Start – Wildboarclough car park SJ987698, Distance – 25km, Ascent – 980m, Time – 7hr 15min plus stops.
A long trek (15.5 miles), taking in the 3 main peaks in the area – Shutlingsloe, Shining Tor and Axe Edge. This route is made up of segments of other walks on this site and includes a few off-path routes. The first is the Buxtors Hill route from Shutlingsloe, which is easily found by turning right off the path to Macclesfield Forest and following a grassy path across the ridge and then down into the Forest. At Torgate Farm there is a concession path that goes through Chest Hollow alongside the stream and then turns left up the hill to come out onto the A537. The path on the other side of the road takes you ultimately to Shining Tor, and then returns back along the main road, past the Cat and Fiddle pub and down the minor road to Derbyshire Bridge. The next off-piste excursion is across Axe Edge Moor to gain the summit of Axe Edge, and then south along the wide ridge to the minor road. The route then crosses the southern ridge of Axe Edge before descending onto minor roads and paths back to the start. This walk is likely to take you at least 7 hours and it’s probably best done in the summer months, which is why I first did it in the middle of December and got back to the car park in the dark! In my defence, I hadn’t planned this walk in advance and just headed where I fancied, until I realised it was starting to go dark and I was only just past Axe Edge. Still, it’s a great walk, taking you across some of the best areas in the west of the Peak District.
Shutlingsloe, seen on the ascent from Wildboarclough. The last climb to the summit is steeper than it looks
Looking down into the Macclesfield Forest from Buxtors Hill with Teggs Nose in the background. Photography tip no.1 – try to keep your own shadow out of the picture!
Looking across to Shining Tor from the moorland around Buxtors Hill
At the start of the concession path running through Chest Hollow from Torgate Farm. Shutlingsloe peeks above the moorland in the distance
The Scaurs, as seen from the concession path running through Chest Hollow. At this point, the path turns left and climbs up to the A537, emerging opposite the Peak View Tea Rooms
On the descent from Shining Tor towards the Goyt Valley. Errwood reservoir can be seen beyond the plantations
The infant River Goyt from the area around Goyt’s Moss.
The northern, taller section of Axe Edge, as seen from the southern, less-taller section. The road in the photo joins the A53 and A54 and is one of the highest in the Peak District, around the same height as the Woodhead Pass (nearly 530m)