Shutlingsloe with kids. I will start by saying this is a fantastic family walk that takes in forests, hills and green open spaces.
Parking is at Trentabeck car park in Macclesfield Forest. The day rate is £4.75 and the machine only takes coins, but you can pay via the Ringo app.
There are toilets and a refreshments van that sells a bostin’ cup of tea!
The walk starts to the right of the entrance of the car park, through a tall odd shaped gate (designed to restrict bikes). Head right and straight in to the woods. The path is very easy to follow and has a slight ascent to it as you marvel at the heights of the trees around you.
We caught sight of the sun popping through the trees, casting shadows and warming our backs.
The forest is home to the native broad leaved tree, but mostly contains pine trees. Lately, work has been ongoing to fell sections of the forest to replant the broad leaved tree, to retain it’s natural heritage.
The largest Heronry in the Peak District can be found in the forest and it is also home to a number of other animals. If you are in the forest early in the morning, you may be able to spot badgers, weasels or even red deer.
Lots of Signposts
The trail ambles on and once you hit a junction at the top of the trees, turn left. The sign posts help guide you along from here, with a few more turns then through a kissing gate on to the final stone path. Beware, the grass and dirt is lava, so make sure you stay on the stones!
The Matterhorn of Cheshire
There is no chance of getting lost here. The marked track is straight on and because of the land ahead, Shutlingsloe is the only hill you see. Nicknamed the ‘Matterhorn of Cheshire’ because of it’s prominence similar to the Matterhorn in Switzerland, it’s not hard to see why it shares the namesake.
Standing proud on the landscape, Shutlingsloe is accessible for the littlest legs. Large steps built in the side of the hill may be tricky but are certainly manageable. Within minutes, the trig point is in view and all the views that Cheshire has to offer. At 506m, it may not be the highest hill, but the views are 360 degrees. (obviously in good weather!)
The Roaches can be seen, along with Shining Tor (the highest hill in Cheshire) along with many miles across the moorland.
Soak it in, eat some lunch and enjoy the solitude around you.
For the return route, head back down the path you came, try not to step in the lava! and make sure you turn left at the green board back in to Macclesfield forest.
We walked around an hour and a half in all, but we didn’t stay very long at the summit due to the winds. We have just had a succession of horrific storms and the UK just isn’t the same at the minute! I think we would have certainly stretched our walk on to Wildboar Clough if the wind was better. The sun was gorgeous though, and we had fantastic blue skies.
I would absolutely recommend Shutlingsloe with kids, especially for beginner HikerKidz and little legs. Let me know if you have done it, and what you think!