Macclesfield Forest

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
Creative Tourist

One of the enduring attractions of Macclesfield is its surrounding landscape and huge variety of green spaces. Nestled on the edge of the Peak District National Park, there are no shortage of walks nearby, but Macclesfield Forest stands out for its abundance of wildlife and the spectacular views over the forest’s two large reservoirs and out towards Shining Tor, Cheshire’s highest point.

Established in the remnants of a Norman hunting forest and managed by United Utilities, there are plenty of paths and trails leading up, down and around. Indeed, whether you choose to walk, run, cycle or even hop on a horse, Macclesfield Forest makes for a good, challenging work out with enough variety in the terrain to keep things interesting. The forest itself is largely made up of pine trees, although there are projects underway to replant areas with more native broad leaved species.

Macclesfield Forest stands out for its abundance of wildlife and the spectacular views

Look out for the aforementioned Shining Tor, as well as views of Cheshire’s second highest point, Shutlingsloe — known as the ‘Cheshire Matterhorn’, thanks to its resemblance to the famous Swiss mountain. Also worth finding is St Stephen’s Church, known commonly as ‘Forest Chapel’. Originally built in 1673, but reconstructed in 1834, this landmark is known for its traditional rush-bearing ceremony, performed each August.

Visitors to Macclesfield Forest will also find the Peak District’s largest heronry, with springtime walkers provided an opportunity to spot the birds tending to their young high above the bluebells. A herd of elusive red deer, along with badgers, weasels and other assorted species combine to make this an animal spotters paradise.

In terms of getting there, free parking is available at designated areas, but there is also a pay and display car park at the visitor centre, where you will also find toilets, the Nice Nosh food stall serving local produce, an information point and picnic areas. Things are tricker if you don’t drive, but bus services will take you as far as Langley Village, while rail gets you to Macclesfield itself.

MacclesfieldMacclesfieldSK11 0NE View map
Telephone: 01260252832 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • MondayOpen 24 hours
  • TuesdayOpen 24 hours
  • WednesdayOpen 24 hours
  • ThursdayOpen 24 hours
  • FridayOpen 24 hours
  • SaturdayOpen 24 hours
  • SundayOpen 24 hours

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Macclesfield Forest

Stock Party
Stock Party

A fun-packed, free entry block party in the heart of Stockport this summer. Expect beer, food and a stellar soundtrack.

free entry
New Order at Wythenshawe Park

New Order play an all-day outdoor concert at Wythenshawe Park alongside Manchester’s own Johnny Marr and adopted Manc Róisin Murphy.

from £61.60
Idles by Daniel Topete, image couresy of SONIC PR
Idles at The Apollo

Taking the power of love on the road, IDLES bring their latest album TANGK, their most ambitious and striking record yet, to Manchester.

from £42.15
Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Enjoy fun and creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

free entry

Where to go near Macclesfield Forest

Mads Theatre

A theatre that can trace its origins back to 1947, Macclesfield Amateur Dramatics Society (or MADS) is dedicated to serving the town and its people.

Place of worship
Macclesfield United Reformed Church

Grade II Listed building, used for events and worship, which is mainly traditional in format, with choir and organ music. Communion is celebrated on the first Sunday of the month.

Paradise Mill

Paradise Mill is a museum devoted to early-20th-century silk weaving, featuring working handlooms in their original setting.

The Silk Museum

Housed in a 19th-century art school, The Silk Museum takes visitors through Macclesfield’s history as a silk town with a range of exhibits and events.

Bar or Pub
No.8 Dukes

Situated just off the beaten track, Dukes Court is the heart of Macclesfield’s nightlife serving innovative cocktails and old favourites.


Tempranillo reflects the soul of Spain, inspired by the new wave of deli-wine bars and, more importantly, the bars and eateries of Madrid.

Mash Guru

Mash Guru is a bar with attitude, eclectic, electric and unexpected on every front. A blend of New York Speakeasy, Berlin underground and 70s Porn Lounge, shaken not stirred.

Cinemac Cinema

Cinemac Cinema in Macclesfield is a cinema and live-performance venue which hosts a regular variety of cinema, comedy, theatre and more.

Bar or Pub
Fiveclouds Tap & Bottle

Fiveclouds Tap and Bottle is a small beer-focused bar and tap room for Fiveclouds Brew Co. Dedicated to serving artisan beers on tap and in bottles.

Culture Guides