Start – Wildboarclough car park SJ987698, Distance – 15.6km, Ascent – 760m, Time – 5hr 00min plus stops.
Starting from the popular car park by Clough House Farm in Wildboarclough, this walk includes a stiff slog up to the summit of Shutlingsloe (well worth the effort), followed by a trek across the moorlands of Birchenough Hill. The route then follows quiet lanes to the picturesque and popular three Shire Heads, the meeting point of Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire and a good (but busy) lunch spot. This is followed by another long climb out of the valley and around to the abandoned quarries at Danebower, before crossing the River Dane again and the A54 (also again). The walk then finishes with a descent alongside the quite lovely Cumberland Brook. All of this walk is taken along well-marked and easy to follow paths and can be shortened (in both distance and ascent) by missing out Shutlingsloe at the start. But you wouldn’t want to do that, would you?
The trig point on Shutlingsloe. This hill is justifiably popular, being a great view-point, reasonably easy to ascend from the west, and shapely to boot. This route climbs the steeper east side, which is an excellent “loosener” to start the walk.
This lovely house is near the bottom of the minor road that goes from Wildboarclough up the hill to the A54. Despite having walked past it dozens of times, I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know it’s name, although I reckon it isn’t Geoff.
The OS map gives the named summit of Birchenough Hill as the western top. This route follows a path next to the eastern (and higher) top, where you’ll find this memorial to an aircraft crash site. It’s the only one I’m aware of outside the Dark Peak.
Those familiar with this area may have difficulty in recognising it as three Shire Heads, probably because it’s spookily bereft of people in this picture! Despite it’s popularity, it’s a particularly lovely spot.
The River Dane from the crossing near to the abandoned Danebower Quarries. All of the loose stone is quarry spoil.
Looking down the attractive valley of Cumberland Brook from just below Whetstone Ridge, with Shutlingsloe standing guard over all. This area is particularly good for getting off the beaten track and wandering into the moorland.