottom it's time to start heading up again over the next ridge and down past Cut-thorn Hill. The path along the south eastern slopes of this hill is one of the best places to spot the UK's only green butterfly, the Green Hairstreak, which can be spotted here from mid April.
Shortly we reach the picturesque Three Shire Heads with its packhorse bridge, waterfalls and pools. The Panniers Pool marks the meeting point of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and is a local spot for a summer swim. Three Shire Heads is also notorious for being frequented by counterfeiters and prizefighters from the local village of Flash as it was easy to escape from the police by just stepping into another county.
After a break we head north along the Cheshire - Derbyshire border and then make our way over to Cumberland Brook and the path back down to Wildboarclough before heading over the shoulder of Shutlingsloe and back to the car park in Macclesfield Forest.
The walk is mostly on good tracks and smaller footpaths and includes 3 fairly long hills. The first hill is up almost from the start to the summit of Shutlingsloe, a climb of 250m (820ft), the top part of which includes fairly large stone steps. The second is up from Wildboarclough, a climb of 150m (500ft) and lastly up around the shoulder of Shutlingsloe on the way back, a climb of 175m (575ft). At any time of year there could be some muddy sections, especially on the way up towards Cut-thorn Hill. There is a fairly steep descent off Shutlingsloe in the morning.
Recommended Equipment & Clothing
- Appropriate walking clothing to keep you warm on the day (avoid jeans)
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Spare warm layers (several thinner layers are more versatile than 1 thick)
- Walking boots (route is rough and uneven in places so good ankle support is recommended)
- Warm hat and gloves
- Food, drink and snacks for the day. We'll have a couple of food stops on the walk.
- Personal first aid kit (for minor cuts, blisters, sun cream, pain relief etc and any personal medication)
- Money for car park fees and a possible visit to a cafe