Middlewood Way Traffic-Free Cycle Route

Middlewood Way Cycle Route Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Middlewood Way is a disused railway line, running for 10.4 miles between Macclesfield and Marple. As is the case whenever possible, the route starts right by Macclesfield train station, and ends at Marple station. Do note that to catch a train from one station to the other you will need to travel via Manchester. Also, do yourself a favour and first read my Bikes On Trains guide.

The Middlewood Way follows the course of the old Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway. As it ends in Marple, you can easily turn this into a loop from Manchester, taking the train to Macclesfield, cycling the Middlewood Way, then continuing on with the Peak Forest & Ashton Canals route.

As you’d expect from a disused railway, the Middlewood Way is rather flat, and it’s suitable for nervous or young cyclists. Just bear in mind that it is also a bridleway, so be prepared to encounter horses. Especially younger riders may need to be told how to pass horses safely.


The path surface is mostly tar, but towards Marple turns to self-compacting gravel. Nevertheless, it’s a decent surface to ride in nearly all weather (but may have some muddy patches when it rains).


Any kind of bike should cope easily, but especially after rain, you’ll want to ensure your bike has mudguards. You’ll find it more comfortable on chunkier tyres.


Available at Macclesfield station, at The Boar’s Head, Higher Poynton and at Marple station.


Safety: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Hilliness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Flat)
Refreshment stops: ⭐⭐
Barriers: ⭐
Surface: ⭐⭐⭐

Overall: ⭐⭐⭐

The grading system I use is explained here.

Points of Interest

The Macclesfield Canal is in several places quite close to the Middlewood Way.

Routes in Cheshire


There are some A-frame barriers along the Middlewood Way. Trikes and handcycles may struggle, as will most cargo bikes.

Forecast for the Middlewood Way

What the Middlewood Way looks like

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow


DayCycle routes are routes can can easily be cycled by most people in a day, or part of a day. Do have a look at all the other DayCycle routes available on WillCycle. Many contain detailed route guides, as well as embedded maps (like the one below) from which you can download the GPX file for the route.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.