June Walks Giveaway: Danes Moss & Sutton Reservoir, Cheshire
This walk is reproduced from our popular walking book 'Cheshire Dog Friendly Pub Walks'. A dog isn't required, but if you do have one, they will LOVE this walk.
📥 To download this walk and take it with you, click here!
DANES MOSS & SUTTON RESERVOIR, CHESHIRE
Distance: 4.5 miles
This walk makes use of canal towpaths, a peatland nature reserve and an enclosed reservoir to maximise the time you can relax, secure in the knowledge that your dog will not be tempted by livestock – though intriguing smells, rustles in the undergrowth and must-have sticks may still distract them!
For the humans, interest is provided by passing narrowboats, the wildlife of Danes Moss Nature Reserve, and pleasant scenery beside Sutton Reservoir and its feeder stream, with views to the hills of the Cheshire Peak District. Only in the latter stages, after you leave the security of the reservoir, is there a strong chance of encountering cattle or sheep – either keep your dog on a tight leash if there are stock in the fields, or take the road alternative as shown on the map which will shorten your walk by ¾ mile.
RECOMMENDED PUB (in case you’re reading this in the future, when pubs are open again)
Sutton Hall is a Grade-II listed building dating from the mid-1600s. Well behaved dogs are welcome in the garden and in most of the bars. There is also a dog-watering station available outside.
HOW TO GET THERE & PARKING
If following a sat nav, make sure you have the right Sutton, Cheshire (there are more than one!). From Macclesfield, take the A523 Leek Road. Turn left into Byrons Lane (signposted to Sutton, Langley and Wincle). After ½ mile, turn right into Bullocks Lane (with a brown sign indicating Sutton Hall). Cross the canal and turn immediately left into the driveway.
Parking: Sutton Hall has a large car park for patrons; as a courtesy, please check with the bar staff before setting off on your walk.
OS Map: Explorer 268 Wilmslow, Macclesfield & Congleton.
1. Walk out along the drive from Sutton Hall to the road. Turn right, over the canal, then drop down onto the towpath and turn right under bridge 44, the bridge you just crossed.
2. Follow the towpath for ½ mile, and pass under the A523 road (bridge 45). Continue beyond for a similar distance to bridge 46.
3. After a further ¼ mile you will reach bridge 47. Bridge 47 is the last working swivel bridge on the canal. It was lovingly restored in 1998 by the Macclesfield Canal Society. The bridge rotates on a vertical ‘king post’ or pintle made of cast iron.
4. Turn right (away from the bridge) and cross the footbridge over the West Coast Mainline. An obvious path leads over a couple of footbridges, initially with woods on both sides, but before long you will find yourselves looking out over the open mossland on your left. Danes Moss was formerly commercially worked for peat, as the remains of an old tramway attest. It is now under the care of the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It is a raised bog, a rare habitat, and notable for its uncommon insects. These include the Black Darter, Britain’s smallest and only black dragonfly, which can be seen on the wing from June to October. Look out also for common lizards basking on the planks of the boardwalks.
5. Having crossed a third footbridge and passed under electricity pylons, look out for the start of a wooden boardwalk on the left. Follow this across the moss and into the trees on the far side where it bears left back toward the railway and canal. After a short open interlude below the electricity wires, the path returns to woodland and the boardwalks become intermittent, eventually leading you back to the path you used when entering the reserve. Turn right and return, over the railway footbridge, to the canal towpath, where you turn right.
6. A little after ½ mile beyond the swing-bridge, you reach bridge 48A, a more conventional footbridge. Cross the canal and turn left along the pavement of the main road, before crossing to a kissing gate beside a gateway. Follow the path alongside the canal feeder to a footbridge at the foot of the dam. A short climb alongside an overflow channel on the right leads to a gate at the right-hand end of the dam.
7. Beyond the gate, follow the path with the reservoir on your left until you reach a road at the top end. If your dog is not comfortable around cattle, you might decide to avoid the risk of an encounter by turning left here and following the road for 1 mile back to Sutton Hall.
8. Cross the road and join a footpath more or less opposite, initially continuing along the canal feeder through trees. Put your dog on the lead as you approach a kissing gate at the end of the wood, as there may be cattle in the field beyond. Walk between two streams and continue to a gap in the fence to the right of a pretty stone bridge.
9. Cross the bridge and turn immediately right, now with the stream on your right. After a metal kissing gate, the path turns left, leaving the stream and continuing alongside a couple of fields to a gate at the end of Symondley Road. Walk down the road to the main village street, and turn left, passing the Sutton Gamekeeper on your right.
10. Pass the war memorial at a junction in the middle of the village and continue straight on, past a school entrance on your left. Before a bridge, turn left onto a streamside footpath that leads shortly to a stile. Put your dog on the lead if there are cattle in the field beyond. The path leads alongside the school grounds on your left, then swings right (with the stream again to your right) to a stile in the far corner of the field.
11. Turn left along the farm drive to the road, then right and right again into the drive to Sutton Hall.
- Alex Batho