The third and final section of our look at The Gritstone Trail takes us just over nine miles but will still test you out so makes sure your uk outdoor clothing is still doing its job before you set out, as we travel from Timbersbrook to Kidsgrove. Remember one foot in front of the other and we will get to the end.

Leaving the picnic area, which was once a large silk mill and dye works we travel down Weathercock Lane (no giggling at the back) before taking a footpath which takes us over green fields ending up on Brookhouse Lane. Passing through a nearby farmyard we find ourselves joining the Biddulph Valley Way, once a railway line which carried sand from Cheshire to the Potteries, now you will only see the use of pedal power.

We leave this to make our way through another farm and fields to make our way to Nick I’th’ Hill. This isn’t hard to miss as it is a pronounced dip in the ridge. It is believed to have been formed in the last Ice Age by melt water. From here the last ridge walk begins as we follow Congleton Edge, which was formed as a result of the Red Rock fault. This is where the harder rocks of the Pennines dip underneath the younger sandstones and mudstones of the Cheshire Plain. As you go past Pot Bank you can see outcrops or patches of white clay.

Crossing Castle Road we pass The Old Man of Mow, a gritstone pillar over 20m high, which is what is left as the stone around it was quarried. The stone was used in the building of both the church and the grammar school at Sandbach. The trail takes up up to the folly at Mow Cop. This is another landmark of the area, as it sits perched on an outcrop of millstone grit. It was built by a local squire in the mid eighteenth century to improve his view from Rode Hall.

Mow Cop is also the home of Primitive Methodism. The Memorial Church was built on the site of the first open air meeting, which took place on 31st May 1807, when over 2000 people attended a meeting which lasted 15 hours.

Our journey continues down hill until we reach the Brake Level, which was part of an old tramway system which carried coal down to the canal, and it is the canal we follow until we reach The Red Bull. From here it is a short hop to Kidsgrove station and the end of the Trail. However, it is well worth going a little further to see the entrance to Harecastle Tunnel. The water here is bright orange, not caused by pollution but is a result of iron-rich springs seeping into the water.

I hope you have enjoyed the details for this particular trail, and that it has given you ideas for walks in your area, so get your uk outdoor clothing from the website and get more active, there is a whole country outside your door to explore.