Start: The Ram’s Head Inn in the village centre
Distance: 6km / 3.5 miles
Time: 2 hours
Terrain: numerous stiles, some steep slopes and uneven ground
Download: Walk 2: A Western Circuit
Cross the A6 at the traffic lights and turn right in the direction of Buxton. Just before the Dandy Cock pub turn left down Hollinwood Road and under the railway bridge, bearing left immediately up Hagg Bank Lane.
Notice a swing bridge over the canal on your right after 400 metres. Some 50 metres further on you reach a footpath sign to Stanley Hall on your left (6). Go over the stile and up the field, keeping to the hedge and fence on your left. Go through the gate near Widowhurst Farm, walk straight ahead to a gate in the fence, then turn left along a tarmac path.
There are two railway lines running through Disley. The line between Stockport and Whaley Bridge was completed in 1857; later extended to Buxton and was completed in 1862. The second line was built to alleviate congestion in the Marple and Stockport areas linking New Mills with Heaton Mersey. This opened in 1902 and included a 3 ½ kilometre long tunnel under Disley. Notice on your right, the ventilation shaft and the mound of spoil excavated from the Tunnel by the Midland Railway Company.
Arriving at a gate at the end of the tarmac path, turn immediately right along the entrance drive to Disley Golf Club (3) but within 100 metres bear off to the left along (4) at the first sign. Keeping the wall on your left, follow the yellow arrows and line of white posts until you reach a footpath sign (5) near the edge of the disused Jackson’s Edge Quarry. Turn left along the path, past the underground water storage reservoir and down the driveway to a cottage and on to Jackson’s Edge Road.
Cross Jackson’s Edge Road with care, as fast traffic can approach from the right through the traffic lights, and on past Jackson’s Edge Cottage (13) until you reach the gateway of Homestead Farm. Bear right over the stile and down through the woods (12) keeping the fence to your left. Continue down through the woods, go over a stile and down a field to the busy A6 road. Cross the A6 with care and enter Lyme Park by its main entrance (if the gates to Lyme Park are closed, then see the note below). You soon cross a bridge over the Manchester-Buxton railway line and pass a lake on the left. Turn off left and leave the park by Red Lane Lodge. Turn immediately right down the lane towards Horse Coppice Reservoir (23). At the fork take the left-hand track and, at the top, go through a kissing gate towards Cockhead Farm.
Just after passing Cockhead Farm on your right, tun left along the tarmac lane (22) and follow it for 500 metres until it bends sharply to the right. Leave it at this point through a kissing gate, bearing half right, diagonally across a field to another kissing gate. Turn left on (28) past the church drive and the Old Vicarage to Red Lane. Turn right downhill. At the bend, go straight on through the gap down the steps to the Station Approach. A right turn brings you back to the Ram’s Head.
Note: The section of the walk through Lyme Park is not a public right of way – if the gates to Lyme Park are closed (after 8.30pm in summer and at dusk in the winter), you will need to continue left for 500 metres along the footway beside the A6 to a gap in the fence on the right and follow the signed path (20) down through the wood and over the railway line. Continue on the path to join an unsurfaced road (Red Lane). Turn right down the hill to rejoin the route at Red Lane Lodge.
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