Shutlingsloe (506 metres) in the Cheshire part of the Peak Disrict is a great starter hill for little legs. This linear Shutlingsloe walk, with a steady ascent of 245 metres, is a rewarding Peak District family walk that takes in forests, hills and 360 degree views. This review had come from the wonderful website Peak District Kids which is packed full of ideas for parents exploring the Peak District.
The walk starts to the right of the entrance of Trentabeck car park, through a tall odd shaped gate (designed to restrict bikes). Head right and straight in to the woods. The path is very easy to follow and has a slight ascent to it as you marvel at the heights of the trees around you.
The trail ambles on and once you hit a junction at the top of the trees, turn left. The sign posts help guide you along from here, with a few more turns then through a kissing gate on to the final stone path. Beware, the grass and dirt are lava, so make sure you stay on the stones!
There is no chance of getting lost here. The marked track is straight on and because of the land ahead, Shutlingsloe is the only hill you see. Nicknamed the ‘Matterhorn of Cheshire’ because of its prominence similar to the Matterhorn in Switzerland, it’s not hard to see why it shares the namesake.
Standing proud on the landscape, Shutlingsloe is accessible for the littlest legs. Large steps built in the side of the hill may be tricky but are certainly manageable. Within minutes, the trig point is in view and all the views that Cheshire has to offer. At 506m, it may not be the highest hill, but the views are 360 degrees. (obviously in good weather!)
For the return route of this Shutlingsloe walk, head back down the path you came, try not to step in the lava(!) and make sure you turn left at the green board back in to Macclesfield forest.
It took us an hour there and an hour back. The route is pretty straight forward so no messing around! Our children are 11,7 and 6 but are seasoned walkers. I would say 2 hours either way for smaller legs or for those who get easily distracted!
There are toilets at Trentabeck car park (pay and display) in Macclesfield Forest.
If you’ve got very young kids or just want something a little easier, you can instead go from Standing Stones car park (which is free) and take the relatively flat walk across to the base of Shutlingsloe. This is a 170m ascent (rather than 245m), and only adds 400 metres to the total walk length (5km walk in total). But you do miss out Macclesfield Forest, which is magical and a fascinating contrast to the wide open summit of Shutlingsloe.