TURN right down the road to the Bridgewater Canal, passing the old school dated 1759 and now used as the village hall.

Cross Dunham School Bridge here before turning along the tow-path towards Lymm.

Drop down off the canal path at the aqueduct and turn right along the road to Dunham Woodhouses.

At a hairpin bend, turn left down Meadow Lane, crossing the beck where sprays of wild rose and elder enhance the hedgerow.

Continue up the hill to the stile by a telegraph pole.

After this, walk the plank in the middle of the field, and make for the mature ash tree before turning left at the field’s end to a track. Turn right and walk past Woolstencroft Farm to the road.

A left turn brings you to Agden Bridge, which you cross before going left again, and then taking the short cut down a ‘No Through Road’ to the A56.

Here keep left again, crossing over to walk on the footpath towards Ye Olde Number Three – originally called the Red Lion.

Some locals think its name was changed either because it was the third pub in Little Bollington to be built or because it is reputed to have three ghosts – all friendly.

Turn right down the footpath immediately opposite the pub, walking down the first field before bearing left through a gate at the end.

Continue in the same direction until you cross a stile into a further field. Pass the farmhouse and keep ahead between rows of glasshouses before continuing down a path.

Skirt the edge of the mixed wood ahead and after passing a silent pond, bear left to cross an array of planks and drop down the field.

Turn left again over the fence, negotiate the gate on your left and continue down the track to another gate onto Spode Green Lane, where you turn left.

Turn left along the A56 where you have an uninterrupted view to the Dunham Massey estate.

You will soon spot an old, iron footpath sign in the hedge opposite, where you turn right for a short distance towards New Farm.

Turn left to Bollington at another signpost. Bear left over a stile into the next field alongside a hawthorn hedge, then cross two stiles separated by a muddy track.

A further stile, quite hidden at the field’s end, gives access to a hedge littered with brambles showing promise of an ample harvest to come.

Keep ahead along a short path until you reach The Swan with Two Nicks. This pub is supposed to have been a popular ‘watering’ place for Dick Turpin on his sorties north.

Turn right here and cross the millrace, where the ex-flour mill’s huge wheel once used water diverted from the Bollin.

Keep ahead along the footpath here to Dunham Massey, negotiating the stepladder at Bollington Gate.

Fallow deer graze among the trees as you pass a 16th-century mill, its now-idle wheel still visible, and then bear left at the fork past the hall.

Turn right here and immediately left down Woodhouse Lane to Dunham Town, where 18th century estate cottages border the road, both builder and date often signified in the mellow brickwork.

Continue down School Lane, passing St Mark’s church, and the post office advertising oldfashioned dairy ice cream, before reaching journey’s end.

Distance: 6 miles

Start: Axe and Cleaver (SJ740881)

NB: Restrictions on space mean this article provides a summary of the route.

It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.

Taken from Best Pub Walks.