Contrary to its name, you won’t find a church in sight along this route on the outskirts of Buxton and Macclesfield – but you will step straight into a prehistoric landscape that wouldn’t feel out of place on the set of Jurassic Park. It may only be a short route, but the scenery is immense. Hidden high up in the moorland over an ancient, wooded valley, Lud’s Church offers a truly atmospheric day out. Sometimes known as Ludchurch, this charismatic chasm was created by a massive landslip on the hillside above Gradbach.
A working forest located in the East of Cheshire and part of the Peak District, you can visit Macclesfield Forest to hike, cycle, bird watch, fish and even horse ride. Originally stretching from the Pennines to the Staffordshire Moorlands, this wooded area includes two reservoirs, a chapel and plenty of pubs to rest your weary feet afterwards (when they are finally open).
Mam Tor Circular Walk
Near Castleton, this 2-hour walk takes you to a viewpoint where you can see landscape stretching from Edale Valley to Kinder Scout and the Derwent Waters. Known as the ‘shivering mountain’, Mam Tour is said to be one of the best ridge walks in the country. For the more intrepid explorers, you can opt to extend the route to 8 miles, which includes a walk along the river on your way back to Castleton.
Famous for its links to the notorious witch trials of 1612, Pendle Hill provides views of the beautiful Pennine countryside including the mill towns of Nelson, Colne and Barrowford and Barnoldswick. The main attraction, though, is the sites of the Pendle Witches, where they were tried and sentenced to death over 400 years ago for acts of sorcery. Their story can be followed throughout the walk.
Castleton’s Shivering Mountain
Living in the city centre comes with about a million perks, the only one teeny tiny downside that has well and truly been enhanced in the lockdown is the lack of green space in the city. But with the peaks less than an hour away, it’s nice and easy to get to a bit of manure smelling air, fill up your lungs before heading back to the flat a couple of hours later absolutely freezing and ready to get back to being a city bum.
A pine forest full of wonder on the crossing between Glossop and Sheffield. The crossing between Glossop and Sheffield across the north Peaks is majority open moorland, a vast expanse of tonal browns and biting wind, but before you reach the brow on the Glossop side of Snake Rd is a Pine forest full of wonder.
There are plenty of options around the Goyt Valley including this one which gives you spectacular views of the surrounding area. You can easily add on more and more bits to this walk too!
Lantern Pike & Crown Edge
Just a short drive out of Glossop to the village of Rowarth, this walk will give you a cracking view of Manchester on a clear day! This walk is in the surrounding area of Kinder. Where most people will head on up Kinder, this walk instead, will give you a cracking view still but without having to mingle with all the riff-raff – perfect if you’re socially distancing. Which I suppose we all should be doing right now.
This is a good 20km walk that will definitely blow your cobwebs off after a boozy festive season. The path is nice and easy and pretty consistently flat all the way around but it will take you a good 3-4 hours at a leisurely pace.
This little old reservoir tucked away in Bolton will give you plenty of walks and whenever I’ve seen pictures it pretty much always seems sunny. I dunno the science behind that. Full of trees you’ll be able to fill your lungs with the freshest air ever.
You’re gonna need your proper boots for this, those walking pants that make you sound like you’re skiing and definitely plenty of protein bars. I’d opt for a flask of hot Vimto too if I were you. There are loads of different trails you can pick from including a 20km one which will sufficiently use a big chunk of your day and leave you tired enough to snooze for a good 24 hours after.
Not a typical walk or by any means for a light-hearted Sunday stroll, Eyam Walk provides regular reminders throughout about the atrocities endured by people in Eyam during the Plague. Views of Stoney Middleton are then surrounded by Boundary Stone where supplies were left during the plague. You then descend a path into Riley Grave where seven members of the Hancock family are buried, all of whom died within a week of each other, buried by the mother who was the only survivor. Cheery, right? Towards the end of the walk, you will find a Mompesson’s well which was once ladened with vinegar-soaked coins to disinfect them after medicines and food were brought for plague sufferers.