Start: at the Ram’s Head Inn in the village centre
Distance: 4km / 21/2 miles
Time: about 1 hour 30 minutes
Terrain: a few stiles, some steps, some uneven ground.
From the Ram’s Head go down Station Approach road and turn off left up the steps, opposite the station buildings. Go through the gate at the top, straight on up the road (Red Lane) and take the first left by the Old Vicarage then fork right (28). Immediately after the last house on the right, bear half-right over a stile (22) diagonally across a field to join a tarmac road leading towards Cockhead Farm. Just before you get there, turn left at the sign and go over the stile on to (24) keeping close by the wall, which appears on your right.
You will enjoy fine views of Lyme Park and The Cage over the reservoirs whilst straight ahead the broken gritstone edge of BlackRocks can be seen. Cross a stone stile, enter a wood by a wooden stile and follow the obvious path through the trees. Leave the wood by another stile and,keeping a fenced wooded clough to your left, aim for a three-fingered sign. Turn left on to (28) (not the fenced track) bending round the head of the wood, crossing two stream beds and entering the hedged Green Lane by way of a bridle gate / stile.
Head back towards Disley, turning off to the right where a wooden finger post points out (27) heading beside Stoneridge Cottages and then go through a narrow gated entrance into a field. Aim for a wicket gate in the dry stone wall ahead and continue to a stile at the bottom left corner of a second field. (It can be wet). Turn left on to the path (25) skirting the gardens to a T-junction with a tarmacpath. Descend steps to the head of Ring O’ Bells Lane and at the far side of the Quaker Meeting House turn left down to the stream. From the bridge climb up a series of steps to emerge beside the church.
The Church of St. Mary the Virgin was founded by Sir Piers Legh of Lyme, Bradley and Haydock almost five hundred years ago. The completion of the original chapel in 1524 saved the inhabitants of Disley the twenty two kilometre return walk to their parish church in Stockport. Whilst it has been enlarged over the years, the tower, nave and chancel are all original. Nearby, the old Ring O’ Bells, which dates from around 1720, was a convenient resort for the church’s bell ringers. It later became a coffee tavern, then a meeting place for the Parish Council before its restoration as a Quaker place of worship –It is now a Grade II listed building.
Once you have admired these attractive buildings continue along the path to the Old Vicarage from where you may retrace your steps to the station and the start of the walk.