This is one of a planned series of caches on a circular walk along the Middlewood Way trail and the Macclesfield canal. This is a 20mile route which, to make it a little easier, I am breaking down into three stages.
Stage 1: Marple - Higher Poynton – Marple = 8mls (visit link)
Stage 2: Higher Poyton – Bollington – Higher Poynton = 7mls (visit link)
Stage 3: Bollington – Macclesfield – Bollington = 5mls (visit link)
There are a number of paths linking the Middlewood Way and the canal to make even smaller circular walks and these are clearly marked on OS maps. The paths can get muddy in places and in some areas get very wet after heavy rain so appropriate footwear is required.
In 1863, the towns of Marple, Bollington and Macclesfield were facing economic depression. Local dignitaries, in particular the cotton mill owners of Bollington , hoped that a new railroad would improve their fortunes and presented a scheme to Parliament. The Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway opened in 1869. The line carried cotton, silk, coal and passengers, but always struggled to make a profit. It was closed in 1970 and redeveloped for recreation as the Middlewood Way in 1985. The Macclesfield canal was completed in 1831, very late for a canal, so late in fact it was almost a railway. Coal from Poynton, stone from Kerridge and hats from Stockport were some of the cargoes carried. The canal was threatened with closure in the 1950’s but saved from doing so by a campaign by pleasure boaters.