Walk from Rainow to Lamaload Reservoir and Walker Barn
The walk starts and ends in the village of Rainow, on the B5470. As you leave Macclesfield town centre on the B5470 (signposted to Whaley Bridge), you will soon pass through Higher Hurdsfield, and then Rainow. Park in the centre of the village - there are some parts of the main road where it is safe to do so, for example next to the church.
There is a pub in Rainow, the Rising Sun, for refreshments. Strong shoes or walking boots are essential.
Rainow lies in the foothills of the Pennines straddling the Cheshire boundary of the Peak District National Park. The village gets its name from the Old English Hraefn Hoe meaning Ravens Hill, an indication that the area was once a wilderness. The western boundary runs along the crest of Kerridge (Key Ridge from the Old English Caeg Hrycg). The hill has an altitude of over 900 feet, but descends steeply into the River Dean valley. The heart of the village lies to the east of the river. A number of large menhirs (standing stones) can still be seen in the locality. Their original purpose was probably to signpost tracks through Rainow that once formed part of a ridge way to the Scottish borders.
Lamaload reservoir is situated north of the A54 Buxton to Macclesfield road within the Peak District National Park. To the east is the Goyt Valley with Macclesfield to the west. The reservoir at Lamaload was completed in 1964 and supplies drinking water for Macclesfield. The reservoir is approximately 1,000ft (308m) above sea level. The landscape around Lamaload is moorland with a few plantations of larch and pine. The broad leaved woodlands surrounding these plantations provide a habitat for a variety of wildlife. The Reservoir Circuit path is followed to the east and south of the reservoir.
The walk passes close to Walker Barn, which is a small group of houses on the A537 Buxton Road.
The last part of this walk is along the Gritstone Trail. The Cheshire Gritstone Trail is a long-distance footpath running from Disley in Cheshire to Kidsgrove, just over the border in Staffordshire. The trail is well marked using a mixture of finger posts and yellow waymark discs with a 'G' in a footprint. Waymarks indicate the way to go as you stand directly in front of them. Often there is a clear path on the ground, but some paths may not be quite so obvious. Look out for stiles in hedges, fences or walls or waymark posts to guide you.
The route is also available as a plain page.