Start: The Ram’s Head Inn in the village centre
Distance: 4km / 2.5 miles
Time: about 1 ½ hours
Terrain: a few stiles, some steps, some uneven ground
Download: Walk 1: A Short Excursion
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 through the kissing gate (22) diagonally across a field and through another kissing gate to join a tarmac road leading towards Cockhead Farm. Just before you get there, turn left at the sign and go through the wooden gate on to (24) keeping close by the fence, which appears on your right and becomes a drystone wall. Continue along this path through a series of kissing gates.
You will enjoy fine views of Lyme Park and The Cage over the reservoirs whilst straight ahead the broken gritstone edge of Black Rocks can be seen.
Cross a wooden 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) 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 fingerpost points out (27) heading beside Stoneridge Cottages and then go through a narrow, gated entrance into a field. Aim for a kissing gate in the drystone wall ahead and continue to a stile at the bottom left corner of a second field.
Turn left on to the path (25) skirting the gardens to a T-junction with a tarmac path. Descend steps to the head of Ring O’ Bells Lane and carry straight on beside the Quaker Meeting House down the path to the stream. From the bridge bear left and climb up a series of steps to emerge near 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 22-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 where you turn left and then right to retrace your steps to the station and the start of the walk.
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