During the 1960s over 5,000 miles of railway lines were axed following The Beeching Report.
Since then, many of these disused railway lines have been converted into traffic-free cycling and walking trails that we can enjoy up and down the country. We’re rounding up the best in our Lost Railways series, and this week’s ride takes us through Cheshire where we were grinning all the way from Macclesfield to Marple!
Words: Maria David
The Ride: Middlewood Way, Cheshire
Where: Macclesfield to Marple
How far: 11 miles
Back in the 19th Century this railway line, originally commissioned by the Mill owners, ran between Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple transporting trains carrying cotton, coal, and silk until its closure in 1970. Some 15 years later the route was developed for recreational purposes and nowadays it transports mainly people, wearing lycra, leather and denim.
“There are often two paths makes it really user friendly for cyclists, walkers and horseriders together.”
Ruth Taylor, who rides for the Boot Out Breast Cancer racing team that supports Podium Ambition Pro Team, regularly rides along the Middlewood Way. She told us: “I ride the Middlewood Way normally in the winter months on my cyclocross bike. It’s part of one of my favourite loops that combines the trail with the others near the canal.
“The trail is great even in bad weather as the surface is really good and the fact that there are often two paths makes it really user friendly for cyclists, walkers and horseriders together – we can all get out of each other’s way! Sadly the trail is a little too close to home for me to have tested out the cafés – but I have heard good reviews!”