I’ve reported on this route and variations to it before – here – so whilst there’s a map below, no detailed description beyond that given is warranted.
I’d been planning a visit to the Cat and Fiddle for some time, the bike ride being a training ride for the Calderdale Mountain Bike Marathon (CMBM). As that takes place tomorrow, I suspect this Big Macc Ramble will have tired me out more than it got me fit!
The day was warm, with sunny periods. I encountered just a handful of pedestrians on the quiet paths. A long ascent to Macclesfield Forest is followed by a gentle descent to the chapel, where I enjoyed some tea and a sandwich on a familiar and much loved bench before tackling the technical descent to Bottom-of-the-Oven – not so easy on the old steel bike that I traditionally take on the CMBM.
Here are views to the Stanley Arms, and to the Cat and Fiddle, from Bottom-of-the-Oven.
It’s a long haul up the road to the tea rooms, especially for one whose cycling these days is mainly along canal towpaths. Above the tea rooms I paused to regain my breath and take snaps towards Shutlingsloe and back to Macclesfield Forest, where my route along Charity Lane follows the edge of the forest on the horizon.
After a productive meeting with Adam, the Cat and Fiddle’s chef, during which the menu for our Christmas lunch on 14 December was finalised – details will be available here shortly – I continued on along Danebower Hollow.
After a short road section, there’s a lovely descent to Cumberland Clough and a final stream crossing over Cumberland Brook after negotiating some increasingly sized rocks.
Then it’s back up to Macc Forest, Nessit Hill, and the final exhilarating descent at over 30 mph on the swooping gravel track above Trentabank. Brilliant!
Here’s today’s route, described basically here, but note that at the end, beyond Nessit Hill, a designated cycle trail now leads steeply and directly to the road junction near Trentabank, slightly shortening the route to 14.2 miles with about 700 metres ascent - allow 2-3 hours.