Moderate, Multi-stage

GM Ringway Stage 4 Bramhall – Middlewood


7.6 miles long

Bramall Hall

Bramall Hall © Dr Andrew Read

Happy Valley nature reserve, Bramhall

Happy Valley nature reserve, Bramhall © Dr Andrew Read

Ladybrook Valley south of Hazel Grove

Ladybrook Valley south of Hazel Grove © Dr Andrew Read

Path by Poynton Pool in the snow

Path by Poynton Pool in the snow © Dr Andrew Read

Walking through a snowy Norbury Hollow

Walking through a snowy Norbury Hollow © Dr Andrew Read

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This is one of the 20 stages of the GM Ringway – the new walking trail for Greater Manchester.

Stage 3 continues the walk along the Ladybrook Valley, bringing us decisively from the suburbs into the countryside. Much of the stage overlaps with the Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail.

Highlights include:

Carr Wood, a beautiful area of semi-ancient woodland in a gorge-like valley
Bramall Hall, a superb Tudor manor house (Grade I-listed) surrounded by landscaped parkland
Happy Valley, the very first of Stockport’s local nature reserves
– The shores of pretty Poynton Pool within the 21-hectare Poynton Park
– The little-known jungle-like valley of Norbury Hollow

The route can followed, downloaded or printed using the Viewranger app or website (registration needed) or the mobile-friendly Plotaroute site. To use Plotaroute on your phone’s browser, simply click the map. Then, when you’re ready to start walking, click the tracker icon (bottom right) to show your position as you follow the route. We recommend carrying an additional power source and/or map when following online routes on your phone.

Accessibility and facilities

This is a mainly level route but can be muddy in places after wet weather. The section through Norbury Hollow includes undulating and slippery paths, but can be avoided using the alternative route shown on the Plotaroute map. From Poynton Pool onwards, this diversion uses the Princes’s Incline – the route of an old colliery railway track – and the total level Middlewood Way. These offer much easier but still attractive walking with only a gradual ascent.

Because of the varied terrain, the complete walk is not wheelchair or pushchair-friendly. However, there are several well-surfaced and gently graded paths within Bramhall Park and neighbouring Carr Wood; details of paths in the park and woods are listed here. In addition, much of the Middlewood Way is accessible. We hope to identify and map more accessible sections of the GM Ringway when funding allows.

Public toilets including accessible facilities can be found at the visitor centre in Bramhall Park near the start of the route and a little way off route near the end, at Nelson’s Pit Visitor Centre. Refreshment opportunities are shown on on the Plotaroute map.

How to get there

All stages of the GM Ringway can be accessed by public transport. This stage links Bramhall and Middlewood train stations, both with direct services to Stockport and Manchester. Bramhall is also served by buses to other locations. Middlewood station, in contrast, is in a remote location and services are sometimes infrequent. If no train is due, simply walk up the Middlewood Way for 800 metres (0.5 miles) to High Lane, from where frequent buses leave for Stockport.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start and end points, click the Google Maps links on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. Then, for public transport options, click the train icon. Alternatively, input the postcodes shown on this page into the Traveline journey planner.

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