The Gritstone Trail and the Mow Cop Trail combine to form a long distance footpath of over 27 miles which take the walker through some of the grandest and most rugged terrain in Cheshire; from the wide, featureless moors above Lyme Park to the shapely gritstone edges of Kerridge Hill and Bosley Cloud with their extensive views of the Cheshire Plain. In addition, there are gentle field, woodland and riverside paths along with numerous points of interest. This fine walking country forms the western limit of the Peak District National Park and is thus a popular and well walked area. As such the footpaths are generally well signed and waymarked although in the less frequented areas you will need careful route finding skills to stay on the recommended route.
The Gritstone Trail is the longer of the two Trails, covering some 18.5 miles and takes its name from the hard underlying rock which gives the area its distinctive character.Beginning at Lyme Park on the outskirts of Greater Manchester the walker climbs quickly to the high moors which will be his companion for much of the route. The distinctive gritstone edges of Kerridge and Tegg's Nose lead to softer ground around Sutton Common and Wincle Minn to finish at Rushton Spencer.
The remaining 8.5 miles to the hilltop village of Mow Cop are known as the Mow Cop Trail and form an extension of the Gritstone Trail. From Rushton Spencer a rise is made to the gritstone outcrops of Bosley Cloud and Congleton Edge to finish at Mow Cop, famous for its mock castle ruins. The Mow Cop Trail also forms a section of the Staffordshire Way.
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