This is one of the 20 stages of the GM Ringway – the new walking trail for Greater Manchester. Stage 4 continues the walk along the Ladybrook Valley, bringing us decisively from the suburbs into the countryside. Much of the stage overlaps with the Ladybrook Valley Interest Trail.

The map also shows two possible diversions. The first visits Poynton village, where cafes, pubs and other facilities can be found. The second, east of Poynton, avoids the undulating and slippery paths in Norbury Hollow. From Poynton Pool onwards, this diversion uses the Prince’s incline – the route of an old colliery railway track – and the totally level Middlewood Way. These offer easier but still attractive walking.

Map and directions

This walk is available on the user-friendly Go Jauntly walking app. Here, photographs and written directions will enable you to follow the route on your phone. You can also download a printable PDF of the directions from the same link.

Alternatively, you can follow the route (without written directions) on the mobile-friendly Plotaroute app. To use Plotaroute on your phone’s browser, simply click the map. Then, when you’re ready to start walking, click the tracker icon (bottom right) to show your position as you follow the route.

We recommend carrying an additional power source and/or map when following online routes on your phone. For any challenging routes, we would recommend that you also have access to and know how to read an Ordnance Survey map.

Go Jauntly app & PDF link

Highlights include

– Carr Wood, a beautiful area of semi-ancient woodland in a gorge-like valley
– Bramall Hall, a superb Tudor manor house (Grade I-listed) surrounded by landscaped parkland
– Happy Valley, the very first of Stockport’s local nature reserves
– The shores of pretty Poynton Pool within the 21-hectare Poynton Park
– The little-known jungle-like valley of Norbury Hollow.

Accessibility and facilities

– Toilet facilities
– Cafe or pub nearby
– Dogs permitted (on a lead)
– Transport via bus, or train

This is a mainly level route but can be muddy in places after wet weather. The section through Norbury Hollow includes undulating and slippery paths, but can be avoided using the alternative route shown on the Plotaroute map. From Poynton Pool onwards, this diversion uses the Princes’s incline – the route of an old colliery railway track – and the totally level Middlewood Way. These offer much easier but still attractive walking with only a gradual ascent.

Because of the varied terrain, the complete walk is not wheelchair or pushchair-friendly. However, there are several well-surfaced and gently graded paths within Bramhall Park and neighbouring Carr Wood; details of paths in the park and woods are listed here. In addition, much of the Middlewood Way is accessible for a wide range of users. We will be adding step-free and shorter walks on parts of the GM Ringway over the next few months.

Public toilets including accessible facilities can be found at the visitor centre in Bramhall Park near the start of the route and a little way off route near the end, at Nelson’s Pit Visitor Centre. Refreshment opportunities are shown on on the Plotaroute map.

Feedback on the route

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How to get there

Start point Bramhall train station SK7 2DY

View start point on Google maps

End point Middlewood train station SK6 8AU

View end point on Google maps

All stages of the GM Ringway can be accessed by public transport. This stage links Bramhall and Middlewood train stations, both with direct services to Stockport and Manchester. Bramhall is also served by buses to other locations. Middlewood station, in contrast, is in a remote location and services are sometimes infrequent. If no train is due, simply walk up the Middlewood Way for 800 metres (0.5 miles) to High Lane, from where frequent buses leave for Stockport.

To work out how to get to and from the walk start and end points, click the Google Maps links on this page. Then click ‘Directions’ and enter your postcode or location in the relevant field. Then, for public transport options, click the train icon. Alternatively, input the postcodes shown on this page into the Traveline journey planner.