- County: Cheshire
- Nearest Town(s): Congleton
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time: 1 hour
- Height: 344 m
- Map: OS Explorer Map (268) Wilmslow, Macclesfield and Congleton*
The Cloud offers a simple ascent to a trig pillar with a great view of the surrounding areas including Jodrell Bank, a beautiful viaduct and Rudyard Lake. For those that want a slightly longer walk you can include the Bosley Cloud National Trust forest area to up your steps for the day.
Where to Park
There is roadside parking on Red Lane (CW12 3QG) with enough room for roughly 6 cars. We visited on a Saturday afternoon and still managed to park despite the plethora of fellow hikers and dog walkers.
Deciding that the short approach was too quick to justify our choice of walking boots and suitably loud new waterproofs, we figured on taking the slightly longer way around. From the parking take the concrete driveway from the top end of the parking and follow it up around the first hairpin bend.
If you do want to take the quick route, there is a set of steps climbing steeply into the trees on the right just after the bend. If not, continue up the concrete driveway until the path meets a stile. Climb, summit or flop over the stile, turn right, then follow the path down the side of the field.
We were lucky enough to see the little lambs frolicking in the abandoned farmers cottage. There is also a view to the left which makes the longer route worth taking, even when the little lambies aren’t about. However, I totally failed to take a picture, as the lambs were just too cute.
Eventually the path takes a 90° turn to the left. Don’t follow the path but vault the stile to the right and enter the woodland. This area is known as Bosley Cloud, maintained by the National Trust and an area of interest for Congleton mountain biking club, though we saw none on our travels.
The rutted and rooty walking path continues to follow the wall line down the hill. It eventually comes to a junction where five paths meet. We took the second path on the right (the only one that is obviously uphill), and followed this all the way up through the trees. The path continues until it passes through a drystone wall and out into the sunshine, or in our case out into the grey cloudy covered heathland.
The path deviates to the left and up the hill, and despite one of our party trying his hardest to catapult his wife’s car keys into the bracken we made it up the remaining path to the then obvious pillar.
The View from the Pillar
Regardless of the grey weather the view from the pillar is lovely, with views of Jodrell Bank observatory visible out to the north west and Rudyard Lake to the south east. If you walk a extra few yards out to the left there is a rocky outcrop with an even better viewpoint. We rested and posed here for a short while and watched the trains cross the stunning viaduct to the north. Photos taken, trig bagged and enough exercise to justify the oncoming onslaught of calories from our weekend of Eurovision themed partying, we headed back to the cars.
Taking the easy way back we followed the very clearly marked pathway. We used the steps straight back to the concrete driveway. It looks like the National Trust have done a great job restoring the path. It does, however, seems like they are having a difficult time keeping people on the path. This is one of the easiest ways to preserve the beautiful wildlife surrounding the area, so please be considerate when out in nature.
No matter how hopeful I was for rain with a name like The Cloud, this was yet another walk not getting to check how waterproof my beautiful new Arcteryx Beta AR jacket is. I certainly can, however, vouch for the effectiveness of the armpit vents. They are a feature I have never had before, and didn’t realise I was missing, since I’m getting to the point where Sam is going to have to take the hose to me. The only trouble is she would probably enjoy it just a little too much…
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