THIS walk dispels the popular myth that the county of Cheshire is flat! On its eastern borders, where it meets the Peak National Park, Cheshire's pastoral plain gives way to rolling gritstone sheep country on the edge of Derbyshire.

This walk climbs Macclesfield's very own 'matterhorn', the distinctive hill of Shutlingsloe, rising to a height of over 1600 feet above the conifers of Macclesfield Forest.

Shutlingsloe lies just inside the Peak National Park and the ascent is steep and rocky at the summit. The climb is well worth it for the view though, taking in the Cheshire plain, Jodrell Bank and Derbyshire. The walk also follows quiet lanes through pretty hamlets and woodland trails through Macclesfield Forest. It also passes the highest pub in Cheshire!

1. From the car park entrance turn left along the road and walk downhill alongside the reservoir. When the road bends right turn left along the minor lane signposted for Higher Sutton and Wincle.

The lane climbs uphill through the forest, keep to it as it swings sharp left and continue straight ahead, ignoring the first road junction, heading southwards for the next mile past farmhouses.

At the next road junction take the left fork and continue uphill to pass the Hanging Gate Inn on the right. This is said to be the highest pub in Cheshire.

2. Continue straight ahead past the inn and soon turn first left up a minor lane which is followed for over a mile. The lane climbs at first, goes over a hill, then drops down to a stream crossing.

Continue past this until a footpath sign is soon reached on the left. Join this path which follows a farm drive along the contours of the steep-sided lower slopes of Shutlingsloe.

When the lane swings left to a farm, leave it on the right by joining a signed footpath.

3. This path swings away from the wall on the left and crosses a stile in a fence. The path winds down to a brook and then crosses a ladder stile. Further ladder stiles are crossed straight ahead over several fields.

The path eventually drops down to a gate by a stream and rejoins the road. Walk straight ahead and pass the Crag Inn on the left. About 100 metres beyond the pub join a signed path on the left leading along a private farm road.

4. The steep climb up Shutlingsloe starts here. Keep to the higher farm road after a cattle grid is crossed. Go through a wall gap to cross a footbridge and stile. A further stile and steps leads to the well-trodden path to the summit trig point.

The climb is rocky in places. Enjoy the great view at the top.

5. Continue the walk by following the path down the stone staircase on the other side of the hill. Follow the wall side at first until a stile is reached by an old Peak & Northern signpost. Turn left and cross this stile heading down to a gate at the edge of the forest.

Enter the forest and take the main path heading straight downhill along the forest edge. Keep to this main path downhill and follow the signs for Trentabank which will lead you back to the car park.