The Cheshire Matterhorn is the local name for Shutlingsloe and although it is only 506 m in height it dominates the skyline as it rises from the Cheshire Plain. Viewed from one angle it does resemble its Swiss cousin.
We parked at Trentabank reservoir car park and followed a trail through the woods which used to form part of the Royal Forest of Macclesfield.
At a sign for Shutlingsloe we turned right and left the forest to enter open moorland. We could see our objective in the distance.
The flagged path stretched ahead of us and it became quite steep.
On a clear day the view from the summit is extensive stretching across the Cheshire Plain towards the mountains of north-east Wales and north towards the West Pennine Moors. Unfortunately today was not the best day but we still paused to take photos.
We now began the steep descent towards Wildboarclough where we were delighted to find an old red telephone box. In full working order and even with a telephone book and yellow pages.
Our next objective was Three Shire Heads where several old packhorse routs join on the borders of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Here Cumberland Brook passes over several rocky ledges creating waterfalls and rock pools. Cue for more photos.
We continued on a path alongside the river heading north until the valley became enclosed by disused quarry workings when we climbed to pass to the right of an old chimney and scrambled up to the road.
After crossing the road we followed a clear path alongside a drainage ditch. After about 1 k we turned left to descend alongside Cumberland Brook. To be more exact our rote was ‘in’ the brook, there was little sign of a path. It was easier to make our own way carefully negotiating the rocks and stones in the bed of the brook. Fortunately there was very little water.
The last couple of miles were road walking but along a ‘quiet lane’. We passed the heronry at Trentabank Reservoir and were soon back at the car.
The mobile cafe from where we had hoped to get a cup of tea was not there, apparently it only operates at weekends and today was Friday.
The walk was graded as challenging in my guidebook at that was correct. It was only 14 k but it was never flat. The total ascent was just over 700 metres and surprisingly hard going.
The journey back back long due to an breakdown on the M62. I arrived home tired and thirsty. Time for a beer.