Manchester to Macclesfield: Traffic Free

I have been looking for a way to make my regular journey from Macclesfield back to Manchester without having to ride on the excessively fast road route, the speed and volume of traffic prevent the road route from being enjoyable and the speed of the traffic effectively means I have to ride faster too, which is tiring and prevents me from being able to ride this route with most other people.
The Middlewood way offers a traffic-free route from the centre of Macclesfield to Marple near Stockport. The only problem with this is that the most direct road from Marple to Manchester is particularly hilly, has a high volume of fast traffic, parked cars and HGVs thanks to the nearby situation of Offerton Sand and Gravel LTD. However, a canal does head North from Marple, eventually meeting the Ashton canal near Ashton town centre. This then leads back to Manchester city centre, ending near Manchester Piccadilly railway station.

The route is mostly very nice, except for a few less appealing sections, particularly near the Ashton end of the Ashton-Marple section of canal. When studying the map, there are a few sections where the canal cannot be seen on this map, heading from Ashton to Marple, the first of these is a long tunnel where a towpath is provided. The second is a tunnel which requires a detour, which is roughly drawn on the map. The route ends at Macclesfield Tesco, the railway station is not far from there and could be walked if preferred. Just across the road from Macclesfield Station is The Waters Green Tavern which I would recommend due to its decent selection of cask ales and Belgian beers. If any of you do try the route I have provided, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments.


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