Walk from the Leather’s Smithy through the Forest to Tegg’s Nose
The walk starts and ends at the Leather’s Smithy pub, which may be found a short distance beyond the village of Langley. The Leather’s Smithy has a warm inviting interior with real fires to welcome the visitor, a stone flagged bar area, a carpeted lounge area, and a family room. The menu is extensive and varied, from a single sandwich to a Lobster Thermadore, followed by delicious sweets and coffee. There is usually a good selection of real ales available.
By car, take the A523 Leek road south out of Macclesfield. Turn left at traffic lights and follow the signs to Langley, bearing left after going under the canal. Bear left again at the church, following Main Road then Clarke Lane. After a short distance uphill past Bottoms reservoir, the Leather’s Smithy is on the left. There is car parking available adjacent to Ridgegate reservoir just beyond the Leather’s Smithy.
There are toilet facilities available half way round, at the Tegg’s Nose Visitor Centre.
The Leather’s Smithy overlooks Ridgegate Reservoir. Both the Ridgegate and Trentabank reservoirs in the Forest are used for drinking water. Both reservoirs are home to many wildfowl. At different seasons you may see tufted duck, goldeneye, pochard, teal, little grebe, great crested grebe, and coot.
From the Leather’s Smithy, you start off along the lane adjacent to the Forest. Macclesfield Forest was once one of three Royal hunting forests in Cheshire, but today is managed by United Utilities. Soon the walk follows paths through the Forest, and emerges from the forest to follow Hacked Way Lane downhill past Clough House Farm. Soon you reach Saddler’s Way, an old packhorse route that would probably have been used to take salt to Buxton. Saddler’s Way leads up to the car park and Visitor Centre for Tegg’s Nose.
Tegg’s Nose Country Park offers splendid views over the patchwork landscape of the Cheshire plain, with distinctive landmarks such as Jodrell Bank and Beeston Castle. The peak of Shuttlingsloe, above the Forest, is seen to the southeast.
The descent from Tegg’s Nose follows the Gritstone Trail, which leads down to Tegg’s Nose reservoir. Crossing the dams of Tegg’s Nose reservoir then Bottom’s reservoir brings you into Langley.
The village of Langley grew on the strength of the button making industry, and later the silk industry because of the pure water from the River Bollin. At the peak of the industry there were 5 mills driven by 3 water wheels, and employing about 400 people.
From Langley, a short walk up Clarkes Lane leads back to the Leather’s Smithy pub, which is ideal for drinks (hot and cold) and snacks.
The route is also available as a plain page.