Shutlingsloe Circular Walk via Whetstone Ridge
This Peak District walk takes you to Shutlingsloe and then onto Whetstone Ridge via The Cat and Fiddle. This is a lovely walk to do, exploring the Peak District countryside and bagging two more Peak District Ethels and the Shutlingsloe trig point. This was definitely a Peak District walk of two halves! The route for this Shutlingsloe circular walk takes you through stunning Cheshire countryside, including woodlands and waterfalls.
Shutlingsloe, also known as the Matterhorn of Cheshire, is a stunning steep-sided hill in the Peak District. At 506m above sea level Shutlingsloe has amazing views (on a clear day) over to Shining Tor, Macclesfield Forest and Whetstone Ridge and has a trig point at the summit. Whetstone Ridge is a moorland hilltop near to The Cat and Fiddle distillery and is 547m above sea level. It couldn’t be more different from Shutlingsloe though – Whetstone Ridge has a flat, moorland top and there is nothing to mark the summit at all. It was also very wet when we went on this walk – we suffered driving rain and hail!
Our Shutlingsloe circular walk starts from the Clough House car park in Wildboarclough (SK11 0BD). This free car park also has picnic benches, and is an ideal place to start the climb up Shutlingsloe. Heading north out of the car park, you’ll follow the road to the left and head south-west along Clough Road until you come to a stile and gate on the right hand side, heading up the hill.
Follow the edge of the woodland until you come to Shutlingsloe Farm. Here you’ll start to climb up the steep hill towards Shutlingsloe itself.
This eastern side of the hill is very steep and there are a few sections near the top which are more of a scramble than a walk. At the summit there is a trig point with spectacular views, and the handy toposcope shows which hills you can see.
The walk then heads down the steep northern side of Shutlingsloe, towards the Macclesfield Forest. This part of the route is paved although it is very steep, with some larger than average steps down in places.
Follow the path until you come to the Forest and then turn right along the path.
The path winds through the thick pine forest, and then splits. You can either follow the right hand fork which is a rough track or the left hand fork which is a continuation of the path from before. Both paths lead to the same place so it doesn’t matter!
At the car park gates, take Standing Stone Road down the hill. You’ll come to a junction at the bottom of the hill – take the path to the left, then to the right, then left again. You’ll be on a track which looks like a private driveway and leads to a farm building. Pass through the yard, past the house, and there is a small gate into the woods.
Follow the path over the bridge and through the fields, past the ruins of an old barn or sheep pen. We were surrounded by sheep here!
The path continues along through the fields and past the camp site. Look out for the devil as you pass by!
The route will bring you out on Ankers Lane, which is quite a busy road with cars going pretty fast. This road will take you up to the Buxton New Road (or Cat and Fiddle Road, as it’s better known). At the junction you’ll be able to see Peak Tea Rooms in front of you. This is a handy spot for a warm drink.
Pass the tea rooms, and head along the public footpath onto the moor (to avoid walking on the busy road). You’ll see the Cat and Fiddle Distillery ahead, which was formerly the highest pub in England. On the side of the Cat and Fiddle is a trig point flush bracket set into the wall of the former pub itself.
Across from the Cat and Fiddle is a car parking area and a path leading to Whetstone Ridge known as Danebower Hollow. The rough stone path is pretty easy to follow, and when you come to a stile and the start of a fence on the left hand side you’ll need to head onto the moors to find the summit of Whetstone Ridge, using your GPS as navigation. There are no structures or markers for the summit unfortunately, and it can be disorientating on the open moorland so please take care in poor weather conditions and visibility.
Once you’ve reached the summit, head back to the path and carry on down through the valley alongside Cumberland Brook. This is a lovely scenic valley, with woodland and waterfalls. Once you’ve passed through the woodland, you’ll head over a stile. Be sure to look behind you as there is a lovely waterfall flowing from Cumberland Brook. This path, known as Cumberland Clough, will lead you back onto the road and from here you can head north again to the car parking area.
This Peak District walk is a lovely walk to do, bagging two Peak District Ethels, one trig point and taking in lots of beautiful scenery. Shutlingsloe is an iconic Peak District hill, one which can be really popular with walkers, so I would advise setting off early if you want to have a quieter time. Let me know if you head out on this Shutlingsloe circular walk – come and say hi on Instagram.
Parking for Shutlingsloe circular walk: Clough House car park in Wildboarclough SK11 0BD. This is a small car park which could get busy so get there early.
Facilities: None, although if you are a customer of the Peak Tea Rooms or Cat and Fiddle Distillery you will be able to use theirs.
Walk Time: 3-4 hours depending on your speed and fitness
Distance: 12km (7.5 miles)
Trig Points Bagged: Shutlingsloe
Peak District Peaks Bagged: Shutlingsloe, Whetstone Ridge
Peak District Ethels Bagged: Shutlingsloe, Whetstone Ridge
Walk Route Map: (click the image to download the gpx file for your device)
Shutlingsloe and Whetstone Ridge are quite close to Shining Tor so you could extend the walk to include that too. The car park for Shutlingsloe is also a great place to start a walk to Three Shires Head.