Start: Lyme Park main car park
Distance: About 10km / 6 miles
Time: About 31/2 hours
Terrain: Numerous stiles, some steep slopes and uneven ground
Climb up the 62 steps towards the Hall, which you pass on your right, and follow the Gritstone Trail towards East Lodge.
Enjoy the fine views of the Cage on your left and Lyme Park around you. One of Cheshire’s great estates, it remained the home of the Legh family for over 600 years. The Hall and Park, in which part of the television version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” was shot, are now owned and managed by the National Trust.
200 metres beyond East Lodge turn right on to (LH29) path and follow the waymarks round the hillside and then gently downhill to a small bridge over a stream. Cross over and turn right immediately after the stile, heading uphill on (51) towards Cock Knoll Farm. Go through the yard and on down to Mudhurst Lane.
Cross over and follow (56), the tarmac approach to the Moorside Grange Hotel as far as its left-hand bend. Keep straight on until just before the cattle grid and then turn left uphill (57). Once over the ladder stile, walk along the contour admiring the panoramic view over Kettleshume valley on your right. Passing into Derbyshire on path (WB17) and crossing a footbridge, you will notice the Dipping Stone a few metres off to your right. Breasting a rise, the path then falls gently towards Whaley Lane.
About halfway down an indistinct right of way (WB18) takes you hard right back to a stile at the bottom corner of a field, and thence over a stone stile in the next wall downhill to a gated track. Turn right onto this track (WB19), which then becomes (LH33) as you cross the Parish Boundary, and follow it up to the brow of the hill where you turn right on to (LH32) and cross the cattle grid to rejoin (56).
Follow (56) back to Mudhurst Lane, crossover and then walk up Bowstonegate Road, turning right onto (LH27). Now head uphill towards the stone stile on the skyline by the edge of the wood, moving to the left of the wall at a convenient point. As you go over the stile be sure to turn and take a last look at the view.
Keep straight on down the hill until you meet the unmade road from Lyme Hall to East Lodge, where you turn left onto the Gritstone Trail back to the car park. The coffee shop by the millpond is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, although the hours are somewhat limited during the winter – details on (01663) 766492.
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