Sensitively reclaimed from a former railway line, the Middlewood Way provides a natural attraction for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and nature lovers. An 11-mile (16-km) traffic-free greenway from Marple in Stockport to Macclesfield, this trail is accessible by public transport and by car and offers level and easy walking with views over the Cheshire Plain to the west and the Peak District to the east.
The Middlewood Way follows the line of the former Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway through picturesque Cheshire countryside and between historic mill towns. For much of its length, the trail runs close to the Macclesfield Canal, and there are many options for easy circular walks. For the more adventurous, the extensive public footpath network reaches into the Peak District foothills to the east and the Cheshire Plain to the west.
“The Middlewood Way is mostly level and wheelchair-accessible. To help you plan your visit, we have attempted to show on the map (see map and guide for the Middlewood Way) easy access points and areas of the Middlewood Way that may be difficult for wheelchairs.
“If you would like more detailed information, please telephone the Ranger Service [on 01625 383700]. To enquire about the canal towpath, please contact the Canal and River Trust.
“From Macclesfield to Bollington, the Way is hard-surfaced. North of Bollington, visitors will find various firm, compacted surfaces, the accessibility of which can be affected by weather. At road bridges, access is via steps unless otherwise indicated.
“At car parks and crossings, our standard entrance is a kissing gate, or other arrangement, designed to admit conventional wheelchairs. Please bring a RADAR scheme key with you as many kissing gates include a RADAR scheme padlock which allows for easier access for wheelchairs. If you use a larger mobility aid, you may wish to telephone for advice.”
As regards other facilities, there are public toilets (including disabled facilities) at the Nelson’s Pit Heritage Centre and a range of pubs and cafes at various points along the route.
How to get there
The main start point in the description and on this page is Rose Hill Marple rail station, which according to National Rail offers step-free access for passengers. Note that this station is not served by trains on Sundays, but there are buses to this point. In addition, the main Marple train station is only 1 mile / 1.6 km away (also with step-free access). Middlewood Station is also very close to the Middlewood Way though services are rather infrequent and the station does not offer step-free access.
We also list as the end point the southern end of the Middlewood Way at Macclesfield. Here, it emerges into Gas Road under the railway bridge just north of Macclesfield train station.
To work out how to get to and from the walk start points and end point, simply click the Google Maps links on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. For public transport options, click the train icon.