The breezy crest of Tegg's Nose, with its interesting quarry remains and fine views, is as far as many visitors get, but a longer walk around the area sets it in context and delivers much greater variety. Although centuries of quarrying have undoubtedly altered the outline of Tegg's Nose, it must always have been a prominent and boldly shaped hill. The beds of gritstone that form the summit lie above weaker rocks, which form steep slopes where they're not protected from erosion.
While quarries are a feature of Cheshire and Lancashire, Tegg's Nose is particularly interesting. Examples of preserved machinery, accompanied by explanatory signs, give insights into how the stone was worked. The stone-crusher, for instance, could pulverise around 100 tons of stone a day. Imagine the noise and dust. Ear and lung ailments were common and so were injuries and deaths, from falls and falling rock. Beyond the quarries the track swings round the end of the hill – the 'Nose' itself. The steep slopes add depths to the view south, down to Langley and the River Bollin and across to Macclesfield Forest and Shutlingsloe. The descent looks west, over Macclesfield and the Cheshire Plain.
The descent is steep, taking you quickly down into woods. Among the beech and oak you'll also find hornbeam. This is often mistaken for beech but its leaves are longer, more pointed and have serrated edges. After crossing Teggsnose Reservoir you start to climb again, in the small valley of Walker Barn Stream. Although much of the ascent is on a tarmac lane, it only serves a few farms and is usually quieter than Tegg's Nose itself.
Once over the A537 there's a more level interlude. A bend in the track gives a view down into the valley of the River Dean, sheltered by Kerridge Hill. The village of Rainow was once a silk and cotton weaving centre and a staging point on a medieval packhorse route conveying salt from the Cheshire mines. The A537 has to be crossed again but the final stretch is a pleasure, over easy slopes where, in summer, you're likely to find meadow flowers. High walls, with high stiles, separate them. High walls are usually a sign of abundant stone, often cleared from the fields themselves, rather than quarried.
From the car park entrance, a surfaced path signed as the Gritstone Trail leads left to the country park. Through a gate at the end, go left up steps, past spoil heaps and then below a quarry face. Continue past old machinery and then above a deep excavation. Keep left at a fork, following the main track as it curves round the nose of the hill.
Go through the second narrow gate on the left. Intermittently stepped, the path descends steeply to woodland below, emerging at a small car park at the bottom. Follow a track away across the dam retaining Teggsnose Reservoir and then turn off left above its southern bank. Eventually, at a fork, bear left, dropping to cross a stream on stepping stones.
Climbing away, keep with the main path, which eventually meets a lane by Clough House. Follow it left, losing height across the valley before climbing away along the opposite side to meet the A537 at Walker Barn.
Cross to a track beside cottages opposite and follow it downhill. Where it later bends right, bear off left at a waypost, walking beside a broken wall into the base of the valley. Beyond a stream, curve left to a stile and walk on, rising gently along the valley beside a collapsed wall. Over a stile by a gate, the way continues as a track, merging with another to pass through Hordern Farm. Carry on over a rise to a bend.
Leave at the first of two stiles on the left onto a contained path. Mounting a stile at the end, bear half left across a large field to a kissing gate in the end wall. A trod winds steeply into the valley. Cross a stream and curve left uphill following wayposts to a stile. Climb away beside a wall. Just past a barn, cross a stile on the right and head uphill to emerge beside a road junction.
Go briefly left along the main road, then up steps on the right to a gate. Climb on at the field-edge with the Gritstone Trail. Pass into the field above and maintain the line across successive fields over the hill, ultimately dropping out over a final stile onto the end of a track. Go left and immediately right along the lane back to the car park.
Tracks and quiet lanes, some field paths, many stiles
Steep green hills and valley slopes are main backdrop
Can run free in country park, sheep and traffic elsewhere
OS Explorer OL24 White Peak
Tegg's Nose Country Park pay-and-display car park, on Buxton Old Road
At car park
Walking in safety
Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.
Also in the area
About the area
Nestled between the Welsh hills and Derbyshire Peaks, the Cheshire plains make an ideal location to take things slow and mess around in boats. Cheshire has more than 200 miles (302 km) of man-made waterways, more than any other county in England. The Cheshire Ring is formed from the Rochdale, Ashton, Peak Forest, Macclesfield, Trent and Mersey and Bridgewater canals. This route takes you through a lot of Cheshire, and bits of other counties as well.
While exploring the county’s waterways, covering ground on foot or admiring the typical white plaster and black timber-frame houses, make sure to have a taste of Cheshire’s most famous produce. Although Cheddar has become Britain’s most popular cheese (accounting for over half of the cheese sales in the UK), it was once Cheshire cheese that was in every workman’s pocket back in the 18th century. Its moist, crumbly texture and slightly salty taste mean it goes well with fruit, peppers or tomatoes. As well as the usual white, there are also red and blue veined varieties.