Baby sitting duties in Manchester brought me down this way so I took the opportunity of exploring a new area. A dark early morning start from home on the bus and then trains transported me to Cheshire. When I researched this route on the LDWA site I was surprised to see it started in Macclesfield town, what about the true source of the River Bollin up in Macclesfield Forest? The helpful taxi driver dropped me off in Standing Stones car park high in the Forest. In thick mist I had to take a compass bearing to find the right path out. Amazingly within 50m I found a stream gurgling out of the hillside, was this the Bollin? I decided it was and began my walk down it. From my map I expected to be following lanes for a few miles but to my delight there were new paths everywhere and I was lucky that some took me through the forest in the right direction. The reservoir walks were popular with dog walkers, above would be Teg’s Nose but no chance of a view today. Dropping into a a hidden valley the Bollin Brook picked up pace. Here I came across Gritstone Trail signs, a walk I enjoyed many years ago. A little further and I walked below the canal used by the Cheshire Ring walk, more recently completed.
It was already lunchtime when I walked into Langley, the interesting looking pub was closed so a park bench sufficed. A sign celebrated a William Smith who founded, in 1826, Langley Mill [now derelict] which became the largest silk printing works in the world. There are many humble cottages around presumably mill workers’ dwellings originally. quite a contrast to Langley Hall down the road. The were other signs of past industry –
The Bollin has an unhappy journey through the industrial part of Macclesfield, famous for its silk mills. It emerges the other side in a country park which gives easy riverside walking, mainly used by dog walkers, to the village of Prestbury. Along here I picked up the official Bollin Valley Way markers.
As dusk approached I caught my train up to Manchester in time for the rush hour crush on the Metro tram.