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Windgather

Distance: 20.6 miles

Ascent: 2,700 feet.

Refreshments and Facilities: Toilets at the Adlington Road car park in Bollington. The Cat and Fiddle is about halfway round.

Character: When you set off from this corner of Cheshire, you might question just how northern this ride is, depending on your socio-geographical definition. Any doubts will soon evaporate as you hoist yourself up onto the Bakestonedale Road to a world of wild moorland.

Be aware that this route includes a short section of the A537 Cat and Fiddle Road, widely recognised as the most dangerous road in Britain. The notoriety appears to have made the place a magnet for the reckless, so you have been warned.  If need be, you can shorten the route by taking the minor road from Pym Chair to Saltersford.

Start: Adlington Road car park in Bollington.


Route Description:

1. Out of the car park, turn right back to the main road through Bollington

2. Turn left, towards Whaley Bridge and Pott Shrigley

3. At Pott Shrigley, turn right (signed to Kettleshulme) where the road sweeps left.

4. Climb over Bakestonedale Moor. When you reach the B5470, turn left to Whaley Bridge. Swoop down to Kettleshulme.

5. In the village, look out for the double-back to the right (Side End Lane) signed to Goyt Valley.

6. Climb for a couple of miles past Windgather Rocks to Pym Chair.

7. Turn left, dropping into the Goyt Valley.

8. Go up the valley, narrowing to a heathery cleft.

9. Turn right at the top, ignoring any “No Through Road” signage.

10. Take your life in your hands (what’s worse: other people’s hands) with a couple of miles of the A537. My advice, if you go this way, is to assume that everyone else is a homicidal maniac on day release from a life sentence at Strangeways with nothing to lose.

11. Not a moment too soon, turn right onto Anler’s Knowl Lane. Drop down to Lamaload Reservoir.

12. Bear left into the insert-joke-here Ewrin Lane, then right into Pike Road.

13. Back at the B5470 Macclesfield Road, go straight over (with care) into Blaze Hill. Depending on your levels of courage, the name may define your speed.

14. Turn left in Bollington back to the start.


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