Kingfisher Walk

Walking trail

Discover 'more than mill’ at Quarry Bank as you explore the estate surrounding this industrial community. Meander through lush fields and acres of woodland and spot the Apprentice House and Kitchen Garden. Continue along the scenic path and see the red brick oak cottages built for the workers of the Mill and the Unitarian Norcliffe Chapel where the mill owners once worshiped. Past the village, enter the woods where you will find huge redwood conifers, rare varieties of rhododendron and folly bridges once used by Robert Hyde Greg to connect his home of Norcliffe Hall to the Mill. Towards the end of the walk you will reach the River Bollin where, if you are lucky, you may see a flash of blue as kingfishers dart over the water in their quest for small fish.

Walking in the Northern Woods at Quarry Bank Cheshire


Map guide for the Kingfisher Walk at Quarry Bank


The mill yard at Quarry Bank


Start in the mill yard. From the mill yard, walk uphill towards the Apprentice House.


Turn left just before the house, following the sign pointing to Styal Village.


Walk towards the village, at first with a wooden fence on your right. Cross a wide track (two gates), then go through the gates to the left of Styal Cross.


Turn left towards Norcliffe Chapel. Do not go through the lych gates unless you wish to visit the chapel; instead take the field-side path and continue with the chapel on right. Cross a wide track to enter the Northern Woods and after a few paces, take the first right-hand fork and continue downhill with a deep gully on your left.


After 100 metres note, but do not cross the steel bridge on your left. After a further 100 metres, go down a flight of stone steps then bear right down further steps to cross the Chapel Bridge.


Having crossed the bridge, walk uphill to a T-junction and turn right to the higher path. About 50 metres along this path, down to your left you can spot the overgrown Folly Bridge.


After the Folly bridge you will come to a sharp bend and you will see a giant redwood.


Drop down the track, with its stepped sections into an area dominated by larch trees, which contrasts with the broad-leaved trees elsewhere in the woods. Soon, you can see the river Bollin on your right.


Ignore a turn on your left, instead continue ahead upstream and pass, but do not cross Oxbow Bridge.


Continue with the river on your right to a T-junction, turn right here and continue to Kingfisher Bridge. Cross the bridge and continue up the stepped stone path. At the top of the ascent, with the steel bridge ahead, turn right and eventually turn right again at the tarmac drive to return to your starting point at the mill yard.


The mill yard at Quarry Bank

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Kingfisher Walk

How to get here

The Mill Yard, Quarry Bank, Styal, Wilmlsow, Cheshire, SK9 4LA
By road

Off B5166, 2 miles from M56, exit 5. Heritage signs from A34 and M56

Parking: 200 yards


Kingfisher Walk

Facilities and access

  • Accessible toilets and cafe available in the mill yard