NB--All routes are regularly used by cyclists but this does not necessarily mean a Right of Way exists. Please take care when meeting other route users particularly pedestrians and equestrians.
Chadkirk Chapel to Compstall & Marple
(At present this is not a circular route, but if we have success with the Sustrans Connect2 proposal to put a Bridge over the River Goyt at Chadkirk, then it will become an attractive circular route).
Leaving Chadkirk Chapel continue uphill past St. Chad's Well on the left. After some houses you will reach a flight of steep steps on your right. Here you have a choice, to carry your bike up the steps, or to continue up the road.
Steps Route:- Carry up the steps and turn right along the Peak Forest Canal towpath until you reach the tunnel. Go up the towpath to meet another track at the top. (The route turns right, but to your left is a farm cafe.) After turning right look for a set of steps leading back down to the canal. Follow the towpath until you reach the Aqueduct over the River Goyt. Shortly after you reach a road that was once a railway before the Marple Locks were built. For Marple you can use either the road or the towpath, for Etherow Country Park it is best to use the towpath.
Road Route:- Continue up the hill and enter Beech Lane on your right. Take 2nd right - St Chad's Rd and right again at the end. This road leads through a paper mill - caution heavy lorries moving. This becomes a track and turn right by Hydebank Farm Cafe. Follow this until you meet up with the track coming up from the canal through an archway. Continue ahead and look for a set of steps leading back down to the canal. Follow the towpath until you reach the Aqueduct over the River Goyt. Shortly after you reach a road that was once a railway before the Marple Locks were built. For Marple you can use either the road or the towpath, for Etherow Country Park it is best to use the towpath.
Marple:- Continue along the road or towpath until you reach Brabyns Brow. Cross this and the path on the right of the canal will lead you to a path that enters Marple Memorial Park and the town centre.
Etherow Country Park:- Continue up the towpath passing the flight of locks, and when it starts to flatten out look for a new gap in the wall. Go through and turn left. Follow this track down into Brabyns Park. Halfway down you will meet a road, going right will take you to Marple Bridge but for Etherow continue ahead and across the park to the Iron Bridge. Cross this and up the tracjk to meet the main road to turn left.( For the less experienced it is probably best to walk across the road here and walk left along the pavement until you come toi the entrance to Etherow Country Park on your right.) For those on the road, once past the bridge be prepared to turn right just beyond the bollards at the corner.
For the return journey, those walking should cross the road immediately after the bridge and continue uphill to enter Rollins Lane and the entry to Brabyns Park. Continue across the park until you reach the sports pavilion then cross the road and up the track that will lead you back to the canal. Turn Right here onto the canal Tow Path and it will lead you to the Aqueduct over the River Goyt. Follow the Tow Path until you reach the tunnel and climb the slope to the top. (Just beyond this point and staying on the upper track you will come to a farm cafe) After a few yards from the top of the tunnel you have a choice, one way requires you to carry your bike down a flight of steep steps, the other will take you to an industrial and residential area and then down a steep road to Chadkirk Chapel.
Steps Way:- After going over the tunnel fork left through an archway and back onto the Tow Path. Follow this until you come to a narrow flight of steps and carry your bike down to the road below. Turn left taking care on this steep hill.
It is usually open at weekends and serves tea and biscuits.
Road Way:- Continue on the upper track past the farm cafe and onwards through the paper mill - caution heavy lorries moving here. Turn left down St. Chad's Rd, left again onto Beech Lane and left once more onto Chadkirk Rd. Take care as this road is steep. You will pass St. Chad's Well on the right just before you go over a bridge, then the Chapel is on the left shortly afterwards, the entry being beyond the Chapel.
See our Places to Visit page.